In the news: Reaction to the new federal education law, environmental studies and more Ian Hanigan December 11, 2015 Guess what? It’s Friday again, and we’ve got a week’s worth of education stories you might have missed. Education leaders say they’re encouraged by the new federal legislation that will replace No Child Left Behind, saying states will now have more of a say in how teachers and schools are assessed. Closer to home, Orange County educators are also optimistic. Six students from Washington Middle School in La Habra won a $10,000 prize after devising a plan to reduce water usage on campus. They’re now in the running for a $30,000 grand prize in the of the Lexus Eco Challenge. GATE students at Circle View Elementary in the Ocean View School District learned about constellations, space craft design and more during the school’s Space Day on Dec. 3. Gifted students held back by learning disabilities are finding hope through a new school that specializes in meeting their needs. Costa Mesa High students are performing scientific field studies for research projects in Newport Banning Ranch thanks to a partnership between the Newport Banning Land Trust and the Institute for Conservation Research and Education. Project Zero Waste, a partnership between OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program and OC Waste & Recycling, earned a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association. Though a large percentage of preschoolers speak a language other than English in the home, preschool teachers often don’t have the training to teach English-learners.