This week in education news, President Trump proposes merging the Education Department with the U.S. Department of Labor; new report found that a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded initiative did not improve student performance; teacher shortage becoming a growing concern in Hawaii; Career and Technical Education Bill approved by the Senate education committee; Mattel unveils new Robotics Engineer Barbie; California budget allocates nearly $400 million for science and math education, but not teacher training; NCTM issues a call to action to drastically change the way math is taught so that students can learn more easily; and a new study shows that eighth-grade science teachers without an educational background in science are less likely to practice inquiry-oriented science instruction.
What is the best way to teach STEM to students who haven’t mastered English? Some educators believe the answer lies in maker education, the latest pedagogical movement that embraces hands-on learning through making, building, creating and collaborating. Read the article featured on Gettingsmart.com.
President Donald Trump wants to combine the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor into a single agency focused on workforce readiness and career development. But the plan, which was announced during a cabinet meeting last week, will need congressional approval. That’s likely to be a tough lift. Similar efforts to scrap the nearly 40-year-old education department or combine it with another agency have fallen flat. Read the article featured in Education Week.
A Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded initiative designed to improve student achievement by strengthening teaching did lead to using measures of effectiveness in personnel decisions, but did not improve student performance, particularly that of low-income minority students, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.
The number of Hawaii teachers quitting their jobs and leaving the state is becoming a growing concern. The state’s high cost of living and low salaries are among the factors driving away Hawaii teachers. Department of Education employment reports show that 411 teacher resigned and left the state in 2016-17, up from 223 in 2010. Read the article featured in Education Week.
The Senate education committee agreed unanimously via voice vote Tuesday to favorably report a bill reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to the full Senate. The Senate version, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, would revamp the Perkins law, which Congress last reauthorized in 2006, by allowing states to establish certain goals for CTE programs without getting them cleared by the secretary of education first. However, it requires “meaningful progress” to be made towards meeting goals on key indicators. Read the article featured in Education Week.
Opened in 2006, the Learning Lab is the backbone of Tiger Woods’ goal to provide kids a safe place to learn, explore and grow. The Lab offers students from low-income households and underfunded schools a variety of classes in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Read the article featured in USA Today.
Mattel launched Robotics Engineer Barbie on Tuesday, a doll designed to pique girls’ interest in STEM and shine a light on an underrepresented career field for women, the company announced. The new doll joins a lineup of more than 200 careers held by Barbie, “all of which reinforce the brand’s purpose to inspire the limitless potential in every girl,” Mattel said in a statement. Read the article featured in NBC Los Angeles.
Science education got a boost in the 2018-19 state budget, but the plan stops short of funding training for teachers in California’s ambitious new science standards — something education leaders had been pushing for. The budget, which the Legislature approved this month and Gov. Brown signed Wednesday, includes a $6.1 billion increase in funding for K-12 schools. It calls for nearly $400 million for programs promoting science, technology, engineering and math education, ranging from STEM teacher recruitment to after-school coding classes to tech internships for high school students. Read the article featured in Ed Source.
Legislation that would provide a funding boost for disadvantaged students and special education was approved by the Senate appropriations committee on Thursday. The fiscal 2019 spending bill also does not include the Trump administration’s proposal, unveiled last week, to merge the Education and Labor Departments into a single agency called the Department of Education and the Workforce. Read the article featured in Education Week.
Math understanding at the elementary and middle school levels has increased over the last 30 years, but has stagnated in high school. In its 2018 report “Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics,” The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has issued a call to action to drastically change the way math is taught so that students can learn more easily. Read the article featured in District Administration.
A new study shows that eighth-grade science teachers without an educational background in science are less likely to practice inquiry-oriented science instruction, a pedagogical approach that develops students’ understanding of scientific concepts and engages students in hands-on science projects. This research offers new evidence for why U.S. middle-grades students may lag behind their global peers in scientific literacy. Inquiry-oriented science instruction has been heralded by the National Research Council and other experts in science education as best practice for teaching students 21st-century scientific knowledge and skills. Read the article featured on Phys.org.
Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.
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