The National Science Foundation has awarded $2 million to the National Science Teachers Association to help middle school teachers prepare to implement national standards for science education.
The teachers' group will use the grant for a series of summer institutes to expose teachers to the standards being developed by the National Academy of Sciences. The academy's National Research Council expects to release a draft of the standards this summer.
The new initiative, which has been named the Teacher Enhancement in Support of Higher Standards Program, is open to teachers in grades 6-9.
The first summer institutes will be held next year.
This summer, the association will survey middle school teachers nationwide, asking them to rate their need for information on topics that are expected to be included in the standards.
The four-week institutes, each on one topic, will be held each year for three years.
For information or to receive a survey form, write to the T.E.S.H.S. Project, c/o N.S.T.A., 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va., 22201.
In response to an apparent increase in efforts to infuse creationism into the science curriculum, a nonprofit science-education group based in California has set up a toll-free hot line to give teachers, school board members, and parents advice on how to resist pressure to teach creationism.
The National Center for Science Education Inc., based in Berkeley, Calif., announced the telephone line in the most recent issue of its newsletter, "N.C.S.E. Reports.''
Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the N.C.S.E., said the hot line will fill a need. She noted that over the past two years calls for information have increased.
Although a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibited laws requiring the teaching of creationism when evolution is taught, she said there has been a recent increase in "neocreationism,'' which she characterized as using pseudoscientific terms to mask religious teaching.
One nationally prominent example of the trend occurred last summer in the Vista, Calif., school district, where a self-described "Christian literalist'' majority dominates the school board. The board approved a policy calling for "scientific alternatives'' to evolution to be taught in science classes. (See Education Week, Sept. 8, 1993.)
The N.S.C.E. legal and professional advisers can be reached at (800)