Leaders Release Discussion Draft of No Child Left Behind
last week Congressional leaders released a discussion draft of the revised
language under consideration for the reauthorization of the No Child Left
Behind (NCLB) Act.
A number of substantive
changes in this discussion draft are of interest to science and math educators.
Title II authorizes new grants that would provide performance pay bonuses
of up to $12,500 for teachers of math, science, special education, and
other shortage subjects in high-needs schools; career ladder programs
for teachers; teacher residency programs that would pair a new teacher
with an experienced mentor teacher for one year; a study on the correlation
between teacher certification and licensure and teacher effectiveness;
and grants for teacher centers that would provide high-quality professional
development. The draft also stipulates that Title II funding for a state
would be contingent on whether that state was taking steps to assess whether
poor and minority students are being disproportionately taught by inexperienced,
unqualified, or out-of-field teachers, and to address this problem.
The draft language
also includes changes to the Math and Science Partnership, most notably
requiring that partnership activities be modeled after effective NSF programs
with demonstrated success. The language also calls for increased coordination
between NSF and the U.S. Department of Education, and for more assistance
from NSF to state departments of education administering the grants.
New Math Success for
All grants to local educational agencies would provide targeted help to
low-income students in kindergarten through secondary school who are struggling
with mathematics and whose achievement is significantly below grade level.
are accepting comments on this NCLB
discussion draft until September 14. In late August, Congressional
leaders had released a draft discussion of NCLB’s Title I. Language
that would amend NCLB to specifically include science assessment scores
in each state's accountability system (Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP)
was not included in this draft. The discussion draft does, however, include
science proficiency as one of multiple measures of student achievement
that schools can choose to be evaluated on. Read the Title
I discussion draft (435 pages) and read the NSTA response to the proposed
House leaders are
moving aggressively on this bill. They have tentatively planned a hearing
on the proposed Title I language for September 10, and are planning to
mark up (approve) the entire bill the last week of September. In the Senate,
committee staff are also working to develop a draft bill, but no language
has been released yet.
Please send any comments
or questions to Jodi Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss the Detroit Earlybird Deadline: September 14!
Looking for an in-depth professional development experience
to improve your content knowledge or pedagogical understanding? NSTA has
just what you need in Detroit at our Area Conference on Science Education!
Join us for discussions and courses on timely and engaging topics to advance
your science learning and teaching.
just a few of our offerings. Elementary school teachers can discover new
hands-on activities integrating math, science, and literacy. Middle school
teachers become expert on assessment. High school teachers can attend
workshops in their disciplines, and college professors can learn about
spectroscopy and supernovae remnants, perfect for Earth science and chemistry.
Think of listening to keynote speaker Sally Ride talk about her space
exploits. How about a workshop on force and motion fundamentals? Take
part in a workshop to help you teach science to English language learners
more successfully. And we have an exhibit hall chock-full of new products,
lesson plans, and giveaways. NSTA’s conferences have something for
everyone, and we want you to take it all back to the classroom. Remember,
when you attend our Detroit conference as a member, not only do you save
the most on registration, you get a whole year’s worth of benefits.
Register by September 14 to save. See you in Detroit! Visit www.nsta.org/detroit.
the NASA Engineering Design Challenge
As NASA plans to return to the Moon, plant growth will be
an important part of space exploration. NASA scientists anticipate that
astronauts may be able to grow plants on the Moon in specialized plant growth
chambers. NASA invites schools to participate in this exciting initiative
by building a lunar growth chamber in the NASA Engineering Design Challenge.
Through the NASA
Engineering Design Challenge, elementary, middle, and high school students
- Design, build,
and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers;
- Receive cinnamon
basil seeds flown on STS-118's space shuttle Endeavour;
- Test lunar growth
chambers by growing and comparing both space-flown and Earth-based control
to register and to receive more information about the NASA Engineering
Design Challenge. You can also sign up for the NASA Express listserv to
receive e-mail updates about the challenge and other NASA education activities.
