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Week of November 26, 2007

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We're Traveling to Birmingham Next Week

Online registration for NSTA's Southern Area Conference on Science Education ends November 30 at noon. If you miss that deadline, you can still register in person at Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. See what professional development opportunities are available for principals and teachers in every grade band. Our strands include seminars, workshops, and presentations for every discipline. Check out titles using the links below that will help you solve your personal challenges:

For more information and details on these and other conference activities in Birmingham, visit www.nsta.org/birmingham.

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New NAEP Results Show Gains in Math

Last week The National Center for Education Statistics released the results of the 2007 reading and mathematics assessments from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 11 urban school districts. The NAEP Trial Urban District Assessments, or TUDAs, were given earlier this year to 4th- and 8th-grade students in these districts: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, District of Columbia, Boston, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Cleveland, San Diego, and Austin.

According to NCES in mathematics:

  • Average mathematics scores increased between 2005 and 2007 in 4 of 11 districts at grade 4 and 6 of 11 districts at grade 8.
  • The average scores for students from lower-income families increased between 2003 and 2007 in 8 of the 10 participating districts at both grades 4 and 8.
  • Students in six districts scored comparably or higher than those in large central city schools nationally at both grades 4 and 8.

According to NCES in reading:

  • Average reading scores increased between 2005 and 2007 in 2 of 11 districts at grade 4 and 4 of 11 districts at grade 8.
  • The average scores for students from lower-income families increased between 2005 and 2007 in 2 of the 11 participating districts at grade 4 and 3 of 11 at grade 8.
  • Fourth-graders in seven districts and eighth-graders in eight districts scored comparably or higher than those in large central city schools nationally.

For more information, go to www.nationsreportcard.gov.

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Preservice Teacher Leaders: Apply Now for a Leadership Position with NSTA

We're seeking qualified candidates to serve a one-year term on the Preservice Teacher Preparation Committee, one of several standing committees of NSTA. Click here for information and a nomination packet (PDF).

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Beyond Goggles and Labcoats: New Regulations for Science Safety Are Here

The NSTA Ready Reference Guide to SaferScience is the need-to-know survival guide for every middle school teacher, principal, science-resource coordinator and science supervisor who has ever had a question regarding safety. With sections ranging from physical safety practices and legal standards to a teacher Q & A, this resource will provide answers to all of your safety related instructional challenges. This easy-to-use guide also includes the latest NSTA Position Statements.

Familiarize your students and self with the latest safety and legal regulations as well as tips on who to apply them.

To read a free sample chapter and order visit www.nsta.org/saferscience.

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Give the Best Gift of All—the Gift of Membership in NSTA!

With the holidays approaching, now is the time to give the gift of resources that will help the science educators in your life be the best they can be—gift membership in NSTA. You can download a gift application.

Your generous gift of an NSTA membership is an investment in the professional growth of your favorite science educator. Each membership includes a subscription to one grade-specific journal and NSTA Reports, a 20% discount on NSTA Press® books, up to 40% off conference registrations, award and professional development opportunities, and much more. Each new member will receive an acknowledgment letter indicating that his or her membership was a gift from you. Click here for more information, and happy holidays!

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Tap Into Your Students' Writing Ability

The Alliance for Science invites interested students to submit essays of up to 1,000 words on one of two topics: Climate and Evolution or Agriculture and Evolution. The Alliance for Science website offers possible ideas to explore in the essay. Submission deadline is Feb. 29, 2008.

Guaranteed Cash Prizes: 1st Place $300.00, 2nd Place $200, 3rd Place $150, and 4th Place $100. Additional rewards for sponsoring teachers: 1st Place $150, 2nd Place $100. Additional prizes will be awarded, including books and educational DVDs.

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Legislative Update: Correction

The November 19 NSTA Legislative Update reported that the conference report (final version) of H.R. 3043—the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS-Ed) Appropriations bill—did not include funding for an amendment introduced into the Senate funding measure during floor debate by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) that would provide $6 million for baccalaureate degree programs in STEM tied to teacher certifications and $4 million for master programs for science and math teachers. Both of these programs (at the U.S. Department of Education) are part of the America Competes Act, which was signed into law earlier this year.

This was incorrect. In fact, the conference agreement “includes $3,000,000 for programs for baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or critical foreign languages with concurrent teacher certification, and $2,000,000 for programs for master's degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or critical foreign language education authorized in Public Law 110-69, the America COMPETES Act. The Senate bill proposed $6,000,000 and $4,000,000 for these programs, respectively, and the House bill did not include these provisions."

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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 November featured book, Virus and the Whale: Exploring Evolution in Creatures Small and Large.

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

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars this fall. 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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