CongressmanLtr askMeeting

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					Sample letter to request a group meeting in home office to educate about the need for professional
development.

(date)

Honorable Congressman --------------:

I would like to make a small group appointment (with two high school science teachers) to talk with you
in your home office about the ESEA reauthorization -- specifically, how it is in danger of negatively
affecting high school science teaching and learning in Connecticut's schools (and nationwide, too).

The ESEA Title IIA "Improving Teacher Quality" program is slated to die. It is the ONLY Federal source
of funding that is available for enhancement of high school science teachers.

(DoEd Math and Science Partnerships are designed for K-8 teachers. They are not discipline-specific,
which is what high school science teachers need. Another problem is that MSP grants go to high-poverty
school districts, but what is needed for high school science teachers are grants to university science
departments. High school science teachers must connect to them, since their students will soon go to
college. Tuition is expensive, so grants are necessary.)

High school science teacher enhancement is crucial to Connecticut's economic development! Did you
know that most high school physics and chemistry teachers do NOT have a degree in their field? The
situation is even worse for 9th grade physical science teachers: many did not major in ANY physical
science.

Thus summer professional development in research-validated content and pedagogy is of critical
importance. It is far more important -- and useful in the classroom -- than the summer internships that
Congress funds in our national labs thru the U.S. Department of Energy! (America Competes Act).

I urge you to authorize the NSF to re-instate summer institutes for teachers, too.

The Modeling Instruction Program is a national grass-roots professional development program for high
school science teachers. I have taken three summer Modeling Workshops at Bridgewater State University,
paid for mostly with ESEA Title IIA “Improving Teacher Quality” grant monies. As a result my students
learn critical and creative thinking, teamwork, data analysis, verbal and written communication, use of the
computer as a scientific tool -- workplace skills that Connecticut companies like GE, United
Technologies, Applera, Kaman, PanAmSat, and Rogers Corporation want.

				
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posted:10/5/2012
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