Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lampson Applauds Passage of Bill to Provide Stronger Math and Science Training and Scholarships

I usually don’t do this but when the shoe fits, wear it. I am an educator in secondary schools. I teach physics. Nick Lampson, my congressman, has co-sponsored a bill to offer what I call “excellence in science teaching”. My former teacher ed prof. had one rule for science teachers: Rule Number One – Get Name Right.

Science needs to be taught by teachers who know about science. Not the ones who hold the same theories in use that their students possess.

I am still trying to find the teacher (or teachers) in my district that teach their students that the sky is blue because it reflects off of the ocean.

Here, in its entirety is Congressman Nick Lampson’s (D-Stafford) news release in regard to his bill on bringing science and math teachers up to snuff in their content areas.

Bravo.

Lampson Applauds Passage of Bill to Provide Stronger Math and Science Training and Scholarships

Stafford, TX - Congressman Nick Lampson (D-Stafford) today applauded passage of H.R 362, the "10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds" Science and Math Scholarship Act. The bill provides critical funding for additional math and science teachers and initiatives in grades K to 12.

"As we examine our educational funding needs, we consistently recognize the importance of math and sciences funding for our school children," said Congressman Lampson. "This important bill ensures our nation will continue to train our future leaders in the most competitive global industries. This funding will offer tremendous support for southeast Texas students, teachers, and industries, and keep Texas economically competitive for decades to come."

Although he remains in the Houston-area working part-time after his recent heart surgery, Congressman Lampson carefully monitored the bill he co-sponsored, which was authored by House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). The bill reflects many findings in the National Academies' report
Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. The report found that in 2000, more than 85% of students in grades 5 to 9 were taught physical science by a teacher lacking a major or certification in the physical sciences. In 1999, 68% of U.S. 8th grade students received instruction from a mathematics teacher who did not hold a degree or certification in mathematics.

H.R. 362 will fund thousands of new teachers through the National Science Foundation ("NSF"), create summer institutes and graduate programs that provide sustained, content-oriented professional development to teachers through Math Science Partnerships at the NSF; and create centers for improvement of undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and math ("STEM") fields via the STEM Talent Expansion Program ("STEP") program at the NSF. H.R. 362 has been endorsed by a broad range of businesses and universities as well as industry and education groups, including the Business Roundtable, Association of American Universities, Council on Competitiveness, the College Board, Semiconductor Industry Association, and the Business Software Alliance.

"As a former science teacher myself, I know firsthand the importance of a well-rounded education, and how studying the sciences can broaden a student's mind and strengthen academic performance," added Congressman Lampson. "I will continue to advocate common-sense solutions that support our students and teachers, and view this bill as a great step in that direction."

Yeah. Nick taught Physical Science right out of college. He has a great story about his students working on his campaigns. I want to see this succeed. I don't know about other campuses, but where I work the average age of a science teacher is 50. We will be needing more committed teachers in the near and distant future. All of that and now we have Cho and his copy cats coming on campus to spread their rabid thoughts and hollow tipped bullets.

A tall order to fill.

1 comment:

John Coby said...

The Texas Leg passed a bill that would require 4 years of science and math. This is good, but.......

They didn't provide the funds to convert classrooms to science rooms, or to hire more qualified teachers, or to teach the teachers.

So good news. Bad news.