This week in education news, New Jersey governor announces new measures to help keep STEM college graduates in the state; more must be do in U.S. schools to increase the number of women represented in STEM careers; teachers need to set professional boundaries; California lawmakers approve bills to increase STEM funding in the state; new research shows that the UTeach teacher prep program is actually working; the Quality Teacher Incentive Program has been a game changer in Utah’s San Juan School District; driven by dislike for federal and state-based education policy, teachers across the country are running for office in unprecedented numbers; and first-generation, college-bound Hispanic students in California don’t often see a clear pathway to a high-tech career.
Gov. Phil Murphy has unveiled a pair of measures aimed at keeping science, tech, engineering and math college graduates in the state. His proposed loan forgiveness program would mean anyone who’s worked in a STEM-related job in New Jersey for at least four years would receive $8,000 in tuition assistance. Employers and the state would split the covered amount 50/50. Read the article featured on NJBiz.com.
March 8th was memorable for many reasons. Not only was it International Women’s Day, but Meghan Markle made one of her first official public appearances with her future husband, Prince Harry, at an event in Birmingham, England. Significantly, the event was organized by the STEMettes, an award-winning social enterprise working across the U.K. and Ireland to inspire young women to pursue STEM careers. Read the article featured in eSchool News.
Teachers need balance. You need to set professional limits that will support long-term engagement with your students and with teaching. This is about protecting your energy and attention in order to maximize their effects. It’s about what you can and cannot control. It’s about when to hold on and when to let go. Read the article featured in edutopia.
Six years ago, I founded 100Kin10, a national network focused on training and retaining excellent K-12 STEM teachers. Originally inspired by Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address, we knew that we were preparing to take on a huge and daunting problem; for years, our education system has faced an acute teacher shortage. There simply aren’t enough qualified educators to meet the needs of our students, especially in STEM. Read the article featured in eSchool News.
STEM education could expand significantly under a handful of bills moving through the California Legislature. Read the article featured in K-12 Daily.
Five years ago, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) made a commitment to invest in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through a multi-year solution strategy that combined developing and adapting new curriculum materials with an integrated professional development plan so that the persistent inequities in student learning would be interrupted. Seeing an opportunity in the disruptive nature of the NGSS to alter science teaching and learning in ways that improved learning for all students, the SFUSD Science Team partnered with the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University to ensure that the curriculum and professional development work was guided by best practices and research. Read the article featured in Education Week.
Mariam Manuel was sitting in calculus class at the University of Houston over a decade ago when a professor mentioned a new program allowing math and science majors could also earn a teaching certification. Manuel knew she wanted to teach, but she didn’t know how she’d get licensed. Now, new peer-reviewed research on the program, known as UTeach, shows that its teachers performed substantially better in the classroom than other teachers in Texas, as measured by student test scores. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.
Christy Fitzgerald isn’t worrying on the last day of school, she’s celebrating with her students. The elementary school principal doesn’t have a bunch of empty teacher positions to fill before fall. Students at the Tse’bii’nidzisgai Elementary School, on the Navajo Nation typically lose seven out of 10 of their teachers every year. That changed when the San Juan School District piloted a new program to pay teachers up to $81,000 to come to these remote schools and stay. Read the article featured on KSL.com
One recent afternoon, reading teacher Karen Mallard settled into a kindergarten classroom at Greenbrier Primary School in Chesapeake, Va., as young readers worked through a book about pets. Then, she headed home to brush up on Iran nuclear policy. Mallard has been leading a double life for the past several months, spending her days helping young readers and then heading to a faculty bathroom to change into a suit when the afternoon bell rings so she can hit the campaign trail. Mallard, who calls herself the “Teacher for Congress,” is running a campaign for the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Read the article featured in The Washington Post.
Standardized test scores have been the driving force in U.S. education for more than two decades. But across the country, parents concerned about the psychic toll of high-stakes testing on their children have been “opting out” of testing programs. Meanwhile, teachers have long complained that testing reduces the time for instruction and distorts the curriculum. Read the article featured in Education Week.
California schools are using various methods to not only get low-income and diverse high school students interested in STEM subject areas, but to increase the odds they’ll actually get a STEM-related degree and wind up working in one of those fields. In schools located a short distance from Silicon Valley, less than 5% of tech professionals are Hispanic, and just over 2% are African American. Interestingly, 57% of students in the area weren’t born in the U.S.; most came from China or India. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.
Schools are always trying to get their kids interested in pursuing careers in science, engineering and technology. But that’s hard to do when the students don’t have a solid idea of what having a STEM-related job really means.Beth Bryan, a middle-school enrichment teacher in Edmond, Oklahoma, is one of five teachers selected last summer for a pilot program in her state that gives teachers real-life experience in STEM fields. The program, run by Oklahoma’s department of education, aimed to give teachers a more concrete understanding of the applications of science and technology – by getting their hands on some actual concrete. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.
Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.
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