Ed News: A New Normal in STEM Teaching?

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This week in education news, top White House science adviser job still vacant; U.S. Department of Education awards $253 million in grants to expand charter schools; flipped learning still going strong 10 years later; Education Week conducted a preliminary review of states’ ESSA plans and finds a wide variation on a range of key requirements under the new federal law; grades in first year of high school can predict later academic success; the Santa Fe school board opposes New Mexico’s new science education standards; and for students with disabilities, tech tools can help provide new and engaging ways to access content in STEM.

A ‘New Normal’ in STEM Teaching?

Science instructors increasingly are moving beyond the lecture to more innovative — and effective — teaching methods. But professors with a taste for change often enact it alone, as their colleagues continue to lecture. The Association of American Universities wants to change that. In 2011, it launched its Undergraduate STEM Initiative to encourage systemic reforms to science education to improve teaching and learning, especially in first- and second-year courses. Read the article featured in Inside Higher Ed.

Trump’s Top Science Adviser Job Vacant Eight Months After Inauguration

President Donald Trump and his daughter-adviser have been going all out to tout the administration’s commitment to “high-quality STEM and computer science education” as a means of boosting the U.S. economy. But Trump has yet to choose a top science adviser, who would play a crucial role in turning the White House horn-tooting into reality. Read the article featured in Newsweek.

U.S. Department of Education Awards $253 Million in Grants to Expand Charter Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that The Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Program (Charter Schools Program or CSP) has awarded new grants to fund the creation and expansion of public charter schools across the nation, totaling approximately $253 million. Read the press release issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

Why Flipped Learning Is Still Going Strong 10 Years Later

Ten years ago two Colorado chemistry teachers unleashed a brash concept on a K-12 landscape where few questioned the age-old formula of lecture, homework, assess, repeat. It was the early days of YouTube (then two-years old), and it was getting cheap and easy to make and post videos, so the two teachers—Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams—proposed shifting lectures to videos students would watch at home, and asking students to come to class prepared to problem solve with their peers. It became known as the flipped classroom—a modern, video-based version of a model pioneered by a handful of higher ed professors during the 1990s. Read the article featured in Ed Surge.

Can Gamification Solve The STEM Talent Gap?

The global movement to increase access to STEM educational opportunities, and ultimately increase the flow of talent into the pipeline for professions in the STEM field, is continuing to grow. Countries across the world are devoting resources and strategic thought to create meaningful plans for implementation, which, in some cases, means a total overhaul of how schools have traditionally approached science and mathematics education. Read the article featured in the Silicon Republic.

A Guide To State ESSA Plans: Goals, Teacher Quality, and More

After more than a year of preparation, the Every Student Succeeds Act is on the verge of hitting classrooms nationwide. And nearly all states have now laid out their blueprints for how they intend to hold schools and districts accountable for requirements of the new federal K-12 law. So what’s inside those ESSA plans, and just what do states intend to do in key policy areas, from school quality to testing and teacher issues? Education Week conducted a preliminary review of the plans, submitted and approved, and found wide variation on a range of key requirements under ESSA. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Grades In First Year Of High School Can Predict Later Academic Success

While test scores are often used as indicators of student achievement, a new report shows that, a student’s grade point average (GPA) in 9th grade may be the most important predictor of later academic success. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

Santa Fe School Board Opposes New State Science Education Standards

The Santa Fe school board has decided in a unanimous vote to oppose the state’s proposed new science education standards and is asking the New Mexico Public Education Department to adopt, instead, an already established set of guidelines created by a coalition of science teachers. Read the article featured in The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Arts Integration Is A Sucker’s Game

Arts advocates are earnest in their support of arts integration through science, technology, engineering, art, and math instruction. But as a strategy for promoting arts education, STEAM is almost certainly counterproductive as well as pedagogically unsound. Read the commentary featured in Education Week.

How Tech Can Help Students with Disabilities Thrive In STEM Education

When Stephanie Talalai began as the technology coordinator at A. Harry Moore School 26 years ago, nonverbal students communicated using pieces of paper with “yes” and “no” on them. Today, students can control computers using their eyes. “In terms of providing access,” Talalai says, “the technology has come a long way.” For students with disabilities, tech tools can help provide new and engaging ways to access content in science, technology, engineering and math. Read the article featured in Ed Tech Magazine.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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