2011/2012 Legislative Year Comes to a Close
Posted: Monday, October 1st, 2012
The end of the 2011/2012 legislative year is here and with it come a few changes for education in California. Below is a list of approvals and vetos by Governor Brown on a few key bills that CSTA has been tracking.
SB 1200 (Hancock): This is a two part bill. One part of the bill will allow the Superintendent at the State Board to modify the Common Core math standards that were adopted in 2010. A group of experts including teachers will make the recommendations for changes to the Superintendent and there were will two public meetings held on the proposed modifications. Per the language of the bill, the modifications that are recommended to the state board shall:
(1) The rigor of the state common core academic content standards in mathematics is maintained so that all high school graduates are prepared for college and careers, as specified in the common core academic content standards.
(2) All of the common core academic standards developed by the consortium or interstate collaboration set forth in Section 60605.7 are adopted.
(3) One set of standards is adopted at each grade level.
(4) The content standards for algebra I are based upon the common core academic content standards for mathematics.
(5) Redundant mathematics standards are eliminated.
(6) The implementation of standards is improved.
(7) Any technical issues in the standards are resolved.
(8) The modifications amount to no more than 15 percent of the common core academic content standards adopted by the state board.
The second part of this bill provides for an extension of the timeline for the adoption of new science standards. The original timeline for new science standards was initially outlined in SB 300 (Hancock), which was due to for presentation to the State Board of Education by March 30, 2013 with adoption, revision, or rejection by the State Board due July 30, 2013. The amendment to SB 1200, however, extends these deadlines to July 31, 2013 and November 30, 2013, respectively. This extension is a result of the extension of the timeline for the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. Now anticipated to be in their final form in the spring of 2013. For more information about the Next Generation Science Standards, visit http://www.cascience.org/csta/ngss.asp.
AB 1246 (Brownley): This bill makes several key changes to the textbook adoption process, the first of which would change the textbook adoption cycle from six to eight years. In addition, the state board is currently required to approve the criteria for review and adoption of instructional materials at least 30 months before the materials are actually adopted, this bill would shorten this to only 12 months, greatly reducing the textbook adoption cycle timeline. Finally, the bill would also give school districts increased flexibility in selecting instructional materials that were not adopted by the state board as long as the materials went through a selection review process that includes a majority of classroom teachers and that the materials selected for purchase are aligned with state standards.
SB 1458 (Steinberg): This bill allows and calls for modifications to the elements that make up the Academic Performance Index (API). Beginning in 2016, the results of the achievement tests shall constitute no more than 60% of the value of the index for secondary schools. For primary and middle schools results of the achievement tests shall constitute at least 60 percent of the value of the index. Other modifications that may be considered by the Superintendent and the state board include:
- the incorporation of the rate at which pupils successfully promote from one grade to the next in middle school and high school, and successfully matriculate from middle school to high school.
- the incorporation into the index for secondary schools valid, reliable, and stable measures of pupil preparedness for postsecondary education and career.
- the development and implementation of a program of school quality review that features locally convened panels to visit schools, observe teachers, interview pupils, and examine pupil work, if an appropriation for this purpose is made in the annual Budget Act.
In addition, on or before October 1, 2013, the Superintendent shall report to the Legislature and recommend to the state board for adoption a method or methods for increasing the emphasis on pupil mastery of standards in science and social science through the system of public school accountability or by other means.
For more on this bill visit EdSource’s “Brown signs bill moving API away from standardized tests“.
AB 1521 (Brownley): Adds a section to the Education Code to authorize the State Department of Education, subject to the approval of the state board, to make a primary language assessment available to school districts and charter schools. This assessment would allow school districts and charter schools to assess pupils enrolled in a dual language immersion program, as specified, and who are either nonlimited English proficient or redesignated fluent English proficient. The bill also requires that if a school district or charter school chooses to administer the primary language assessment it must do so at its own expense, and enter into an agreement with the state testing contractor, subject to the approval of the Department of Education.
AB 1967 (Perez): Calls for the state board to ensure that the health and science curriculum frameworks adopted in the next submission cycle include the subject of organ procurement and tissue donation, as appropriate.
The Governor vetoed two bills that CSTA was tracking, SB 1154 (Walters) and AB 1790 (Hagman). The way the bills were written, they were dependent on the other being passed in order to be effective. In his veto message for SB 1154 the Governor stated: “Providing on-line instructional materials and coursework to pupils in California is an educational goal that I very much share. This bill, however, does not accomplish that goal. Instead it puts unrealistic requirements on California’s businesses that will lead to increased costs of instructional materials.”
Together, the bills would have required that if a publisher offers a printed instructional material or supplemental instructional material in an equivalent digital format, the digital format will cost either the same as, or less than, the printed material. They would have also required printed and digital materials to be offered in an unbundled format to allow for the purchasing of one format or another, or both. It would have also allowed a school district to purchase and use digital instructional materials to create a district-wide online digital database for classroom use consistent with an online security system as mutually agreed on by the publisher and the school district. Publishers or manufacturers would have been required to ensure that printed instructional material submitted for adoption were also available in an equivalent digital format during the entire term of the adoption.
As always CSTA will monitor and update you on new legislation impacting science education during the next legislative year.
Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.
For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.
The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…