Ed News: All About STEM High Schools

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This week in education news, California state analysts aren’t happy about the governor’s plan to allocate $10 million to set up a new online “intersegmental” higher education initiative; some economics departments are changing the formal classification of their programs so that international students have more opportunities to work in the U.S.; NSTA unveils new book geared toward teachers of 3- to 7- year-olds; after-school programs level the playing field; and Idaho Senate Education Committee votes to approve revised school science standards.

All About STEM High Schools

What is a STEM school? It used to mean there were a few more science and math classes. These days, the best STEM schools engage students in real engineering and design challenges and connect them with career opportunities. Some STEM schools, with the help of employers, focus on specific job clusters. Others take advantage of community assets like a college, employer or a zoo. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Online Initiative Not The Answer to STEM Gaps In California

A proposed budget by California’s governor would allocate $10 million to set up a new online “intersegmental” higher education initiative. The project would fund competitive grants for intersegmental teams of faculty to create new and redesign existing STEM courses — both online and hybrid — in a program titled the “California Education Learning Lab.” However, state analysts aren’t keen on the idea. Read the article featured in Campus Technology.


Some economics departments are changing the formal classification of their programs so that international students have more opportunities to work in the U.S. after they graduate. It may seem like the most bureaucratic of changes, but changing the formal classification — what’s known as the federal CIP code — for an economics program from the one for “economics, general” to the one for “econometrics and quantitative economics” means that international graduates of those programs can work in the U.S. for two extra years after they graduate while staying on their student visas. That’s because the Department of Homeland Security considers econometrics and quantitative economics — but not general economics — to be a STEM field. Read the article featured in Inside Higher Ed.

Computer Science for All: Can Schools Pull It Off?

Alante Klyce wants to be a dancer. Yet here she is, inside a sun-filled classroom at Lindblom Math & Science Academy on the city’s South Side, throwing around tech-industry terms like “ideation” and working with friends to design her first mobile app. It’s all part of the introductory computer-science course that every student in Chicago must now take in order to graduate. “I’m still not really that into technology,” said Klyce, 15. “But this is actually my favorite class now.” Read the article featured in Education Week.

Teachers Group Looks To Develop Future Scientists With Book For Preschoolers

NSTA recently unveiled its latest book, and the audience it was developed for may surprise you. A Head Start on Life Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder is geared toward teachers of 3- to 7- year-olds and offers 24 inquiry-based lessons, which are designed to develop a sense of curiosity about the world within preschoolers. Read the article featured in Associations Now.

What Does Growth Look Like for a Student Who Isn’t Having Success on Standardized Tests?

Over the course of my career, I’ve had some years where my students’ standardized test scores were on the rise, and other years where they stagnated. Rarely did these scores correlate to the amount of growth each learner had experienced during our time working together. One thing I know to be true is that little things matter a lot when it comes to recognizing student growth. Read the article featured in EdSurge.

After-School Programs Level The Playing Field

For many educators, this is a time of confusion and frustration as we watch continued attacks on federal funding for education — including after-school programming. We watched with concern earlier this year as the Trump Administration shortsightedly sought to eliminate funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program for fiscal year 2018. Read the article featured in EdSource.

What Is Innovation In Early Education And Why Is It Crucial?

The term “innovation” can conjure images of Silicon Valley, product pitches, dramatically new ideas for solving problems, and, ultimately, disrupting the status quo. What can be more challenging, though, is to think about this notion of innovation in the context of fields where advancement largely depends upon building capacity among adults, to improve relationships and interactions among people. Take, for example, the field of early education, where improving teaching and care practices are a linchpin to improving quality. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Senate Panel’s Vote Gives Idaho Schools New Science Standards, Climate Change And All

After three years of resistance at the GOP-dominated Idaho Statehouse, including more pushback from House Republicans this session, the Senate Education Committee voted 6-3 on Thursday to approve revised school science standards as-is – with no parts relating to climate change deleted. Read the article featured in the Idaho Statesman.

Why Arming Teachers Is Highly Unlikely

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the White House is “very strongly” considering the possibility of arming teachers and other school staff following the deadly Florida school shooting — but the reality is that won’t happen any time soon, even in states that would allow guns in schools. Read the article featured in POLITICO.

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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