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Forty percent of public school teachers plan to exit the profession within five years, the highest rate since at least 1990, according to a survey released by the National Center for Education Information and reported August 18 by Associated Press.
In 1990, 74% of teachers surveyed said they would still be in the classroom five years later; that total dropped to 66% in 1996 and 60% in 2005. Retirement is cited as a primary factor for leaving the profession; in 1996, 24% of teachers were age 50 or older and in 2005, 42% of teachers are 50 or older. For more information, visit http://www.ncei.com.
In other major education news, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that the College Board is requiring schools and teachers to submit to an extensive review of lesson plans before courses can be labeled as ‘AP.’ “The new policy, a departure from the program's tradition of largely allowing teachers the freedom to construct AP courses as they see fit, aims to discourage schools from just slapping the name on any course,” reports Anne Marie Chaker in the August 11 issue. Starting in the 2007-2008 school year, high schools teaching AP classes will need authorization from the College Board, and colleges will receive a list of high schools that have received College Board approval to teach AP courses. According to the WSJ, AP classes have jumped 36% over the past decade to over 15,000; complaints about the content and rigor of the AP courses have also increased. To read the AP story, visit http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05223/552396.stm. For more information from the College Board, go to http://apcentral.collegeboard.com.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that administration officials are questioning the validity of developing a new commission to study how to improve science education. The commission was chartered by the U.S. House of Representatives in July and would be established by the National Science Board, the oversight body for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
According to reporter Jeffrey Brainard, staff members in the U.S. Department of Education and the White House said they worried that “a new commission might not provide fresh ideas . . . Such qualms come at a time when the Bush administration has proposed scaling back the NSF's role in science education. The president included a 12% cut in the agency's spending in this area in his budget plan for the 2006 fiscal year. In part, that reflects tight constraints on the federal budget over all. In addition, administration officials want to give the Education Department an expanded role in testing and carrying out reforms in science education, with a focus on elementary and secondary schools.” Several members of Congress, including Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), chairman of the Science Committee, and Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) are in favor of the new commission. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Next week, NSTA’s fall catalog of books for science educators at all grade levels goes into the mail, just in time for back-to-school. But to give you—and our readers who may not be on our mailing list to receive NSTA catalogs—an early look at our nine new books (plus our 2005 Recent Releases, and titles under the categories of Teaching Strategies, Activities, Interdisciplinary, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science) we’ve posted the catalog for you to page through online at http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/catalog.pdf. To browse sample chapters and tables of contents for most NSTA Press books, visit the online Science Store at http://store.nsta.org. The New from NSTA Press titles will be available in September and October, but they may be ordered now in advance of publication. And if you’d like to sign up to receive future catalogs by mail, visit http://ecommerce.nsta.org/catalog_signup.
Need to brush up on your physics content knowledge, earn graduate or undergraduate credit and do it all online? Teachers of grades 3-12 can choose from six physics courses offered by the Burns Technology Center’s National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) this fall. High school teachers who register for Special Relativity this fall will be prepared for General Relativity, which will be offered in spring 2006.
The NTEN program also offers seven courses in biology, Earth science, education, geography, land resources, and environmental sciences. NSTA members receive a 10% discount on select courses.
Online registration for fall courses is now open, and courses fill quickly. For details on NTEN’s fall 2005 professional development course offerings for all grade levels, visit http://www.scienceteacher.org/courses.htm, or call 800-282-6062.
For the first time since 1982, NSTA brings an area convention to the Windy City of Chicago, November 10-12. “World Class Science” brings together professional development, networking, social events, and field trips you won’t want to miss. In conjunction with the convention, a special daylong conference, Science Assessment: Research and Practical Approaches, will be presented on November 9 by NSTA and the National Science Foundation for educators and administrators of grades 3-12. For information and required special registration, visit http://www.nsta.org/conventionsupport&record_id=110&Meeting_Code=2005CHI.
Convention strands are Connecting Classrooms Through World-Class Technology, The World as a Classroom, World-Class Scientific Research, and World-Class Theory to Practice. With the earlybird deadline for best rates fast approaching, now’s the time to visit http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2005CHI, tour the Chicago convention agenda, create the personal scheduler to put together a plan for enrichment and new learning, and secure funding to join us in “that toddlin’ town.”
Located just outside Washington, DC, The Jason Foundation for Education, a subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, seeks a Director of Training Networks to coordinate all professional development implementation. For more information, a complete list of job openings, or to post your resume, visit the NSTA Career Center at http://careers.nsta.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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