Ed News: Should Teachers Choose Their Own PD?

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This week in education news, new study finds novice teachers are more likely to end up in schools with fewer veteran co-workers; Wyoming Ed Board disagrees on the direction of the state’s proposed computer science standards; students see more success in K-12 when they tackle STEM concepts in early grades; district leaders say choice in professional development is good, but high-quality, standards-based options are necessary; researchers say the teacher shortage problem is worse than originally thought; Maryland high school graduation requirement tied to a demanding new science test; Utah parents and residents criticize proposed science standards; science teachers need to make clear to student that despite all we’ve learned, our universe remains ever mysterious; and the 100Kin10 network announced it has put more than 68,000 STEM educators into K-12 classrooms.

Study: Novice Teachers Often Face Tougher Loads Than Veteran Colleagues

Despite being less experienced in the field, newer teachers — especially those with less than two years under their belts — are often placed in more instructionally demanding classrooms, which have more disadvantaged and low-achieving students, than their veteran colleagues, a recent study finds. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Wyoming Ed Board Disagrees on Computer Science Standards

Discord over the direction of the state’s proposed computer science standards left the State Board of Education in a stalemate. Two motions — one to move forward with the draft standards and one to send the standards back to the Wyoming Department of Education for retooling — failed last week, leaving action on the standards in limbo. Read the article featured in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

Presidential Hopeful Kamala Harris Promises Teachers a Raise

Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., made her first big policy pitch on the campaign trail: A new federal program to boost teacher pay. She promised to close a “pay gap” between teachers and other college graduates. Read the article featured in Education Week.

STEM Education Myths in Early Grades

Consider these ideas: Some kids are STEM kids and some aren’t. Students need to master science and math basics before moving on to STEM concepts. STEM focuses on future jobs, so educators should concentrate instruction in middle and high school. Wrong, wrong and wrong, say the experts. In fact, such myths contribute to many students’ STEM struggles. Read the article featured in District Administration.

Should Teachers Choose Their Own PD?

The Trump administration, as part of its fiscal year 2020 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education, wants to fund and evaluate a demonstration of “teacher-driven” professional development (PD). Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Are Teacher Shortages Worse Than We Thought?

The teacher shortage is “worse than we thought,” researchers conclude in a new analysis of federal data. The study, published by the union-backed think tank Economic Policy Institute, argues that when indicators of teacher quality are considered—like experience, certification, and training—the teacher shortage is even more acute than previously estimated. This hits high-poverty schools the hardest, the study’s authors say. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Demanding New Science Test is Teed Up as a Maryland Graduation Requirement

The rollout of a high school graduation requirement tied to a demanding new science test could be delayed for at least two more years, following a preliminary vote of the Maryland State School Board on Tuesday. The board voted to change a regulation that would have made passing the Next Generation Science Assessment a requirement to obtain a diploma beginning in 2020. Read the article featured in The Baltimore Sun.

‘Scaremongering at its Highest Level’: Utah Parents and Residents Criticize Proposed Classroom Science Guidelines on Evolution and Climate Change

Nearly every person who grabbed the microphone at a state education hearing Tuesday night offered a different reason why they believed the proposed standards for teaching Utah students about science were faulty, inaccurate or skewed. Read the article featured in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Opinion: What Nevada’s Underfunded Schools Are Like

I’ve never had a legislator visit my classroom. They’re busy people, I’m sure, but as this session wears on and the prospects dim for substantially increased education funding, I find myself wondering whether our leaders realize what underfunded schools look like. Read the article featured in The Nevada Independent.

Science Teachers, Be Honest About What Science Still Can’t Explain

To inspire the next generation of scientists, science teachers must reverse this misconception by making it clear to students that despite all we’ve learned, our universe remains ever mysterious. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Educators, Industry Leaders Address ‘Root Causes’ of STEM Teacher Shortage

School district administrators, teacher educators, foundation officials, and nonprofit and corporate leaders gathered at the San Diego Zoo Tuesday to further their collaborative efforts to prepare more STEM teachers for the nation’s classrooms. Participating in the 100Kin10 initiative’s annual summit, attendees shared their expertise and held discussions around “grand challenges,” such as teacher preparation and supporting teachers at the elementary level in teaching STEM content. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Genetics Lessons Can Spark Racism in Students. This Change Can Prevent It

Discussing human diseases is a common way to engage middle and high school students in genetics. But a series of experiments suggests how teachers approach the discussion could either break down or reinforce students’ racial biases. 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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