January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

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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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

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If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. 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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. 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.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.