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Commission Debates Hands-on Instruction
“First came the wars over
how to teach reading and math to young students. Now the fighting
has spilled into science,” begins a February 3 Washington Post
article describing the decision by the California Curriculum Commission,
which advises the California Board of Education, to recommend new
criteria for future K-8 science textbooks that would allow for a
maximum of only 20 to 25 percent of hands-on material. Thomas Adams,
executive director of the curriculum commission, says commission
members are trying to balance the “need for a comprehensive science
curriculum with the limited science background of many K-8 teachers.”
Bruce Alberts, chairman of the National Academy of Sciences, told
the Post that if the commission’s recommendations were adopted,
they would be harmful to students. Both the California Science Teachers
Association and NSTA commented on the commission’s recommendations;
to read the Washington Post story go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6944-2004Feb2.html.
To read the NSTA and CSTA letter to the Commission, click here :http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/california_letter.htm
The issue is scheduled to come before the California State Board
of Education in March.
Legislative Update: Many Oppose Administration’s FY05 Budget Proposal
to Cut NSF MSPs
Many lawmakers, educators, and others are critical of the Administration’s
plan to eliminate the National Science Foundation Math and Science
Partnerships and transfer the program to the Department of Education;
plus Utah wants to bow out of No Child Left Behind, and the director
of the National Science Foundation resigns. Read all about it in this
issue of the NSTA Legislative Update: http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_02_17_extra.htm
Update: Georgia, Missouri and Ohio in the News
Georgia’s Superintendent of Schools restored the word “evolution”
and many important concepts to the state’s draft science standards.
Meanwhile, Missouri continues its dialogue on a house bill that would
require the “equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution
and intelligent design,” and the Ohio State Board of Education votes
to keep a critique of evolution in the state’s science curriculum.
For the latest news on evolution, links to valuable web sites, and
a collection of great resources from NSTA, go to: http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_02_17_extra2.htm
Convention First-Timers Get Special Welcome; Register by March 5 for
We’re expecting thousands of science educators to join us at NSTA’s
52nd National Convention, April 1-4 in Atlanta, GA…and
just so our first-timers aren’t overwhelmed by this huge and diverse
collection of people, events, and exhibits, NSTA is presenting
two special kick-off sessions for newcomers. You’ll meet NSTA officers
and staff who will walk you through the four-day program with suggestions
on how you can gain new professional knowledge and have a great
time doing it. We want you to feel welcome and help you make the
most of your convention experience… full details may be found in
your convention program.
For full convention agenda, special events, featured speakers,
hotel information, and online registration forms, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2004ATL.
Need a plan for obtaining funding to increase and enhance your
professional skills in Atlanta? Start by plotting your hour-by-hour
agenda on our new online convention scheduler at http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxpersonal_sched.asp,
and you’ll end up with a ready-made proposal for funds which you
can present to your decision-maker…and we’ll see you in Atlanta!
Your Name in Print…NSTA Member Journals Seek Manuscripts for First-Ever
Summer ’04 Issues
Editors of NSTA’s member journals are seeking manuscript proposals
for articles in their first-ever summer issues. Science &
Children (K-6); Science Scope (6-9); and The Science
Teacher (9-12) want to hear your proposed ideas through their
online author submission system at http://msrs.nsta.org.
Here’s your chance to share your best ideas under a variety of general
topic headings… For more information and details on individual journals’
areas of interest, go to http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_02_17_extra3.htm
And members, please note: Make sure these jam-packed issues—sure
to be some of the year’s biggest—get to you on time and well ahead
of the back-to-school planning rush, by updating your address information
online at http://www.nsta.org/update, or by calling
Member Services at 800-722-6782, or by faxing to 703-243-3924.
(If we don’t have your home address, we’ll automatically send
your copy to the same address we’ve been mailing your other journals.)
Responses Sought on Question of Science Teachers and Funding for
We still want to hear from you—how has the No Child Left Behind
law changed the way your school or district provides training opportunities
for science teachers? If you've already completed the survey, thanks!
If not, please take a few minutes to answer a few questions at http://ecommerce.nsta.org/survey_nclb_pd_funding.
Not a member
and want to join? Visit https://ecommerce.nsta.org/membership/apply.asp!
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Hope you found
this Monday’s edition of NSTA Express an interesting, quick
read and a worthwhile update on the latest news and information
from the National Science Teachers Association. Our goal is to save
you time by delivering information each week in short "news
bites," so if you'd like to know more, simply select the headline
quick link. NSTA continues to create resources and improve services
for science educators. If you're not already a member, we invite
you to join the crowd by going to www.nsta.org/whyjoin!
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