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Education in the News: Most Students in Big Cities Lag Badly in Basic Science

Students in major U.S. cities perform worse than other students around the country on National Assessment of Educational Statistics (NAEP) science tests given in 4th and 8th grade reports the National Assessment Governing Board in a study released last week.

Ten big city schools—Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cleveland; Houston; Los Angeles; New York City; and San Diego voluntarily participated in the 2005 NAEP study. Fourth-graders in nine of the 10 city districts had lower average scores than public school students nationally. The only exception was Austin, Texas, where they performed at the national average. In eighth grade, all 10 urban districts had average scores below the national average.

The Nation’s Report Card: Trial Urban District Assessment Science 2005 is available at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard. To read the NAEP District Findings, visit http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_11_20_naep.htm. To read the media reports on the urban study, visit http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_11_20_urban.htm.


Math Education Focus of New York Times Article

A New York Times November 14 front page article provides an extensive overview of the discussions nationwide between educators, parents, and school officials about the teaching of mathematics. To read more, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/education/14math.html?_r=1&oref=slogin.


New FDA Learning Tool Will Help Consumers Make Better Food Choices

A downloadable interactive learning program available from the FDA can help consumers make better nutritional food choices. Make Your Calories Count is designed to assist consumers—and teachers and students—to understand and use the Nutrition Facts Label to explore the relationship between serving sizes and calories while they learn how to limit certain nutrients and get enough of others. The program is available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/labelman.


Turkey Science

With a little understanding of biology and thermodynamics you too can create the perfect turkey. Learn about the two kinds of meat in each turkey and how to create the perfect centerpiece to your holiday meal at http://derrickriches.com/the-science-of-turkey/.


NSTA’s Western Area Conference Offers New Symposium on the International Polar Year

Celebrate International Polar Year in Salt Lake City, Utah at NSTA’s Western Area Conference on Science Education! This exciting Symposium, designed for grade 5–8 educators, will delve into science content and educational activities developed by NASA, NOAA, and NSF.

This event is a blended professional development experience that includes this face-to-face learning opportunity at the conference followed by several online experiences, a discussion listserv, and two NSTA Web Seminars designed to extend the interactivity between the participants and the presenters.

NSTA’s Western Conference is December 7-9!

Space is limited so be sure to register today! Visit http://www.nsta.org/saltlakecity for details!


And Don't Forget…




Professional development courses in your future?
Online options give you a world of choice.
Take a look at these institutions offering courses for science educators!


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