Ed News: Nebraska Aims To Ease Path For Future Teachers

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This week in education news, state officials want to keep more candidates in Nebraska’s teacher-preparation pipeline by easing testing requirements; Maine considering relaxing certification standards to get more teachers into the classrooms; new study finds that merit-based bonuses help raise student test scores; vocational education classes play a role in math and science education in California schools; preparing today’s students for the future workforce is a society-wide effort; and different data needed to track the quality of STEM undergrad education.

Nebraska Aims To Ease Path For Future Teachers

State officials want to keep more candidates in Nebraska’s teacher-preparation pipeline by easing testing requirements. What’s clogging things up, they say, is a test Nebraska adopted three years ago to screen applicants for teacher-education programs. Read the article featured in the Omaha World-Herald.

Pa. Can Do More To Upgrade STEM Education

As a practicing Pennsylvania classroom science teacher for more than 30 years and a National STEM Teacher Ambassador, I appreciate the good work Gov. Tom Wolf has done for education and his advocacy to increase resources for education. His recent Op-Ed “Why it’s essential for Pennsylvania to invest in education” points out how far the state has come in regard to education. I agree we have come a long way, but there are two significant impediments that state lawmakers and leadership could be addressing in regard to the state of STEM education in Pennsylvania. Read the opinion piece featured in The Delaware County Daily Times.

Should Maine Relax Certification Standards To Get More Teachers In Classrooms?

Like a lot of states, Maine has a shortage of teachers. According to the U.S. Department of Education, schools are struggling to find people to fill positions ranging from librarians to Spanish teachers. Proposed rules from the Maine Department of Education could make it easier to certify some teachers and bring them into the system. But at a hearing on the proposal, some educators worried that the new rules could lower the bar, and bring unqualified teachers into the classroom. Read the article featured on Mainepublic.org.

Big New Study Finds That Performance Bonuses For Teachers Boost Test Scores (A Bit)

A new study, released by the federal government, suggests that merit-based bonuses are the way to go, as they help raise student test scores without making a significant dent in teacher morale. It offers the latest evidence that programs of this sort can help schools and students, despite the common perception that they are ineffective. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.

Despite Cutbacks, Auto Shops Play A Role In Math And Science Education In California Schools

Thirty years ago, auto shop was as much a part of California high schools as frog dissection, typing classes and Friday night football. But due to budget cuts, teacher shortages and a push for more academic course offerings, fewer than half those auto shops remain in California — even though they have the potential to complement hands-on math and science curriculum, education experts say. Vocational education classes, such as auto shop, can provide training and career options for students less likely to go to college, but also can be useful for students who are on academic tracks, educators said. Read the article featured in EdSource.

Newsflash: Preparing Students For The Future Workforce Is A Society-wide Effort

Today’s jobs are changing, and they are changing at such a rapid pace that many of the jobs our students will hold in the future do not even exist today. But just because we don’t know what those jobs are doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to prepare today’s students, and tomorrow’s workforce, for the opportunities awaiting them. A large part of that preparation will rely on equal technology access to all students. Read the article featured in eSchool News.

More And Different Data Needed To Track Quality Of STEM Undergrad Education

Improving STEM undergraduate education will require tracking student demographics, instructor use of evidence-based teaching practices, student transfer patterns and other yet-unmeasured dimensions of science, technology, engineering and math education. That’s the main conclusion from a new report published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Read the article featured in Campus Technology.

Marshawn Lynch’s ‘Scientist’ Talks Future Of Research And Importance Of Strengthening The Pipeline

Michael Pravica and Marshawn Lynch are at first glance (and second glance, third, fourth and fifth glances) an unlikely pair. But what the professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the star running back of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders have in common — besides their joint appearances on the Bleacher Report’s new Facebook show, “No Script with Marshawn Lynch” — centers around explosions. For Lynch, it’s his explosive runs on the field, and for Pravica, it is the study of “things that go boom.” Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Feds Set Stage for ESSA ‘Innovative’ Testing Pilots. But States, Vendors May Move More Slowly

The U.S. Department of Education has given states an official heads-up to get ready to apply to pilot “innovative assessments” under the Every Student Succeeds Act. But it seems likely that states will approach the feds’ offer cautiously—rather than in a headlong rush. Read the article featured in Education Week’s Market Brief.

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

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) tea 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.

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