January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

CSTA Prepares to Provide Feedback to CDE on New Science Curriculum Framework

Posted: Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

by Jessica Sawko

Twenty five CSTA members are volunteering their time to review approximately 1,000 pages of the early draft of the new Science Curriculum Framework to support NGSS instruction in the classroom and provide guidance to publishers of instructional materials. They are reviewing the document and submitting their feedback to CSTA who will represent science educators from across the state at the end of this month, on August 27-28, when the Science Subject Matter Committee will meet. The Science Subject Matter Committee (SMC) is a committee of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) (formerly known as the Curriculum Commission) and is responsible for reviewing drafts of the framework and considering public feedback and incorporating that as appropriate as well as providing input based on their expertise. They then forward the draft to the full IQC for approval to be released for a 60-day public comment period.

Robert Foster, chair of the Science Subject Matter Committee being sworn in as a member of the Instructional Quality Commission in March 2014.

Robert Foster, chair of the Science Subject Matter Committee and Lori Freiermuth and Bill Honig, members of the Science SMC being sworn in as members of the Instructional Quality Commission in March 2014.

The Science SMC is chaired by Robert Foster, a middle school teacher at Beattie Middle School. He wrote in June to inform our readers about opportunities for participation in what will be the larger scale first public review, anticipated to take place in October and November of this year. Membership of the Science SMC is made up of the following additional members: Dean Reese, Vice Chair (high school science teacher at Tracy High Shool), Jocelyn Broemmelsiek (high school science teacher at San Dieguito High School Academy and CSTA member), Lori Freiermuth (high school algebra teacher at Olympian High School), Bill Honig (vice chair of the IQC and former state Superintendent), Brian Muller (teacher in LAUSD with experience teaching physics), and Julie Spykerman (math curriculum specialist for the Anaheim Unified High School District).

I have had the pleasure of meeting all of the members of the Science SMC and their commitment, along with CDE, the IQC, and ultimately the State Board of Education, to producing a high quality tool for educators, administrators, and publisher alike, to fully support successful implementation of California’s Next Generation Science Standards, is steadfast. CSTA has taken advantage of every opportunity thus far to provide input into the document and its development. Dozens of CSTA members have been and are involved in the writing, advising, and crafting of this document. We look look forward to continuing our participation in this critical process and representing our 2,500+ members.

15BrochureCoverSmallIf you would like to know more about the new Science Curriculum Framework and how it will be useful to you as a science teacher, I encourage you to register for the 2015 California Science Education Conference taking place this October 2-4 in Sacramento. One of the workshops on the schedule is a presentation on the Science Curriculum Framework by CDE staff and the lead framework authors, CSTA members Maria Simani and Kirk Brown.

Finally, thank you to the members of the 2015/2016 CSTA NGSS Committee for their many hours of volunteer work to review and provide input on the draft document:

Peter A’Hearn
Laura Henriques
Juanita Chan
Bethany Dixon
Joseph Calmer
Ashley Carter
Jim Clark
John Galisky
Susan Gomez-Zwiep
Jill Grace
Lisa Hegdahl
Kurt Holland
Samantha Johnson
Sinead Klement
Elizabeth Marroquin
Kasha Maslowski
Joanne Michael
Hope Oliver
Rodney Olson
Jeff Orlinsky
Katrina Rotter
Katherine Schenkelberg
Katie Tobin
Camie Walker
Yvonne White

 

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

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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

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

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

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.