March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Increasing Awareness of Common Core Standards Among Community College Faculty

Posted: Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

by Carolyn Holcroft

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance community college education in California. Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations grants the ASCCC authority to represent community college faculty to the California Board of Governors (BOG) and the Chancellor’s Office, serving as a unified faculty voice in matters of statewide concern. In keeping with this purpose, the ASCCC holds two plenary meetings each year. These provide community college faculty with opportunities to discuss issues facing California educators, and the meetings culminate in a formal resolution process to advise ASCCC leadership on how to represent CCC faculty to the BOG or Chancellor’s Office.

At the fall plenary meeting, held November 8-10, 2012 in Irvine, CA, one of the breakout discussions was specifically designed to introduce California community college (CCC) faculty to the Common Core Standards (if they weren’t aware of them already!) and discuss ways that faculty can remain informed and even participate in the implementation efforts. The session featured meaningful dialog about the common goals that community college faculty share with K-12 colleagues in terms of college-readiness for California students and it’s especially noteworthy that the Common Core Standards already overlap the Competencies Statements developed by the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS). If you’re interested in viewing the Power Point presentation from this session, you may download it from http://asccc.org/sites/default/files/College%20Readiness%20-%20ASCCC%20F2012.ppt.

On the final day of the plenary meeting, constituents debated and voted on a number of resolutions. One of these was titled, “Endorse Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English.” The full text of the adopted resolution is below, for reference, and affirms ASCCC support for the intent behind the Common Core Standards. CCC faculty certainly share the desire to increase student preparedness for college-level study and are looking forward to further dialog about the implementation of the CCS, and hearing about the results from the pilot studies currently underway by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The next plenary meeting will be held on April 18-20, 2013 in San Francisco.

Text of Resolution:

15.01  -F12    Endorse Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English

Whereas, California is one of 45 states that have adopted the K-12 Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which establish knowledge, skills, and practices that are essential for college and career readiness;

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges endorsed the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) competency statements for both mathematics and English Language Arts, which set expectations for entering freshmen in these two critical content areas, and CCSS match nearly all expectations outlined by ICAS in both subject areas;

Whereas, The Senate has multiple resolutions calling for better preparation of high school students and more communication with K-12 partners, which is occurring through the implementation of the CCSS, and Student Success Task Force recommendation 1.1 calls for alignment of curriculum between K-12 and community colleges; and

Whereas, The Early Assessment Program (EAP), a college-readiness indicator developed by CSU and used by many community colleges in the state, grants entry into transfer-level courses to students who score at a particular level, and the Senate has several resolutions endorsing the use of EAP solely to identify and place students who do not need remediation into transfer-level courses;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges endorse the intent of the Common Core State Standards for K-12 as sufficient preparation for high school students planning to attend college and enroll in transfer-level coursework.”

Written by Carolyn Holcroft

Carolyn Holcroft

Carolyn Holcroft is a biology professor at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA and is a CSTA member.

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CSTA Endorses March for Science

Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.

The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.

There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

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.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

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…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

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…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

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…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.