Ed News: Teachers Need More Pay, Not Merit Pay

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This week in education news, Title IV-A Coalition opposes President Trump’s plan to pull the plug on $1.2 billion block grant; research-practitioner partnerships across the country work to improve the quality of teachers who enter the teaching workforce; Deans for Impact launches new initiative that will focus on better preparing future teachers to incorporate cognitive science into their practice; hoping to fill empty factory jobs and reach across the aisle, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association pushes a plan to waive tuition at state universities to students who will stay around and teach STEM; robotics is an ideal STEM learning experience; Alabama Senate passes legislation to repeal common core; and science is the new black.

Coalition Opposes President’s Plan to Pull the Plug on This $1.2 Billion Block Grant

President Donald Trump’s 2020 proposed $64 billion education budget eliminates funding for the Title IV-A block grant, and a coalition of 35 organizations—many prominent in K-12 education—is fighting back. Read the article featured in EdWeek Market Brief.

Taking the Guesswork Out of Teacher Hiring

Imagine a world where school districts’ hiring departments can predict the longevity and effectiveness of a teacher before she steps foot into a classroom. t’s a scenario that’s proved difficult to make reality, but a body of emerging research is making inroads. There are a handful of research-practitioner partnerships across the country working to improve teacher hiring through a strategic approach to job interviews, recommendations, and resume screenings. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Deans for Impact Launches Teacher Prep Learning Science Initiative

Utilizing a $1.5 million Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant, the nonprofit will choose teacher programs to make the science of how students learn more accessible to educators. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Teachers Need More Pay, Not Merit Pay

I used to jump at the chance to share my views on performance pay for teachers. In my first article, published in 2007 when I was a third-year teacher, I wrote, “Performance pay done right could be one of the best things to happen to teachers, to our schools, and to our profession.” Today, I feel far more cautious about even discussing merit pay. The shortcomings of traditional teacher pay structures are still glaring, but the potential for disastrous alternatives is much clearer. Read the article featured in Education Week TEACHER.

STEM Students Would Get Free Tuition Under Illinois Bill

Hoping to fill empty factory jobs and reach across the aisle, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association pushes a plan to waive tuition at state universities to students who will stay around and teach science, tech, engineering and math. Read the article featured in Chicago Business.

America’s Schools Are Starved for Funds, and Teachers Are Paying the Price. Recent Strikes Are Only a Symptom of This Disease

In the past few weeks, thousands of teachers in Oakland, California, went on strike, following similar protests in Denver, Los Angeles, and West Virginia. We are only three months into 2019 — and teachers have already taken to the picket line four times this year. In response, some critics have condemned these protests, chastising teachers for deserting their classrooms and even proposing that they serve jail time or lose their certification. But these critics are missing the point. Rather than take aim at our nation’s teachers, this should be a wake-up call. These strikes are the symptom of a larger disease within our education system, where the support our students and teachers are receiving is as crumbling as the infrastructure of the schools. Read the article featured in The 74.

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Science

No human, or team of humans, could possibly keep up with the avalanche of information produced by many of today’s physics and astronomy experiments. The deluge has many scientists turning to artificial intelligence for help. With minimal human input, AI systems such as artificial neural networks — computer-simulated networks of neurons that mimic the function of brains — can plow through mountains of data, highlighting anomalies and detecting patterns that humans could never have spotted. Read the article featured in Quanta Magazine.

Transforming Education: Robotics and Its Value for Next Gen Learning

Public education represents a community’s investment in its future. Considering that over 90 percent of American children, grades P-12, are in our public education system, we should be asking hard questions about what the return on this investment is or should be. The core mission of public education is to prepare students for their future so that they are contributing citizens, both economically and civically. Even better, our students should graduate with a strong competitive advantage so that, no matter their path, they will have optimum opportunities for success. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Alabama Senate passes bill to Repeal Common Core

The Alabama Senate has passed a bill that would require the state Board of Education and state Department of Education to adopt new learning standards to replace the Common Core standards the state has used for about eight years. The bill is sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, who unveiled it in a social media video, causing alarm for education officials who did not know it was coming and said it would be disruptive. Read the article featured on AL.com.

Science Is Soaring: Here’s How To Pursue A STEM Career And Why It Matters

Science is the new black. It impacts everyone, solves the world’s problems and ironically, there’s a disconnect: a skills gap equating to a shortage of professionals pursuing careers in science and STEM. This is juxtaposed with a strong demand and continued growth in a field that fuels innovation and offers job security. Read the article featured in Forbes.

Drones Take Their Place in the K-12 Classroom – “Drones Take Their Place in the K-12 Classroom

These small but mighty aircraft advance learning in computer programming and photography, and prep students for careers in this burgeoning field. Read the article featured in EdTech Magazine.

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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