2002 Archive‎ > ‎

Vol. 3, No. 33 - 8 November 2002



ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)

The California Science Project Funding Database

Source:  Michael Klentschy (mklent@intergate.ecsd.k12.ca.us), Lane Rankin (lrankin@webmediasolutions.com) and Olga Amaral (oamaral@mail.sdsu.edu)

URL: /csp/pdfunding/

[The California Science Project Funding Database] has been created in response to a need identified by the California Science Project site directors to learn more about funding sources available to school districts.  In a time of diminished resources and an environment where partnerships are valued, an understanding of funding venues from various agencies will better enable site directors to engage in meaningful discussions about potential collaborations with district representatives.

The purpose of this database is to provide site directors and school districts with a database of information regarding funding sources and to:

1. provide information that is centrally located in one single website

2. sort funding information according to various categories

3. provide a brief description of each funding category

4. provide links to the original funding source for further information

5. provide links to the California Department of Education data website for information displayed for school districts: www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

6. identify revenue sources that go directly to school districts and county offices of education

7. identify revenue sources that are competitive

8. make available vignettes of testimonials from educators in California who have focused attention on science education and allocated adequate support to it.

9. list timelines for various funding sources that districts must meet to receive moneys...


ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)

(1) "Education News Parents Can Use"

Source:  U.S. Department of Education

URL: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OIIA/television/index.html

Here's your chance to join an exciting program with parents and educators who are doing what it takes to improve American education...

The Series...

September 2002 marked the beginning of the first full school year under the No Child Left Behind Act and signifies the start of a historic, new era in education. To help parents understand the new law and all the important changes it will bring, the U.S. Department of Education launched a new monthly television series entitled Education News Parents Can Use.

The Format...

The new program takes the place of the Department's Satellite Town Meeting and keeps many of its predecessor's signature features--the live format, viewer call-ins, and lively discussion. What is different about Education News is its focus on information and resources of value to parents and families. The program features brief segments, including one-on-one interviews, "how-to" demonstrations, more video and graphics, and brief conversations with parents, educators, community, business and religious leaders, and education experts.

The Schedule...

On the third Tuesday of each month during the school year, Education News provides parents with the tools and information they need to be effectively involved in their children's learning. This is your opportunity to ask a question of the experts and the other participants--drawn from communities like yours--on what works to improve teaching and learning in schools and in the home.

The Audience...

Education News' target audience is an informed citizenry--parents and educators with a general knowledge of but strong interest in education. In many communities, parents, teachers, business leaders and others may watch together and have their own discussions. Other registrants are actually local television outlets that broadcast the program live on cable access, including school board and other educational channels. The program is also rebroadcast on the Discovery Networks' TLC (The Learning Channel), the Channel One Network, and some Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations.

Questions... If you have any comments or questions, feel free to send a message to our E-MAIL event box at, Education.TV@ed.gov or call us at 1-800-USA-LEARN.

(2) "Science and Mathematics--Gateway to the Future"

Source:  U.S. Department of Education

URL:  http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-flyer.asp?intEventID=162

Broadcast Date/Time: Tuesday, 19 November 2002; 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET

Duration: 1 hour 

In the 21st century, success in life and at work increasingly depend on a solid knowledge of mathematics and science. Virtually all todayÍs good jobs--not just the technical or high-level ones--demand a deep understanding of math and science principles that was unnecessary in previous generations. In their daily lives, citizens are being asked to make important judgments on a variety of issues, from stem-cell research to energy conservation, that also require a high degree of math and science literacy.

Despite great technological advances, the achievement gap in math and science between white and minority students remains large. And U.S. students are lagging behind their peers in international comparisons. Even though American fourth graders scored second in a recent international math and science study, our twelfth grade students ranked only 16th, behind every industrialized rival and ahead of only Cyprus and South Africa. To be effective in the global economy, American students can and must acquire mastery of math and science subjects.

The November edition of Education News will help parents understand the importance of ensuring a world-class mathematics and science education for all children. The program will offer parents information and tools for encouraging their childrenÍs academic achievement in these essential subjects. Our conversation will explore questions such as:

* Why are mathematics and science more important than ever?

* How much class time should be devoted to math and science subjects? Why should all students take subjects such as algebra?

* What should students be learning at the elementary, middle and high school grades?

* What does good math and science instruction look like? What questions should parents ask their childÍs teacher and principal?

