Ed News: How U.S. STEM Practices Compare Internationally

This week in education news, new research finds that the level of level of teacher experience is positively associated with levels of student achievement, particularly for black and Latino students; City of Chicago asking school board to approve $135 million in contracts to four vendors with experience creating curriculum; teachers are presented with new strategies and not given the time and support to unlearn their old practices; study finds integrating the arts into science lessons helps the lowest-performing students retain more content; high school and college STEM students build electric cars for kids with disabilities; experts recommend when children engage with immersive media in their near and distant future, their experiences should be positive, productive and safe; and educators looking to engage students more deeply in STEM subjects may want to consider including humor and outside-the-box projects.

How U.S. STEM Practices Compare Internationally

The OECD recently issued its new book-length report, “Measuring Innovation in Education 2019.” The authors offer some fascinating peeks at how the OECD nations compare when it comes to K-12 policy and practice. Today, I’ll flag five big questions that they help to answer in the case of STEM. (Note: All of the following results were calculated using TIMSS data.) Read the article featured in Education Week.

Report: Teacher Qualifications Best Predictor of Student Success

A new report released by the Learning Policy Institute, “California’s Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds,” indicates students of color — and, indeed, all students — perform better when served by teachers with better qualifications. Further, the research for the report found the proportion of teachers holding substandard credentials is negatively associated with student achievement, and that these teachers are disproportionately assigned to schools in California with higher populations of students of color and low-income students. Read more in the article featured in Education DIVE.

Chicago Teachers to Get New Resources as District Announces $135 Million, Two-Year Curriculum Overhaul

The city is asking the school board to approve $135 million in contracts to four vendors with experience creating curriculum. Through what the district is calling the “Curriculum Equity Initiative,” the companies will work with local officials and educators over two years to create materials that are challenging and sensitive to the varied needs of Chicago students. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.

Helping Power Pennsylvania Schools

From its many prestigious universities down to its public education system, the Keystone State offers students of all ages the opportunity to learn and thrive. But as public school staff work to expand their students’ minds, school administrators are finding the need to expand their school buildings to accommodate growing populations. Read the article featured on Nasa.gov.

What’s Harder Than Learning? Unlearning

Unlearning” says that in order for people to transform their practice, they must confront and move beyond their previously held beliefs, assumptions, and values. In other words, it’s a shift in identity. Experts say the method is ripe for teacher professional development: Too often, teachers are presented with new strategies and not given the time and support to unlearn their old practices. Read the article featured in Education Week.

How Arts-Based Lessons Improve Science Performance

Integrating the arts into science lessons helps the lowest-performing students retain more content, and doesn’t require much funding to do. Read the article featured in District Administration.

High School and College STEM Students Build Electric Cars for Kids with Disabilities for Free

A group of high school and college students from Connecticut have come together to build something extraordinary: Fully-functioning electric carts for families who may not be able to afford adaptive wheelchairs. STEM students from New Britain High School and technology education students from Central Connecticut State University built the carts from scratch together. Read the article featured on CBSNews.com

Persistent College-Going Gaps Probed in Latest ‘Condition of Education’ Report

At every step in the college-going process, students from low-income families face a bumpier road than their wealthier peers. That was one finding in the 2019 Condition of Education—the National Center on Education Statistics’ massive compendium of annual education indicators, from enrollment to staffing to achievement—which was released Tuesday morning. Read the article featured in Education Week.

As VR Use Grows in K-12, Researchers Consider its Impact on Children

While the long-term effects on development remain unclear, experts recommend limiting time and ensuring that immersive media experiences are “positive, productive and safe.” Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

Take STEM Lessons Outside of the Box with These 3 Approaches

Meeting student demand for “participation in fun, science-related projects and competitions” may not be as difficult as it sounds. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

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.

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