Science teachers: DeVos’s Education Department is misinterpreting federal law

In Education On

Science educators aren’t exactly thrilled with the Education Department under Betsy DeVos.

They weren’t fans when President Trump recently pulled the United States out of the landmark Paris climate agreement (which all countries had signed except Syria and Nicaragua) — and DeVos issued a statement in support. And many educators were concerned when the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank that strongly backs DeVos and does not believe in human-induced climate change, sent to thousands of K-12 and college science teachers materials that reject basic principles on which nearly all climate scientists agree. A group of Democratic senators asked the Education Department whether DeVos or her staff had anything to do with this Heartland project.

Now, the National Science Teachers Association and the STEM Education Coalition have sent a letter to the Education Department saying it is misinterpreting the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal K-12 education law that replaced No Child Left Behind, in regard to science and school accountability plans.

. . .

The letter sent to the department, signed by David L. Evans, executive director of the NSTA, and James F. Brown, executive director of the STEM Education Coalition, says the department is telling states that science cannot be a priority as an accountability measure in evaluating student achievement under ESSA.

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