Please enjoy this week's STEM Ed update.
Coalition Update:
Department of Education Responds to Coalition's Concerns About Science Accountability
On June 23, the STEM Education Coalition  expressed strong concerns  to the Department of Education (ED) that the first round of ED feedback sent to Delaware was widely viewed as discouraging states from including science in their state accountability systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act.  These concerns were covered in numerous press stories, including the  Washington Post and  New York Times. On July 10, the Coalition received a  formal response to this inquiry from Acting Assitant Secretary Jason Botel. Mr. Botel clarified ED's position, "I can assure you that the Department is not discouraging States from including student performance on science assessments in their accountability systems...States have discretion to include science results elsewhere in the State's accountability system."  The Coalition is pleased that the Department has reaffirmed their support of science education and looks forward to working with ED to ensure students across the country have access to high-quality STEM opportunities. Read more here.
Stay in the Know: 
Latest STEM Education Policy News
'STEM Deserts' in the Poorest Schools: How Can We Fix Them?
Education Week
Students attending high-poverty schools tend to have fewer science materials, fewer opportunities, and less access to the most rigorous mathematics classes, like calculus and physics, than students attending low-poverty schools, a new analysis points out.
That means that they're less likely to encounter real-world problem-solving that characterizes advanced work in those fields-as well as the most rigorous content that serves as a benchmark for beginning college majors or minors in those fields.  Read more here .
(Largely) Shunning White House on Higher Ed Spending
Inside Higher Ed
The Trump administration's first budget proposal was greeted coolly by Republican lawmakers (amid deep consternation from advocates for higher education) when  it was released in May. Many members of Congress avoided direct criticism but suggested they would not go along with major cuts in popular programs, including a plan to slash the rates at which the government reimburses universities for their own spending on research overhead.  Wednesday President Trump's party offered a more direct rebuke, as the appropriations panel in the House of Representatives  released a 2018 spending bill  that rejects most of the administration's proposed changes.  Read more here .
How Teacher Prep Programs Can Help Teachers Teach Math Conceptually
Future teachers are likely to teach as they were taught-which can be problematic, researchers wrote in a recent study, "because most teachers experienced school mathematics as a set of disconnected facts and skills, not a system of interrelated concepts."  But even when prospective teachers are taught to teach math conceptually, a good content knowledge base is still important, the study found.  Conceptually understanding math concepts and practices is one of the key emphases of the common core, but few preservice programs focus on a deep learning of specific math content. Elementary math teachers  have had to learn how to move away from  "teaching tricks" and relying on formulas in the past few years. 

Around the Community:
Event: Help Wanted: Computer Science Teachers!
Please join Microsoft and the American Institutes for Research for a panel discussion that will explore what it takes to provide the preparation and support needed for teachers to successfully teach computer science.  The discussion will also explore the state of computer science licensure and credentialing and the challenges state, district, and local education leaders face in finding time in the school day to ensure all students have access to computer science. 
When: Tuesday, July 25, 9:30-11:00 AM
Where: Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center, 901 K Street NW, Washington, DC
Register here
FFA, Farm Bureau Work Together to Share the Story of Agricultural Education
New Horizons
he American Farm Bureau Federation and National FFA Organization signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture. The MOU outlines how the two organizations will work together to discover opportunities that benefit both their members and agricultural education students in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  "This is an opportunity for us to share the story of agriculture and agricultural education," said Mark Poeschl, chief executive officer of the National FFA Organization. "Our organizations know that agricultural education provides leadership development, career success and personal growth. This MOU allows us to recognize the role of school-based agricultural education."  Continue reading here .

July STEM Magazine

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Our Coalition's Co-Chairs  






STEM Education Coalition
2000 M Street NW
Suite 520
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July 17, 2017
The Week Ahead:
(10:00 AM, 2175 Rayburn House Office Building)
House Education and the Workforce Committee

(8:00 PM)
National Air and Space Museum
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