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Executive Director Named Co-Chair of Steering Committee to Revamp
NAEP Science Assessment Framework
Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) has named Gerald Wheeler, NSTA
Executive Director, as co-chair of the project steering committee
to develop the new science assessment framework for the National
Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). He will serve along side
Rolf Blank, Director of Education Indicators Program for the Council
of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The 15-month project will
be lead by WestEd, a nonprofit research, development, and service
organization that was awarded a $1.3 million contract by NAGB to
develop the new framework and specifications for the science assessment,
which is scheduled to begin in 2009.
nation's report card, NAEP tests student achievement in grades 4,
8, and 12. The current NAEP science framework was adopted by NAGB
13 years ago and will be used again this winter in the assessment
January-March 2005. The framework will be updated to reflect current
research and thinking in science. According to Charles E. Smith,
NAGB Executive Director, "We want to consider the best research
available and hear a wide range of views to help the Board decide
how NAEP will assess science in the future."
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Council
of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) also will collaborate with NSTA
and CCSSO to ensure wide input from scientists, teachers, state
education officials, and interested members of the public. To read
a press release issued by NAGB, go to http://www.nagb.org.
School Science Teacher Makes Popular Science's List of "Worst
Jobs in Science"
magazine has again published its "Worst Jobs in Science,"
which this year includes...you guessed it...public school science
teacher, which landed 13th on the list. Written in an entertainingand
at times grossly descriptive mannerthe article contained a
profile of Arizona science teacher, Howard Ruffner, who was asked
to teach science with "no budget, no equipment, no lab."
NSTA is quoted in the story, which highlights the lack of attention
being given to science education. To read all about the jobs on
the listwhich include landfill monitor, tick dragger, and
Iraqi archeologistgo to http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,20967,713471,00.html.
Innovations in Science Education, an NSTA Express Special
that quality science education programs-both inside and outside
the science classroom-are key to increased student achievement.
These initiatives may involve other teachers and core subjects,
or maybe local business groups, scientists, informal science institutions,
or other K-12 science and math education stakeholders. They may
be in a neighboring stateor halfway across the countrybut
they usually have one thing in common: Many teachers are constantly
on the lookout for them.
So how can you learn more about innovative ideas and programs in
science education that are really making a difference? NSTA is committed
to promoting excellence and innovation in science education teaching
and learning for all. We also like to share, so we are introducing
Innovations in Science Education. Every few weeks in NSTA
Express, we will a feature promising new (or not so new) idea,
strategy and/or innovative program in science education that we
think merits the attention of almost 200,000 NSTA Express
This new column
is an interactive endeavor, so send us your ideas of a large-scale,
innovative program in science education that really seems to be
working for your school or district. Entries can be submitted to
This week, in
Innovations in Science Education, learn how the Franklin
Institute Center for Innovation in Science Learning in Philadelphia
used Discover Days, Exploration Cards, Legacy Projects, and a Museum
Adventure Day to focus more elementary students, teachers, and parents
around science. Read more about the Parent
Partners in School Science program (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_11_08_parents.htm).
provided President Bush with four more years in the White House,
and on Capitol Hill the Republicans strengthened their majority
in both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Overall,
Republicans picked up four seats in the Senate, bringing their majority
to 55; and in the House, they picked up two seats, with at least
two other races too-soon-to-call, but likely to go to the Republicans.
The strengthened majority in the Senate means that some Democrats
will lose some seats on the education and appropriations committees;
several committee chairmanships that oversee education issues are
also expected to change.
Although education was not a big issue during the campaign, President
Bush did unveil a number of new initiatives for a second term, including
more testing at the high school level, providing new support for
struggling middle and high school readers, and increasing pay for
teachers based on student improvements. However, most analysts are
speculating that maintaining the course for No Child Left Behind
will remain the administration's primary focus over the next four
years; read more at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2004/11/03/11prez_web.h24.html.
NSTA Member Journals Investigate "The History
and Nature of Science"; Selected Articles Available Online
issues of two of our peer-reviewed member journalsScience
Scope, for teachers of middle level and junior high school science,
and The Science Teacher, for secondary science teachers-featured
a special focus and a number of articles on "The History and
Nature of Science." Although only members of NSTA receive these
highly regarded publications, NSTA is pleased to offer online one
lead article from every issue of each journal as a sample to share
with interested science educators. Science Scope features
"articles on great scientists, experimental design, and even
a special pullout chapter from the Smithsonian Institution Press,"
in the issue, and the free-read online article is "Technology
and Society: Their Impact on Each Other" (http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_scope.php?news_story_ID=49916).
The Science Teacher notes that the "special issue focuses
on how history and nature of science helps students gain a solid
understanding of the scientific enterprise," and the article
Nature of Science: Always Part of the Story" http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_teacher.php?category_ID=88&news_story_ID=49930.
And of course, should you want to become an NSTA member and receive
your own complete journal according to grade level you teach, go
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