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Teachers, Scientists Vow to Fight Challenge to Evolution

As the Kansas State Board of Education began hearings last week to determine the fate of the state’s science standards, a story in The Washington Post looked at the efforts of teachers and scientists to address the evolving tactics of intelligent design proponents who are gaining ground with their “carefully marketed theory.” According to the article, “…scientists and teachers are mobilizing to fight back, asserting that educational standards are being threatened by what they consider a stealth campaign to return creationism to public schools.” The article looks at the outcomes of various evolution battles fought by scientists and educators and notes a tactical shift to become more active in the political debate. To read The Washington Post article, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/04/AR2005050402022.html.

In a letter to the members of the Kansas State Board of Education, NSTA supports Kansas Science Education Revision Committee's Draft Two of the standards because it represents the “best practices of the National Science Education Standards and exemplifies good science.” To read the letter, go to http://www.nsta.org/pressroom&news_story_ID=50528.

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Science Teacher Input Requested on 2009 NAEP Science Assessment Framework

The Science Assessment Framework and Specifications for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are being updated to better reflect current research, developments, and viewpoints in science education. Input from science teachers is requested to develop the content of this new framework. Considered the Nation’s Report Card, NAEP assesses what America's students know and can do in various academic subjects in grades 4, 8, and 12. WestEd, a nonprofit educational research, development, and service agency and the Council of Chief State School Officers are leading the development project. Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Executive Director is serving as co-chair of the Project Steering committee.

WestEd and the Council of Chief State School Officers are seeking input from science teachers about the importance of a number of content standards, which have been selected by committees to be included in the assessment framework. If you’re a K-12 classroom teacher, please select one of the following surveys that most closely reflects your teaching experience—grades 4, 8, or 12. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.

Don’t delay…you only have until Sunday, May 15, to take the survey. Thank you for your participation.

Grade 4: http://surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=836341029341

Grade 8: http://surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=930381029575

Grade 12: http://surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=615491029677

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Headline Science—Dinosaur Bones Yield 'Missing Link'; Selected SciLinks Give You Instant Information

The discovery of Falcarius utahensis made nationwide headline news last week—To read the New York Times article on this latest dinosaur discovery, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/05/science/05dino.html (free registration required).

We've searched NSTA's popular SciLinks online teacher-approved internet service to identify several grade-specific websites and resources to help you expand your lessons without spending hours searching the web. If bringing interesting science news into your classroom is a part of your teaching strategy, visit the links below for a wealth of dinosaur-related information for your classes.

Grades K-4: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=63823447146710551055

Grades 5-8: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=6382344714675510551055

Grades 9-12: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=6382344714679910551055

Headline Science is a new NSTA Express feature we'll present from time-to-time, to bring you timely and valuable online resources and materials you can use to examine breaking scientific news. The online SciLinks sites we offer are normally available to NSTA members only, but will be opened for brief periods of time to assist you in bringing the news into your classroom.

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Innovations in Science Education

Every few weeks in NSTA Express we feature a promising new (or not so new) idea, strategy, and/or innovative program in science and math education that we think merits the attention of more than 200,000 NSTA Express readers. This column is an interactive endeavor, so send your ideas of a large-scale, innovative program in science and math education to jodi_p@nsta.org. To learn more about teacher professional development opportunities in nanoscale science and engineering, visit http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_05_09_nanoscale.htm.

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Registration for Fall Conventions Now Open; “Science Assessment: Research and Practical Approaches” Conference Announced for Chicago Event

Highlighting a growing list of special events, speakers, and presentations for NSTA’s fall conventions will be a daylong conference, Science Assessment: Research and Practical Approaches on November 9, in conjunction with—and one day before—the opening of the November 10-12 convention in Chicago. As with last fall’s sold-out conference on science and literacy, this event will offer National Science Foundation-funded program findings on various aspects of assessment. The conference is designed for teachers of grades 3-12 and school and district administrators. For complete details and registration, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventionsupport&record_id=110&Meeting_Code=2005CHI.

If the convention in Hartford, CT (October 20-22), or Nashville, TN (December 1-3) is your choice for the most rewarding science educator get-together of 2006, take a look at the agendas for both these events at http://www.nsta.org/conventions. Then create your own Personal Schedule, and use it to jump-start the search for funding before leaving for the summer.

We’ll have much more to tell you about all three of these exciting events as details on featured speakers, short courses, professional development institutes, field trips, and social events are available.

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NSTA Career Center Spotlight: Public Charter School at the Foot of the Rockies Seeks Chemistry Teacher

Teach chemistry and other sciences at the foot of the Rockies. Monument Academy is a public charter school recently certified by the International Baccalaureate Organization to be a Diploma Program School. High academic and conduct standards enhance the learning environment. For more information, a complete list of job openings, or to post your resume, visit the NSTA Career Center at http://careers.nsta.org.

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