Search of Exemplary Science Programs (ESP) That Illustrate Inquiry
the year 2008 approaches, the NSTA National Advisory Board (NAB) invites
your help in identifying 15 programs for the 2008 Exemplary Science Program
(ESP) Monograph. The NAB now requests nominations for recognizing teachers
and schools for the sixth monograph in the series. Inquiry has become
a word that all respect and admire—almost religiously. Most teachers,
textbook authors, curriculum developers, and most of the general public
see it as important and purport to use it. In actual practice, however,
inquiry often has a word like "guided," "completed,"
or even "directed" used with it as an adjective. But could scientists
be so restrained?
The 2008 ESP monograph will
focus on teachers and programs that illustrate full (or open) inquiry:
inquiry that starts with student curiosities and questions, followed by
student attempts to deal with their own curriculum and attempt to provide
answers. Of course, the main ingredient for scientific inquiry is collecting
evidence from others to evaluate and to establish validity to the ideas
and solutions proposed. And these must be shared and used to resolve the
issues. All of this requires contexts (situations) to promote inquiry—which
is the stated major goal for science education as indicated in the National
Science Education Standards. Specifically, the goal calls for producing
students who "experience the richness and excitement of knowing about
and understanding the natural world."
The NAB looks forward
to reviewing nominations and working with at least 15 teacher teams who
are involved with real inquiry with students in their classrooms. Nominations
should be forwarded to Robert E. Yager, chair of NSTA's ESP efforts and
editor of the ESP Monograph Series (Science Education Center, Room 450
VAN, The University of Iowa, Iowa City IA 52242; email@example.com;
Educators: Dig Into NSTA With a Free Book PLUS $10 Off Dues!
When you make use of the information in NSTA Express,
you’re just scratching the surface of the many ways that NSTA membership
helps you be the best science educator you can be. Science education is
changing, and you need to know how to teach to meet the new federal requirements
and state standards and assessment practices. NSTA makes it easy for you
to expand and enhance your knowledge and teaching skills, to make your
voice heard on important state and national education issues, and to share
your expertise with other members as part of a national community of committed
Here’s our annual Back to School special.
Join NSTA now through September 30, receive $10 off your individual
regular* membership dues, and have your choice of a free book: Elementary
Teachers get Picture Perfect Science Lessons; Middle School Teachers get
Doing Good Science in Middle School; and High School Teachers get both the Student and Teacher editions of Watershed Dynamics!
Click here to join thousands
of educators who find NSTA teachers’ resources unmatched. Take a
look at what members enjoy.
*This offer valid only on new memberships. This offer cannot be combined
with any other offer. This offer is only valid on individual, regular
membership at the standard $74 rate and not for any other membership category,
such as Student, New Teacher, or Retired.
Team America Rocketry Challenge 2008 Registration is Open
Registration is now open for the Team America Rocketry
Challenge 2008, a national model rocket competition for U.S. students
in grades 7 through 12. Thousands of students compete each year in the
Team America Rocketry Challenge, the world's largest model rocket contest.
Cash prizes are awarded to the top finishers.
Teams of three to 15 students design, build, and fly a
model rocket to carry two raw eggs for a precise flight duration of 45
seconds and to an exact altitude of 750 feet. The team whose rocket comes
the closest to both, and brings the eggs back unbroken, wins.
To be eligible for the national fly-off, teams must fly
a qualifying flight observed by an adult member of the National Association
of Rocketry. The top-scoring 100 teams in the country will be invited
to participate in the final fly-off to be held in May 2008.
Registration closes on Nov. 30, 2007, or when 750 teams
have registered, whichever comes first. For more information, visit www.rocketcontest.org.
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Means You Belong! Join
NSTA for these essential
benefits that will enhance your marketability in the teaching
profession and build your professional knowledge. Being a member
of NSTA means you’re part of an international community
of practitioners dedicated to improving science education.
Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off of the September featured book, Doing Good Science in Middle School: A Practical Guide to Inquiry-Based Instruction .
member services web page to ensure that NSTA has your current
NSTA is offering more Web Seminars starting in October. Visit the website for more information about these upcoming professional development opportunities.