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Science Education Compromised in Kansas with New Science Standards; Dover, PA, Voters Oust Pro-Intelligent Design School Board Members

To the dismay of many, the Kansas State Board of Education adopted science standards on November 8 that contain serious errors and misleading statements regarding the theory of evolution. Disregarding the concerns expressed by many leading scientific and education organizations—including NSTA, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)—the Board voted 6-4 to adopt the standards. To read the NSTA statements, including a joint statement with the NAS that seeks to withhold permission to use the organizations’ publications in the Kansas Standards, visit http://www.nsta.org/evresources.

Also on November 8, the residents of Dover, Pennsylvania, voted overwhelmingly to oust school board members who voted to inject Intelligent Design into science classrooms. The vote came just days after the closing of testimony in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, which is considered the country’s first legal challenge to the constitutionality of teaching intelligent design in public schools. A ruling on the case is expected in early 2006.

To read the USA Today editorial opinion about both actions, visit http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-11-10-dover-edit_x.htm. For coverage in the New York Times, visit http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/sciencespecial2/index.html. For detailed information on these and other evolution challenges, visit http://www.ncseweb.org.

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Final NSF Appropriations for FY06 Includes Increases for NSF K-12 Programs

Members of Congress have worked out the final funding figures for the National Science Foundation FY2006 programs, but work continues on funding levels for the Math and Science Partnership program at the U. S. Department of Education. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_11_14_legupdate.htm).

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Coming Soon: More NSTA Reports, in Full Color

NSTA Reports has traditionally been one of the most valued benefits of NSTA membership, mailed to all members in addition to your selected journal. We are pleased to announce the expansion of that member benefit: an increase in the number of issues of NSTA Reports from six to nine, to bring you news affecting the science education community throughout the school year (September to May). This change begins with the January 2006 issue.

We’re making editorial changes as well, completing the transition to full-color throughout, beginning with the January issue; adding to the features you tell us are your favorites; and simply giving you more news, more often. It’s another way NSTA continues to bring you more value for your membership investment and more information to help you on your career path.

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Science for English Language Learners Combines Language Development With Science Content—Now Available from NSTA Press

Do your best with linguistically and culturally diverse students by building a strong foundation in how best to teach both science and language. Expand your expertise in teaching science content and processes, in language development and literacy, and in inquiry-based teaching. To read sample chapters of the book and to order, visit http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB194X.

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To Do List: 1) Register for Dec. 1-3 NSTA Nashville Convention; 2) Sign Up for Short Courses, Field Trips and Events; 3) Have a Good Ol’ Time

Don’t leave NSTA’s Nashville Convention (December 1-3) saying to yourself “I wish I had gone to (fill in the blank)!” Now is the time to sign up for that Field Trip or Short Course or special event. Even if you’ve already registered for the Convention, you can still add-on these “ticketed” events online—usually for less cost than an on-site registration. You can still register for the Tennessee Science Teachers Association Awards Breakfast on December 3 (#M-5); Pre-Service and New Teacher Luncheon on December 2 (#M-3); Council for Elementary Science International Breakfast on December 2 (#M-2); Boot Scootin” Science Night at the Adventure Science Center on December 1 (#M-1), and more. So look over the roster of Field Trips, special events , and Short Courses and make your NSTA Nashville Convention experience even more rewarding! If you haven’t signed up yet to join us at Opryland for the best down home science get-together of the year, browse the agenda and register now at http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2005NAS.

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And Don't Forget... 

  • Thinking Assessment? Take advantage of NSTA’s online-only November Science Store Special, and get the best-selling Everyday Assessment in the Science Classroom at a 30% discount! Check it out at http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial2.

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    Professional development courses in your future?
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    Take a look at these institutions offering courses for science educators!

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