* How can parents help their children be ready to learn math as they help them to be ready to read?

* How can parents encourage their children to learn math and science outside the classroom?

...To participate, all you need is to locate a facility with satellite downlink capabilities. Otherwise, call your local cable access station or school board channel and give them the satellite coordinates or visit the site's Registration Gateway for viewing options in your area: http://registerevent.ed.gov/downlink/event-dowlink-list.asp?intEventID=162 

(3) "The SAT Revolution" by Julian E. Barnes

Source:  U.S. News & World Report - 11 November 2002

URL:  http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/021111/education/11sat.htm

...When [Carl] Brigham, a psychologist, created the Scholastic Aptitude Test in 1926, he was a firm believer in intelligence testing. With IQ tests, he thought, he would be able to predict applicants' college grades, thereby selecting the students who would benefit most from higher education. But as his thinking evolved, Brigham began to worry that his test would lead teachers to focus on "linguistic skills" rather than literature and "disintegrated bits" of computation instead of mathematical concepts. His concerns went unheeded, and in the decades that followed the SAT only grew in power, becoming the pre-eminent gatekeeper for American higher educationÆas well as the stuff of sleepless nights for many a high schooler.

Now the era of intelligence testing is about to end. Thanks to an unprecedented assault from the head of the University of California system, the College Board (the nonprofit organization that owns the SAT) has begun its biggest overhaul ever of the test. The 340,000 students who took the SAT last weekend saw the same old kinds of questions. But by 2005 the board plans to strip out the analogies section, ask questions based on more-advanced math, and add a grammar and essay-writing test. "In many respects," says Ida Lawrence, the SAT program director, "it is a revolution."

Although the College Board's announcement in July was front-page news, the significance of the changes has remained largely unexamined. The inside story of the battle that began in California reveals just how great a philosophical shift the College Board has embraced. Rather than assess raw intelligence, the new SAT is intended to measure academic preparedness. "In its original form it was an IQ test," says Gaston Caperton, the College Board president. "What we have done is take the SAT and make it into something that tests reasoning and developed skill."

What they have done is taken hold of the diseased American education system at its root. For with these new changes, the SAT will effectively set education standards for the nation's high schools. But can the College Board do what a nation of education reformers couldn't?...

(4) Statement by the President on Signing of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 [Press Release]

Source:  - U.S. Department of Education - 6 November 2002

URLhttp://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/11-2002/11062002b.html

The White House released on Tuesday the following statement by the president on his signing of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.

"Today I have signed into law H.R. 3801, an Act to provide for improvement of Federal education research, statistics, evaluation, information, and dissemination, and for other purposes. This Act will substantially strengthen the scientific basis for the Department of Education's continuing efforts to help families, schools, and State and local governments with the education of America's children. This Act is an important complement to the No Child Left Behind Act enacted earlier this year...."

(5) "NSF Names Final Winners of Math, Science Grants" by David J. Hoff

Source: Education Week - 30 October 2002

URL:  http://edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=09aaas.h22  

The National Science Foundation has announced three grants that complete its $100 million precollegiate initiative to improve the quality of math and science teachers and the instruction they provide.

In the final round of grants given under the NSF's Centers for Learning and Teaching program, the independent federal agency said last week that the final three projects would start the development of a new science curriculum, test methods of teaching science with experiments and exploration, and improve the caliber of professional development for math teachers.

Over the past two years, the foundation has made grants to seven other centers--most of them to universities working with school districts--to address similar pressing issues in mathematics and science education. The 10 projects will each receive about $10 million over five years.

"The Centers for Learning and Teaching are our test sites for innovative approaches," said Judith A. Ramaley, the NSF's assistant director for education and human resources.

A $9.9 million grant given to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Center for Curriculum Materials in Science will help the Washington-based group work with Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Michigan State University in Lansing, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to improve the qualifications of K-12 science teachers. The center and those universities will work with districts in Chicago, Detroit, and Lansing, Mich., to show teachers how to evaluate and revise textbooks to meet their classroom needs.

Meanwhile, researchers at the Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics, based at the University of Michigan, were awarded a grant to work with researchers at the University of Georgia, in Athens, to identify the mathematical knowledge teachers need to succeed, and then to design professional-development and teacher-preparation programs that help them master that content.

