Ed News: Coaching Is A Promising PD Strategy For Early Educators

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This week in education news, new report provides guidance on effective coaching models for teachers working with young children; one third of college students in the U.S. change their majors at least once; Iowa’s STEM director chosen for White House position; new poll finds that most Americans harbor concerns about the quality of STEM education in the U.S. and see it as “middling” compared with that of other advanced nations; and Pew Research Center releases seven facts about the STEM workforce.

Report: Coaching Is A Promising PD Strategy For Early Educators

As school leaders plan professional learning for their teachers, a new report provides guidance on effective coaching models for teachers working with young children. “Primetime for Coaching: Improving Instructional Coaching in Early Childhood Education,” from Bellwether Education Partners, recommends that administrators choose coaching strategies that fit into an overall professional development approach, consider cost-effective options, such as virtual coaches, and include assistant teachers and other support personnel in coaching plans. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

Study: One Third Of STEM Students In US Change Majors

Most college students in the United States choose their major, or main field of study for their degree, before or during their first year. And about one third of college students in the U.S. change majors at least once. Many who change majors began in science, technology, engineering and math – in other words, STEM fields. Read the article featured on VOANews.com.

Iowa’s STEM Director Picked For White House Post

Jeff Weld, executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, has accepted a one-year role with the National Science Foundation and the University of Northern Iowa, the governor’s office announced. Weld will serve as senior policy adviser and assistant director for STEM Education at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as staff associate in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation. Read the article featured on Patch.com.

In Education, Perfect Must Not Become The Enemy Of Good

America’s future, and the futures of our more than 50 million public school students, are one and the same. Essential to this future are the more than 3 million teachers who—more than anyone else besides parents and the students themselves—are responsible for our children’s success. But our dedicated teachers are hamstrung by inadequate funding and a lack of other types of support that are critical to providing our children with high-quality education. That is why all of us must work together to make teacher success our top priority. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Most Americans Say U.S. STEM Education Is Middling, New Poll Finds

Many Americans harbor concerns about the quality of STEM education in the U.S. and see it as “middling” compared with that of other advanced nations, according to a new poll released by the Pew Research Center. Of the nearly 5,000 people surveyed last summer, most said they thought K-12 public schools do a good job teaching basic reading, writing and math (61 percent) and preparing students for college (59 percent). But only one quarter of Americans (25 percent) said they thought K-12 STEM education was the best in the world or above average compared with other advanced countries. Just 13 percent of those with a postgraduate degree in STEM rated K-12 STEM education as above average. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

7 Facts About The STEM Workforce

A new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data takes a broad-based look at the STEM workforce from 1990 to 2016 based on an analysis of adults ages 25 and older working in any of 74 occupations. These include computer, math, engineering and architecture occupations, physical scientists, life scientists and health-related occupations such as health care practitioners and technicians, but not health care support workers such as nursing aides and medical assistants. Here are seven facts about the STEM workforce and STEM training. Read the article released by the Pew Research Center.

The Tech Industry Isn’t Waiting For Education To Change: They’re Changing Education Themselves

The demand for new thinking skills to serve the new knowledge based economy has become critical, and while K-12 and some universities are looking at what teachers teach and how students learn to assess their readiness, the education system is still too far behind for most high-tech companies. Read the article featured in The Huffington Post.

Can A Test Ever Be Fair? How Today’s Standardized Tests Get Made

After politics and religion, few issues are as contentious as standardized tests. Opinions run the gamut. To some, standardized testing overwhelms our schools and helps eradicate differences between students. For others, they remain the best way to compare students objectively and hold schools accountable. Whatever your thoughts, there’s no denying that students are taking lots of tests. Read the article featured on EdSurge.com.

OPINION: Eliminating The Funding That Supports Educators? That’s No Way To Cut The Federal Budget

From the mountains of Tennessee to the West Side of Chicago, teachers represent our best chance of achieving the goal we have for every child in this country to graduate from high school. We increase our chances of reaching this goal if our teachers receive the support and professional development they need. As the only federal money focused on teacher improvement and growth, Title II funding supports the development of our educators. But Title II is on the chopping block, thanks to a bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives to fund the federal government through September 2018. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

Science Museums Offer STEM-Related PD For K12 Teachers

Finding quality professional development for science teachers continues to be a challenge as school districts expand STEM programs. Many science centers and museums offer STEM-related PD, and want to partner with districts to develop programs that align with school curriculum and Next Generation Science Standards. Read the article featured in District Administration.

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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