Week of June 18, 2007
NSTA mourns the loss of TV’s Mr. Wizard, a.k.a. Don Herbert, a visionary leader who brought the exciting and magical world of science to millions of children throughout his lifetime. Herbert died on Tuesday, June 12, at the age of 89 at his home in Bell Canyon, California.
Herbert’s "Watch Mr. Wizard" weekly half-hour television program, which ran from 1951 to 1964, featured the science behind ordinary things and introduced experiments and information in a fun and uncomplicated format that brought Herbert instant recognition and critical acclaim as an innovative educational broadcaster and as a teacher of science. Read the press release about this extraordinary individual.
The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), a leading group comprised of Fortune 500 CEOs, university presidents, and foundation leaders, released a report last week that included a comprehensive action plan to elevate the status of the teaching profession by transforming three key components that contribute to a robust, world-class teaching workforce: recruitment, retention, and renewal. The report also identified bold strategies to encourage talented individuals to become teachers, including differential pay for high-demand subject areas such as science and math.
NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler participated in the press conference and panel discussion during the national release of the report titled An American Imperative: Transforming the Recruitment, Retention, and Renewal of Our Nation’s Mathematics and Science Teaching Workforce. To read the report in its entirety, visit http://www.bhef.com or read the Education Week article “Business-Higher Ed. Group Offers Plan for Teacher Shortfall” at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2007/06/13/41retain.h26.html. Registration is required.
A new study finds improved student academic achievement since the passage of No Child Left Behind as Members of Congress meet with Education Committee Chairman George Miller to present their ideas to revise the federal education law. And last week appropriators provided an increase for NSF education programs, but flat-funded the Math and Science Partnership at the U. S. Department of Education. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.
Janice Voss, Larry Lowery, and Susan Epperson have been confirmed as featured speakers for NSTA’s Denver Conference on Science Education (November 8-10).
Voss will give attendees a glimpse of how NASA is searching for Earth-like planets through the Kepler Mission. She is Science Director for the Kepler spacecraft at the NASA Ames Research Center. Lowery, professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, will discuss practical ways to improve science learning. Epperson will be reflecting on Epperson vs. Arkansas (the 1968 Supreme Court evolution case) and evolution teaching in public schools today. She teaches at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Register for the conference online http://www.nsta.org/conferences/2007den/registration.aspx.
According to the Executive Summary from Education Week’s Diplomas Count 2007 report, “Today’s high school graduates are entering a world in which they’ll need at least some college to gain access to decent-paying careers. And those without even a high school diploma will face increasingly bleak labor-market prospects.” The complete report is available online at http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2007/06/12/index.html.
Express archive: http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_archive.htm