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Table of Contents

California Commission Debates Hands-on Instruction

“First came the wars over how to teach reading and math to young students. Now the fighting has spilled into science,” begins a February 3 Washington Post article describing the decision by the California Curriculum Commission, which advises the California Board of Education, to recommend new criteria for future K-8 science textbooks that would allow for a maximum of only 20 to 25 percent of hands-on material. Thomas Adams, executive director of the curriculum commission, says commission members are trying to balance the “need for a comprehensive science curriculum with the limited science background of many K-8 teachers.” Bruce Alberts, chairman of the National Academy of Sciences, told the Post that if the commission’s recommendations were adopted, they would be harmful to students. Both the California Science Teachers Association and NSTA commented on the commission’s recommendations; to read the Washington Post story go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6944-2004Feb2.html. To read the NSTA and CSTA letter to the Commission, click here :http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/california_letter.htm and http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/ltr_to_commission.htm The issue is scheduled to come before the California State Board of Education in March.

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NSTA Legislative Update: Many Oppose Administration’s FY05 Budget Proposal to Cut NSF MSPs

Many lawmakers, educators, and others are critical of the Administration’s plan to eliminate the National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnerships and transfer the program to the Department of Education; plus Utah wants to bow out of No Child Left Behind, and the director of the National Science Foundation resigns. Read all about it in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update: http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_02_17_extra.htm

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Evolution Update: Georgia, Missouri and Ohio in the News

Georgia’s Superintendent of Schools restored the word “evolution” and many important concepts to the state’s draft science standards. Meanwhile, Missouri continues its dialogue on a house bill that would require the “equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design,” and the Ohio State Board of Education votes to keep a critique of evolution in the state’s science curriculum. For the latest news on evolution, links to valuable web sites, and a collection of great resources from NSTA, go to:
http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_02_17_extra2.htm

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NSTA Convention First-Timers Get Special Welcome; Register by March 5 for Savings!

We’re expecting thousands of science educators to join us at NSTA’s 52nd National Convention, April 1-4 in Atlanta, GA…and just so our first-timers aren’t overwhelmed by this huge and diverse collection of people, events, and exhibits, NSTA is presenting  two special kick-off sessions for newcomers. You’ll meet NSTA officers and staff who will walk you through the four-day program with suggestions on how you can gain new professional knowledge and have a great time doing it.  We want you to feel welcome and help you make the most of your convention experience… full details may be found in your convention program.

For full convention agenda, special events, featured speakers, hotel information, and online registration forms, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2004ATL

Need a plan for obtaining funding to increase and enhance your professional skills in Atlanta?  Start by plotting your hour-by-hour agenda on our new online convention scheduler at http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxpersonal_sched.asp, and you’ll end up with a ready-made proposal for funds which you can present to your decision-maker…and we’ll see you in Atlanta! 

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Get Your Name in Print…NSTA Member Journals Seek Manuscripts for First-Ever Summer ’04 Issues

Editors of NSTA’s member journals are seeking manuscript proposals for articles in their first-ever summer issues.  Science & Children (K-6); Science Scope (6-9); and The Science Teacher (9-12) want to hear your proposed ideas through their online author submission system at http://msrs.nsta.org. Here’s your chance to share your best ideas under a variety of general topic headings… For more information and details on individual journals’ areas of interest, go to http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_02_17_extra3.htm

And members, please note:  Make sure these jam-packed issues—sure to be some of the year’s biggest—get to you on time and well ahead of the back-to-school planning rush, by updating your address information online at http://www.nsta.org/update, or by calling Member Services at 800-722-6782, or by faxing to 703-243-3924.  (If we don’t have your home address, we’ll automatically send your copy to the same address we’ve been mailing your other journals.)

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More Responses Sought on Question of  Science Teachers  and Funding for Professional Development 

We still want to hear from you—how has the No Child Left Behind law changed the way your school or district provides training opportunities for science teachers? If you've already completed the survey, thanks! If not, please take a few minutes to answer a few questions at http://ecommerce.nsta.org/survey_nclb_pd_funding.

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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

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