Ed News: Art Can Make Science Easier to Remember

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This week in education news, new California bill could ban animal dissection from schools; using art in science class helped students retain what they learned longer; educators more likely to strike in lowest-paid districts and states; Wyoming State Board of Education reconsidering draft computer science standards; new science tests are rolling out across the country, but some teachers are worried that they will include a lot of questions on subjects their students haven’t studied; and a California legislator says new teachers with little training can’t adequately serve neediest students.

Should Animal Dissection Be Banned From Schools?

A new California bill, AB 1586, could ban animal dissection in K-12 classrooms throughout the state. The Replacing Animals in Science (RAISE) Act argues that animal dissection is costly, exposes participants to carcinogenic chemicals and is harmful to both animals and the environment. Among teachers, some argue that animal dissection can be an important learning experience that can either inspire or discourage students from pursuing a career in biology and cannot be replaced with any substitutes. Listen to the discussion featured on KPCC.

How Do We Get Middle School Students Excited About Science? Make It Hands-On

Eighth-grader Liam Bayne has always liked math and science — that’s one reason his family sent him to The Alternative School For Math and Science (ASMS). But he was surprised and excited when his sixth-grade science class started each new topic with experimentation, not lecture or textbook learning. At ASMS the teaching philosophy centers around giving students experiences that pique their interest to know more. Read the article featured in KQED.

Art Can Make Science Easier to Remember

Art and science may seem like polar opposites. One involves the creative flow of ideas, and the other cold, hard data — or so some people believe. In fact, the two have much in common. Both require a lot of creativity. People also use both to better understand the world around us. Now, a study finds, art also can help students remember better what they learned in science class. Read the article featured in Science News for Students.

Analysis: Teachers More Likely to Strike in Lowest-Paid Districts, States

Now that teachers in the Sacramento City Unified School District have completed their one-day strike, where might the next union action take place? A new analysis by the Center for American Progress suggests that districts and states with the lowest average teacher salaries might be the ones to watch. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Wyoming Board of Education to Reconsider Draft Computer Science Standards

The Wyoming State Board of Education will hold a full-day meeting in Riverton beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 25, at the Fremont County School District #25 board room located at 121 North 25th St. The SBE will first convene as the State Board of Vocational Education to hear an update from the Wyoming Department of Education and vote on the State Perkins V Transition Plan. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) was signed into law by President Trump on July 31, 2018. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides roughly $1.3 billion annually in Federal funding, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, for Career and Technical Education for our nation’s youth and adults. Read the article featured on KGAB.com.

Mismatch Seen Between New Science Tests and Stat Science Requirements

New science tests are rolling out across the country, but some teachers are worried that they will include a lot of questions on subjects their students haven’t studied. With schools in spring-testing mode, high school science teachers are watching intently to see how their students will do on the new exams. In some schools and districts, they’re noticing a mismatch between state or local science requirements and what’s on the tests. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Teach for America Targeted as Legislation Seeks to Limit Inexperienced Teachers in California

A California legislator wants to ban inexperienced teachers in programs such as Teach for America from working in predominantly low-income schools, saying they lack the preparation to work effectively with the neediest students. Read the article featured in EdSource.

Did the Common Core Kill Classroom Assessment?

Next year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Common Core State Standards; the Next Generation Science Standards have been around nearly as long. Today’s standards are meatier than their predecessors. More challenging. Demanding deeper and more complex learning. They are great standards for developing a curriculum or guiding classroom instruction perhaps, but in many aspects they are proving to be vexing for assessment. Read the article featured in Education Week.

In Professional Development for Online Teachers, Highlighting Failure Led the Way to Success

The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, on the west side of Indianapolis, has gotten a fair amount of attention for personalizing the professional development it gives to teachers in its virtual high school and blended learning programs. The fact that voluntary professional development can attract 90 percent of teachers is seen as a wild success. It’s that success the district, and by extension, Michele Eaton, its director of virtual and blended learning, has been known for. Until now. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

Think You Want To Be A Teacher? Read This First

How can we equip new teachers to succeed? Guide aspiring teachers to the best training programs. Even better, give teachers crucial information about the learning process that even the best programs don’t provide. Read the article featured in Forbes.

Our Students – and Our Teachers – Need True Project-Based Learning

“I hate science and my mom didn’t pass physics, so I don’t need to either.” As a teacher, this is a tough thing to hear. It’s even tougher when the student has a point. I figured out quickly that reaching these students was going to require a different way of teaching. I needed to interest them, engage them, and challenge them in a way no lecture was ever going to do. I turned to project-based learning, an approach to teaching that is much more frequently discussed than it is understood—particularly in online education. Read the article featured in Real Clear Education.

Disney, Lucasfilm and FIRST to Inspire the Next Generation of Heroes and Innovators

Lucasfilm and parent company Disney, and the global K–12 nonprofit organization FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) are working together to inspire the next generation of heroes and innovators through the Star Wars: Force for Change philanthropic initiative. On Saturday, April 13, during Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, it was announced that Disney and Lucasfilm are providing a $1.5 million donation, in-kind and mentorship resources to help expand access to FIRST programs for more students globally, with a focus on underserved communities. Read the press release.

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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