Legislative Update: Appeals Court Revives NEA Challenge to NCLB
Education Association scored a major victory last week when a federal
appeals court revived their lawsuit challenging how the No Child
Left Behind Act is funded.
At issue is
Section 9527(a) of the law that says, “Nothing in this Act
shall be construed to …. mandate a State or any subdivision
thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under
A U.S. District
Judge in Michigan dismissed the NEA lawsuit in November 2005, saying
the plaintiffs had not proven their case, but the Appeals panel
last week reversed that ruling saying that No Child Left Behind
law “fails to provide clear notice as to who bears the additional
costs of compliance.”
came the same day of the sixth anniversary of NCLB where, during
an appearance in a Chicago elementary school, President Bush defended
the law and called on Congress to reauthorize it this year. He acknowledged
that changes should be made to NCLB but he vowed to veto any bill
that weakens the NCLB accountability system.
Counting the Quality of Teacher Pay Comes Up About 12 Cents Short
The 12th edition of Education Week's Quality Counts (QC) was released this week. The nation as a whole barely received a passing grade on K-12 achievement, while the average state earned a D-plus. This year's report focused on state efforts to improve teaching. The report suggests that the average public school teacher makes only 88 cents for every dollar earned by individuals in 16 comparable professions (like architects, counselors, editors/reporters, occupational and physical therapists and registered nurses). The report also includes a "K-12 Achievement Index" that focuses specifically on student learning in elementary
through high school. The achievement index evaluates how well a state's students perform compared with those in the top-ranked state on 18 separate indicators. The index takes into account current state performance, improvements over time, and poverty-based achievement gaps.
NSTA Offers Two Online Short Courses: Force and Motion and Energy
The National Science
Teachers Association is pleased to announce two online short courses
that combine asynchronous learning with live web sessions to help
you master science content.
The short course
Force and Motion will begin on January 30 and will meet
on five consecutive Wednesdays, (Jan. 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, and 27).
The instructor of this course is Dr. Matt Bobrowsky. The short course
Energy will begin on February 5, and will meet on five
consecutive Tuesdays, (Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, and Mar. 4). The instructor
of this course is Don Boonstra. Both short courses live web sessions
are scheduled from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.
As a participant you
will meet live online with content experts to ask questions and
have discussions about the topic. You will also work on your own
time with self-paced materials to boost your knowledge of the subject
matter. Two credits from the University of Idaho are available for
a nominal fee in addition to the course registration.
For more information
and to register, visit the NSTA
Preview for the National Conference in Boston Now Available
Be on the lookout!
Our program preview for the National Conference on Science Education
2008 is coming to you via US mail in the next few weeks. The preview
provides an overview of the events planned- major speakers like
astronaut Barbara Morgan, Professional Development Institutes such
as Integrating Science and Engineering Technology. Find
out more about NASA/NSTA Symposia for example, 21st Century
Explorer—Today’s Knowledge for Tomorrow’s Explorer.
Learn about Informal Science Day, Science for Teachers of Young
Learners and much more. Consider some of the fascinating field trips
available like Twenty years of Universal Design at the
Museum of Science, Boston. Don’t forget you can earn graduate
credit for 12 hours of learning at workshops and presentation. With
helpful hints for scheduling along with travel information, you
will be equipped with everything you need to plan your conference
itinerary today! For those educators who can’t wait, you
can access the preview on the NSTA website or by clicking
Education in Science Knows No Boundaries
noted author, past NSTA president and editor of the NSTA Exemplary
Science Program, has organized symposia featuring “informal
education settings” at the National Conference on Science
Education to be held in Boston, March 27-30 this year. His sessions
will include a full afternoon of discussion that exemplifies how
the national standards have affected science in the informal education
settings. Directed towards a general audience as well as grade band specific to middle and high school teachers, many exemplars (66) will be
mentioned to demonstrate how they have met the NSES vision. Don’t
miss learning how you can expand science teaching to outside of
the classroom. For complete information, visit the Informal
Science Day page in our preview.
Offers Tips on Using Web Resources
the start of the new school year, SciLinks® introduced a new feature
for educators: a blog hosted by its most experienced search team
member. Mary Bigelow has been part of the SciLinks team from the
very beginning, and she has worked as both a science and a computer
science educator for nearly 30 years. Click in to the SciLinks Blog every two weeks to learn how Mary and
her colleagues select the most useful and engaging science content
on the web. Mary will highlight specific web pages that she thinks
are especially useful, and she'll include tips about using these
resources with your students, no matter what your classroom setup.
And if you get into a bind, drop Mary a query via the blog. She'll
answer your questions, respond to your comments, and lead us all
on a journey to make the best use of web resources for science education.