Ed News: A Wave of State Bills Could Threaten Science and Climate Education

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This week in education news, On International Women’s Day, a student reflects on a class that inspired her creativity; new research suggests that there are no real differences in student achievement gains across different textbooks; President Trump seeks 10 percent cut to Education Department aid; Julie Neidhardt wins the Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge grand prize; a wave of state bills could threaten science education; U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens introduces the Building Blocks of STEM Act; a series of recent studies have revealed weaknesses in past evidence supporting grit in education; and climate researchers estimate the average temperature across the United States will warm by 5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050.

What High School Engineering Taught Me, and How It Can Empower Other Girls

International Women’s Day 2019 is all about #BalanceforBetter—gender balance, that is. Women make up only 30 percent of the science and engineering workforce today—yet this male-dominated group are the people who are designing our gadgets, building machines and tools that are used in health and environmental care, coming up with algorithms that determine a lot of what happens on social media and more … which does not seem balanced. Read the article featured in Scientific American.

The Gates Foundation is Hoping Better Curriculum Will Boost Student Learning. A New Study Says, Not So Fast.

Better curriculum was supposed to be one of the next big things in education. But new research, amounting to one of the largest-scale examinations of curriculum materials to date, suggests that the choice might not matter much — at least when it comes to elementary math test scores. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.

Millennials Are the Most Diverse Generation, But the Teaching Force Hasn’t Caught Up, Analysis Finds

Is the teaching profession getting more racially diverse—or less? While there are more teachers of color than there were a few decades ago, the teacher workforce is growing whiter than the college-educated population as a whole, according to a new analysis from the Brookings Institution. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Trump Seeks 10 Percent Cut to Education Department Aid, $5 Billion for Tax-Credit Scholarships

President Donald Trump is seeking a 10 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education’sbudget in his fiscal 2020 budget proposal, which would cut the department’s spending by $7.1 billion down to $64 billion starting in October. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Local Teacher Julie Neidhardt wins Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge Grand Prize

Hutchens Elementary Science Teacher Julie Neidhardt was named a Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge Grand Prize Winner! Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association teamed up to showcase teachers who are doing remarkable and innovative things in their classroom. Watch the segment featured on FOX News10.

The Energy 202: A Wave of State Bills Could Threaten Science and Climate Education

State lawmakers from Connecticut to Florida are proposing measures that some groups say could threaten how science and climate change are taught in the classroom. More than a dozen such bills have popped up this year, including from state lawmakers pushing back against broad scientific consensus that people are warming the planet, according to the National Center for Science Education. Read the article featured in the Washington Post.

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens Sponsors Bill Directing More Funding Into STEM Education Research

Michigan Congresswoman Haley Stevens has introduced her first sponsored bill as a newly-elected member of Congress. Rep. Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, introduced the Building Blocks of STEM Act, which directs the National Science Foundation to more equitably allocate funding, with a focus on supporting STEM education research on early childhood. Read the article featured in the Oakland Press.

Is ‘Grit’ in Education All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

More than a decade after academic and psychologist Angela Duckworth released her first paper on the notion of grit and its application to education, a series of recent studies have revealed weaknesses in past evidence supporting grit and in survey questions that measured it within people. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

What Climate Change Might Mean for Test Scores

The combination of rising temperatures and aging school buildings across the country could lead to falling academic performance and wider achievement gaps among students, a new study finds. Read the article featured in Education Week.

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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