Revisions to No Child Left Behind

Yesterday, the House approved a bill 359 to 64 to revise the No Child Left Behind law to give more control back to the state and local district level. Experts expect the Senate to pass it next week.

This bill allows states and school districts to decide on their own goals and how to rate schools, as well as how to handle schools that do not perform well. States are still required to rate schools using test scores, but they can also use additional materials like student surveys. According to the New York Times, “The bill specifically prevents the federal government from requiring that states evaluate teachers at all, much less use test scores to rate them, and says the education secretary cannot dictate any specific academic standards to states” (Huetteman and Rich).

While many say local communities are better able to help children who have fallen behind, others say that the federal government is needed to prevent this issue. What do you think?

Learn more about the bill from the New York Times here.

Huetteman, Emmarie and Rich, Motoko. “House Restores Local Education Control in Revising No Child Left Behind.” The New York Times Company. New York Times, 2 Dec. 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

Arts education is picking up STEAM

The Congressional Caucus on STEAM, led by Congressperson Bonamici, added an amendment to the U.S.’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s (ESEA) rewrite last week asking to integrate the arts into STEM education. The bill then goes to the House and Senate. If passed in early December, it will go to the President.

The amendment asks to include the arts in these STEM programs to encourage well-rounded education and increase participation and skill levels in STEM.

Read the original Huffington Post article here.

Eger, John M. “The Congressional STEAM Caucus May Turn STEM to STEAM in the Reauthorization of ESEA.” Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.

STEM Toys for Girls

With the holiday season starting, you may be wondering what to get your young daughter, granddaughter, or niece. If you want to encourage her STEM or STEAM (the A stands for Art) interests, then consider the gifts below in Donna Fenn’s article!

Do you think these gifts are great ideas, or do you think they reinforce gender stereotypes? Let us know your thoughts!

Check out the original article here.

Fenn, Donna. “Stem Toys Made For Girls Are The Hot New Trend.” Retail. Fortune.com, 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.

Cards Against Humanity: For women in STEM, these cards aren’t against you!

Calling all women graduating high school in 2016 and wanting to pursue a STEM career! Cards Against Humanity is offering a full-ride scholarship for one lucky woman in STEM.

You can find details here: http://www.scienceambassadorscholarship.org/.

They ask that you submit a public YouTube video no longer than three minutes of you delivering a mini lecture about a scientific topic you’re passionate about. Applications are due Dec. 1. Good luck!

Study shows kids who identify with math do better on standardized tests

The University of Washington conducted a recent study that demonstrates a correlation between students’ math “self-concept” (how strongly they think math “is” or “isn’t” for them) and their standardized math test scores. Students who identified with math outperformed those who did not. Furthermore, the study tested out some of the psychological effects of the stereotype that boys are better at math than girls. When girls believed that, they did not do as well on their math test because they didn’t consider themselves to be “math people.”

The researchers want to use these findings to help learn how we can best promote children’s math self-concepts.

Read more from the UW article here.

McElroy, Molly. “Math and me: Children who identify with math get higher scores.” Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. UW Today, 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.