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Many Students Not Ready for College Level Science and Math Says ACT

Although composite ACT Assessment scores for 2004—a national indicator of student readiness for college—are up for the first time in seven years, the ACT 2004 composite results for science and math are unchanged from last year and “indicate that many high school graduates still have not mastered the key academic skills they need to be ready for first year college science and math courses.”

Only 26 percent of the 2004 graduates who took the ACT test earned a score of 24 or higher on the science test, and just 4 in 10 earned a score of 22 or higher on the math test. According to ACT, students with higher scores on the ACT science and math test have a better chance of earning a “C” or higher in college biology and algebra courses. Almost 68 percent of test takers earned a score of 18 or higher on the ACT English test, which indicates students are better prepared for college level courses in this subject area. Nationally, the average composite score was 20.9, up from 20.8 last year. To read more about the ACT 2004 scores, go to http://www.act.org.

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AAAS President Warns of “Day of Reckoning” for Future Scientists and Engineers

In an interview with BusinessWeek magazine, Shirley Ann Jackson, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) warns of “a day of reckoning if the United States doesn’t nurture young scientists and engineers.”  Jackson says that the combination of several factors—losing talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students to other countries, lack of interest in science and math among American students, and the erosion of support for basic research and technical innovations—is leading to a real crisis. Go to http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/aug2004/nf20040816_7643.htm to read the August 16 article titled “A Blunt View of the Cutting Edge.”

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NASA Short Courses Featured at Three Fall NSTA Conventions

Always popular among the diverse short courses offered at NSTA’s conventions are those presented by NASA under the auspices of the NSTA Institute. This fall continues that tradition, with NASA sessions at all three NSTA fall conventions: Indianapolis, Nov. 4-6; Seattle, Nov. 18-20; and Richmond, Dec. 2-4.  Sessions include Extreme Solar System-NASA’s Extreme Exploration 2003-2006 and Robotics Core Content Update. For information about all NASA short courses, and many others, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventions, click on the convention of interest, and search short courses under the event format heading.

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Enroll by Sept. 10 for NTEN’s Master’s in Science Education Grad Program

Designed for practicing middle and high school science teachers, Montana State University-Bozeman’s Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) degree is an intercollege, interdisciplinary graduate program, with approximately 80 percent of classes offered over the Internet. Science content classes from 10 academic departments are available for this 30-credit degree, to best meet individual professional goals. For information on the degree program and individual course starting dates go to http://www.montana.edu/msse.  Educators interested in distance science-content courses outside of the MSSE may take a class to learn more about this convenient learning medium. National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) courses were developed with financial support from NSF's NTEN grant project, and the program is committed to quality interaction and personalized responses (e-mails, letters, and phone calls) to enrolled—and potential—students.  For fall 2004 class information and registration—by Sept. 10 for mid-September and later course start-ups—go to http://www.scienceteacher.org/courses.htm.

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Teacher Shortage Survey

If you haven’t had a chance to take our NSTA Express poll on the shortage of science teachers, you still have time. Go to http://science.nsta.org/survey_science_teacher_shortage/ and tell us if your district is having trouble finding and hiring enough qualified teachers to teach science in your school this fall. Thanks for your help and look for the results in a future issue of NSTA Express.

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Looking for a Science Educator or Specialist? Don’t Miss this Back-to-School Offer!

Posting a job on NSTA’s Website has been an invaluable recruitment resource. The resumes we receive are from dedicated and experienced candidates. The free, rotating featured listing function on NSTA’s job board really helps drive traffic to our posting.

Jonathan K. Ball
Director of Recruitment and School Services
Carney, Sandoe & Associates

Our customers tell it best. The NSTA Career Center is a quick and easy way to reach the science education community. Our unique online service attracts more than 25,000 page views per month and offers a database of more than 300 resumes of science educators actively seeking new career opportunities. 

For a limited time, advertise your science-related job opening now and receive a $50 discount on each job posting through September 30! Enter B2SE in the Promotional Code box when posting each new listing at http://careers.nsta.org. Subscriptions to browse the resume database are also available for only $20 per month. Visit http://careers.nsta.org/rates.asp for complete details.

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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 http://www.nsta.org/whyjoin

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