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Child Left Behind Act in the News
of the No Child Left Behind Act continued this past week. A front-page
article in the October 13, 2003, issue of the Washington Post
says that the new education law may hurt the Bush re-election campaign.
“Bush hoped to enhance his image as a compassionate conservative
by making this education program one of the first and highest priorities
of his administration,” writes reporter Jim VandeHei. “But he could
find the law complicating his re-election effort, political strategists
from both parties say, as some states report that as many as half
or more of schools are failing to make the new grade and lack the
money to turn things around promptly.” To read the entire article,
go to www.washingtonpost.com
(free registration is required).
October 15, in an open letter to President Bush, Secretary Paige
and members of Congress that appeared as a full page ad in Roll
Call, the Citizens for Effective Schools (www.citizenseffectiveschools.org)
says NCLB is inadequate and calls for the law to be amended. A New
York Times article on the same day that focused on the full page
Roll Call ad reports that a spokesman for the Department of Education
says there were “no plans to amend the law.” Times Reporter Diana
Jean Schemo writes “The new law has run into opposition as school
districts fully grasp its demands and consequences, particularly
with state revenues at low levels.” And on Friday, October 17, the
PBS public affairs series NOW with Bill Moyers investigated Secretary
Rod Paige’s reform of the Houston education system when he served
as superintendent there, which is now largely seen as the model
for the No Child Left Behind Act. (In February, allegations of manipulating
drop-out rates in some Houston schools called into question the validity
and effectiveness of Houston's “education miracle”). For more information
on this series, go to www.pbs.org.
Teams With Court TV to Bring Forensics Into the Science Classroom
Capitalizing on the groundswell of interest in forensic
science series such as CSI and Forensic Files, NSTA
has teamed with Court TV to develop exciting new curriculum units
on forensic science for middle and high school students. The units
help students solve intriguing mysteries by using real science,
including biology, chemistry, and physics. The two new units are
now available free as part of Court TV’s award-winning
Forensics in the Classroom (FIC) educational science initiative,
developed in partnership with the American Academy of Forensic Science.
The units are ideal for forensics, chemistry, biology, and physics
classes. To read an NSTA WebNews Digest story about the forensic
units, go to http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/nsta_story.php?news_story_ID=48693.
To download the new curriculum, go to www.nsta.org/resources
Results Are In! NSTA Express
Survey: Safety in the School Science Lab
Results of last week’s NSTA Express survey
on science safety reveal that teachers need and want more opportunities
for training on the use and storage of hazardous chemicals in the
school science laboratory. Only 18 percent of respondents
said they received training on an annual basis, which NSTA recommends,
and 73 percent indicated they would like more opportunities
for training. While the overwhelming majority of teachers said they
were aware of the recommendations against using heavy metals, such
as mercury, only 34 percent said they know the state and/or
federal standards that mandate appropriate storage procedures of
hazardous chemicals. For the complete survey results, go to http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/survey_safety_science_lab.asp.
NSTA offers many resources to help you plan and
equip a safe science lab. For elementary resources, go to http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-06/member_elementary.htm;
for middle level resources go to http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-06/member_middle.htm;
for high school resources, see http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-06/member_high.htm.
Update Your Science Content Online
and Earn Graduate Credit
The award-winning JASON Academy begins its second
Fall session on Nov. 10. Teachers can earn one or two
graduate credits in Natural Science or Education for each five-week
course. Courses offered include Aquatic Ecology; Ocean Science;
Rainforests: Endangered Ecosystems; Earth’s History; Structure of
the Earth; Forces and Motion; Transfer of Energy; Teaching Project-Based
Science; Teaching Science Safely; and Science and Young Children.
Tuition per course costs $175, and NSTA members receive a 10% discount. For
course descriptions and registration, go to Jason Academy at http://institute.nsta.org
Are You Saving Your Out-of-Pocket
Receipts? Call Congress to Keep the Educator Expense Deduction
Educators can take a federal income tax deduction
of up to $250 for out-of-pocket expenses for classroom supplies
and resources for the 2003 tax year, so SAVE THOSE RECEIPTS.
The Educator Expense Deduction is available to eligible
educators in private or public elementary or secondary schools.
To be eligible, a person must work at least 900 hours during a school
year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide.
This is the last year that the current deduction
will be available, however. Proposed legislation in both the
House (H.R. 785) and the Senate (S. 695) would make the educator
tax relief permanent, increase the deduction to $400, and expand
the allowable items to include professional development expenses.
If you want to see this proposed legislation become
law, contact your member of Congress and ask him or her to support
H.R. 785 in the House and S. 695 in the Senate. Call the U.S. Capitol
Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Ask to be connected to your Representative
or Senator. To send e-mail to a Senator, go to www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm
(phone numbers also listed here); to contact Representatives, go
Save $$ If You Register
for Reno Convention by Oct. 24; Enroll for CEUs, NSTA Professional
Development Certificate When You Join Us Dec. 4–6
Quick summary of Reno NSTA Convention: 12 Short
Courses… AAPT Physics Strand Day… Professional Development Certification…
Bill Nye addresses the General Session on “The Importance of the
Story”… CESI Breakfast presentation… NASA Aerospace Technology/Aeronautics
Core Science Content Update… Preservice and New Teachers Luncheon…
Featured Presentations including “Human Evolution: A Consilience
Approach”… Washoe County Crime Lab field trip (and others)… Dozens
of workshops within four learning strands… an exhibit hall packed
with the newest and the best for science educators… 2-1/2 days structured
for learning and networking to send you home with new inspiration.
To browse the full Reno agenda and register, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2003REN.
Too far to go? Check out upcoming area conventions in Minneapolis
(Oct. 30–Nov. 2) at http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2003MIN;
or Kansas City (Nov. 13–15) at http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2003KAN.
NSTA Offers Memberships for
Every Stage of Your Career
NSTA is committed to supporting every stage of your career development.
From preservice student/teacher to retirement, NSTA has a membership
category and benefits to meet your changing needs.
For full-time students only. Include proof of current registration
with your payment.
- New Teacher—$31/yr.
Teachers who are in their first three years of teaching. Send
a copy of your teaching certificate or a letter from your administrator.
Teachers with more than three years of teaching experience.
Science educators who are fully retired and have been an NSTA
member for at least five years.
Each category includes
a choice of one of our award-winning journals, NSTA Reports
(U.S. and Canadian residents only), discounts on professional development
registration fees and publications, online journal archives, SciLinks®,
science suppliers coupons, and much more.
To learn more,
including a complete list of benefits (http://www.nsta.org/benefits), information
on multiple journal/year discounts (www.nsta.org/benefits#dues), or to
visit our website.
Not a member
and want to join? Visit https://ecommerce.nsta.org/membership/apply.asp!
NSTA Express Feedback
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Hope you found
this Monday’s edition of NSTA Express an interesting, quick
read and a worthwhile update on the latest news and information
from the National Science Teachers Association. Our goal is to save
you time by delivering information each week in short "news
bites," so if you'd like to know more, simply select the headline
quick link. NSTA continues to create resources and improve services
for science educators. If you're not already a member, we invite
you to join the crowd by going to www.nsta.org/whyjoin!
This e-newsletter is brought to you by the National
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