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Week of June 16, 2008

Table of Contents

Student Achievement Higher With NBPTS-Certified Teachers, Says NRC Report

A new report from the National Research Council concludes that advanced certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an effective way to identify highly skilled teachers and that students taught by NBPTS-certified teachers make greater gains on achievement tests than students taught by teachers who are not board-certified

The report is unclear whether the certification process itself leads to higher quality teaching and whether earning board certification affects teachers’ decisions to stay in the teaching profession.  There is no evidence that districts or schools are encouraging board-certified teachers to work in difficult schools or mentor other teachers and in some cases, administrators have discouraged board-certified teachers from assuming responsibilities outside the classroom.

Created in 1987, the nonprofit National Board for Professional Teaching Standards developed standards for what effective teachers should know and be able to do, along with a process to evaluate whether individual teachers meet these criteria. To earn certification, a teacher must complete six computer-based exercises and assemble a portfolio that shows how his or her teaching meets the standards. From 1993 through 2007, 99,300 teachers applied for NBPTS certification, and 63,800 earned the credential.

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NSTA Takes Top Honors This Spring

Time for a bit of bragging here ... kudos to the NSTA staff and NSTA publications division and authors for the awards they received recently in recognition of their efforts on a number of fronts.

On June 12, NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler was presented the Leadership in Education award from The Keystone Center. Founded in 1975, The Keystone Center improves decisions about long-term issues by helping thought-leaders, teachers, students, and decision-makers effectively address technically complex and politically uncertain situations.

On June 4, NSTA was recognized by the FDA’s Office of Food Defense, Communication, and Emergency Response “for improving public health through the development of food safety and nutrition education programs for science teachers and students.” The FDA / NSTA Partnership in Food Science supplementary curriculum called Science and Our Food Supply for middle and high school science teachers provides challenging hands-on activities that link food science and food safety to students’ everyday lives.

On June 6, the Association of Educational Publishers honored these five NSTA publications with Distinguished Achievement Awards, the highest achievement in educational publishing.

For more information on all the 2008 winners, see the AEP website.

Congratulations to the individuals responsible for these outstanding accomplishments.

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Become the Best Educator You Can Be

NSTA conferences are a one-stop shop for science educators; we bring teachers together with nationally known professional development experts to help improve student and teacher performance and shape success in the science classroom. This is your chance to refresh your teaching skills, become inspired, and take command of your career through presentations, workshops, and seminars on a range of topics. Become the best educator you can be.

Charlotte, North Carolina
October 30–November 1, 2008

Professional development strands
  • Biotechnology as an Economic Engine
  • Fearlessly Teaching Physical Science in the Elementary Classroom
  • Assessment for Understanding
Featured speakers
  • Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist and inspiration for the hit TV show Bones
  • Nanoscience author Michael Falvo
Special day long programs
  • Physics Day (organized by AAPT)
  • Chemistry Day (organized by ACS)
  • Physical Science and Earth Science Day program
  • NSTA’s Exemplary Science Program
Among many scheduled field trips
  • Carolina Raptor Center
  • Reed Gold Mine
  • U.S. National Whitewater Center
Short courses
  • Strengthening Earth Science Assessments
  • Science Laboratory Safety for K–16 School Personnel
  • Confidently Teach the Science of Energy
  • Teaching Science Concepts and Inquiry Through Outdoor Studies
Take advantage of
  • Networking opportunities
  • Exhibitor giveaways
  • Ready-to-use lesson plans
  • NSTA’s Science Bookstore

For more information and to register, visit the Charlotte conference web pages.

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And Don’t Forget…

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

Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off of the June featured book, Lingo of Learning.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars through the summer months. Visit the website for more information about these upcoming professional development opportunities.

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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