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Week of October 1, 2007

Table of Contents

NSTA Executive Director Reflects on the Impact of Sputnik on Science Education in the U.S.

History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union amazed the world. The successful launch of Sputnik I ushered in a new era and forever changed the way people thought about science, education, and politics. NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler was interviewed recently by the New York Times and National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He spoke about the impact of Sputnik on education and also discussed the current state of science education in the United States.

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NAEP Scores Show Progress in Reading and Mathematics

Results last week from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation's Report Card, show gains in reading scores for fourth graders and growth in math scores for both fourth and eighth graders. At grade four in both subjects there was an increase in the percentage of students performing at or above Basic and at or above Proficient. White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islander fourth-grade students attained higher scores in 2007 than their peers in 2005. In grade 8 in both subjects, a higher percentage of students performed at or above Basic, and the percentage of students performing at or above Proficient increased in mathematics.

Administration officials immediately lauded the results. “Student achievement is on the rise,” said Secretary Spellings. “No Child Left Behind is working. It’s doable, reasonable, and necessary. Any efforts to weaken accountability would fly in the face of rising achievement.”

In a press statement President Bush stated, “These scores confirm that No Child Left Behind is working and producing positive results for students across the country. Since No Child Left Behind became law in 2002, the states have been setting standards and holding schools accountable for ensuring that every child can read and do math at grade level. We are successfully challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations and continuing to make significant progress in reforming our schools.”

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NSTA Adopts Revised Position Statement: Liability of Science Educators for Laboratory Safety

The NSTA Board of Directors recently voted to adopt the newly revised position statement, Liability of Science Educators for Laboratory Safety. The statement gives important recommendations to science educators who have a "duty of care to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff," as well as to school leaders, district administrators, school boards, and others who share in that responsibility.

NSTA would like to thank the members of the position statement panel, who worked over several months to develop this statement, as well as the NSTA members who provided feedback during its development.

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Science 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 educators.

DEADLINE EXTENDED on our annual Back to School special. You can join NSTA now through October 19, 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.

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Take Advantage of the Advance Discount for the Denver Conference

Don’t pay full price to attend the Denver Conference on Science Education, November 8-10! The advance discount ends October 5, so register soon. NSTA Conferences on Science Education offer you the professional development sessions you need to become the best teacher you can be. From presentations on content knowledge to symposia that cover science topics in-depth to discussions of new assessment techniques, NSTA conferences offer an extraordinary agenda for teachers in every grade band. Most popular are the product giveaways from nationally known exhibitors.

You can save as much as $99 if you are an NSTA member. As a member, not only do you save the most on registration, but you get a whole year’s worth of member benefits. Check these out.

Keep in mind that you can earn graduate professional credit from the Colorado School of Mines, and that advances your career-building goals.

Visit www.nsta.org/2007den to register now.

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Applying for NSTA Awards Just Got Easier

With the click of a mouse you can be closer to winning prize money from NSTA!

All of the teacher and principal award applications can now be filled out and submitted online at www.nsta.org/awards. Deadlines are fast approaching. Most award deadlines are October 15.

You can’t win if you don’t submit!

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And Don’t Forget…

Membership 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 October featured book, Practicing Science: The Investigative Approach in College Science Teaching.

Visit our member services web page to ensure that NSTA has your current contact information.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars starting in October. Visit the website for more information about these upcoming professional development opportunities.
 
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Professional development courses in your future?
Online options give you a world of choice.
Take a look at these groups offering courses for science educators!

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