To help teachers design projects in which students discover scientific principles through experiments, the St. Louis Center for Inquiry in Science Teaching and Learning at Washington University was awarded a grant to lead an effort to find individual teachers' weaknesses in using that approach and offer solutions to them.

(6) "Transforming Textbooks: AAAS and Partners Target K-12 Science Materials for Improvement" [Press Release]

Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science - 22 October 2002

URL:  http://www.project2061.org/newsinfo/press/rl021022.htm

Transforming K-12 science textbooks--which so often cause student anxiety, parental criticism, and teacher migraines--will be the focus of a new Center for Curriculum Materials in Science, announced today by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and its education reform initiative, Project 2061. 

Through the AAAS-led Center--funded by a $9.9 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation--Project 2061 is now well-positioned to have its recommendations guide science curriculum development and teaching and, as a result, to help all students gain essential science knowledge and skills. The work will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Michigan State University, along with Detroit Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools, and the Lansing School District.

The Center will draw on the materials development and teacher education expertise of the universities to address some of the serious problems AAAS previously identified in its series of critical evaluations of middle- and high-school science textbooks. The Center's goal is to improve science curriculum materials, making sure they reflect sound research on student learning and take advantage of the most effective teaching strategies and technologies. Yet another goal is to ensure that science curriculum materials support credible standards for what students should know, such as those in AAAS's landmark report Benchmarks for Science Literacy and in the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards.

Not confined to ivory towers, the Center collaborators will work closely with their local school-district partners to connect university research and teacher training with the realities of the classroom.

A critical national role for the new Center is the development of a cadre of experts in science curriculum materials R&D.  To accomplish this, each of the partner universities will expand its graduate and postdoctoral programs in science education to include coursework and research opportunities in the analysis, design, and use of science curriculum materials. Recruitment of candidates for the new programs is already underway, and interested applicants are encouraged to contact the universities directly or to visit the Center web site at http://ScienceMaterialsCenter.org.

"AAAS has been a leader in identifying shortcomings of science textbooks and working with researchers, educators, and book publishers to improve them," said AAAS Chief Executive Officer Dr. Alan I. Leshner.  "Research clearly shows that textbooks and other classroom materials are a linchpin of effective student learning, yet we know from our evaluations of textbooks that most materials available today aren't serving the needs of students or teachers."

In a series of standards-based evaluations, AAAS's Project 2061 put educators and parents on notice that textbooks were fatally flawed.  Project 2061 rated all popular middle-school science books as "unsatisfactory," and criticized them as "full of disconnected facts that neither educate nor motivate" students. Not one of the 10 widely used high-school biology texts was deemed worthy of a high rating in the rigorous evaluation.

Project 2061 broke new ground in 2001 by bringing together publishers, curriculum developers, and educators for the first in a series of three conferences to improve the quality of science textbooks.  

The new Center will help jumpstart the textbook transformation process, according to Dr. Jo Ellen Roseman, director of Project 2061. The Center will "foster essential research and development aimed at helping all students learn what they need to know to thrive in our science-based world," said Roseman.

Roseman will serve as director of the Center for Curriculum Materials in Science and will chair a Center Leadership Team. Other members of the team are Dr. George DeBoer at AAAS, Dr. James Gallagher of Michigan State University, Dr. Brian J. Reiser of Northwestern University, and  Dr. Joseph Krajcik of the University of Michigan.

*  *  *

Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has worked to advance science for human well-being through its projects, programs, and publications in the areas of science policy, science education, and international scientific cooperation. With over 134,000 members from 130 countries and 272 affiliated societies comprising more than 10 million individual members, AAAS is the world's largest federation of scientists. The association also publishes Science, an editorially independent, multidisciplinary, weekly peer-reviewed journal that ranks as one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. AAAS administers EurekAlert! (http://www.eurekalert.org), the online news service, featuring the latest discoveries in science and technology.

Since 1985, AAAS's Project 2061 has worked to reform K-12 education so that all high-school graduates are science literate--that is, prepared to live interesting, responsible, and productive lives in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology.  The project is creating a coordinated set of tools and services--books, CD-ROMs, online resources, and professional development workshops--that educators, parents and families, and community leaders can use to make meaningful and lasting improvements in teaching and learning for all students...



COMET is sponsored in part by a grant from the California Mathematics Project.


COMET is produced by:

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    Professor, Mathematics Education
    California State University, Fresno
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