March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

President’s Message

Posted: Monday, August 1st, 2011

by Rick Pomeroy

It is the beginning of August and time to start transitioning from summer vacation to the start of the school year. It is time to put away the shorts and flip flops, tool belts and paint brushes, beach novels and travel maps, and begin to think about lesson plans and activities, objectives and standards, students and exciting ways to engage them in our passions for science. Like the changing seasons, August always awakens a bit of wonder about what is to come.  Will it be a good year, will my students really get it this year, will they be excited to learn new things, will I be able to provide the right environment for them so that we are all engaged in challenging and worth while learning experiences?

As we begin the 2011 school year, there are several exciting opportunities on the horizon that could change the landscape in science education in California for years to come. On June 9, California announced that it would join the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium in a leadership role for the development of a new assessment system aligned with the Common Core Standards for Math and English Language Arts. Though science is not yet included, the fact that the State has joined in this role is an indication of a willingness to revamp our current assessment systems by the 2014-15 school year and to align them with nationally adopted curricula. This opens the door to a revamped science assessment system if and when the science framework and science standards are updated. On July 19, the National Research Council released A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Though I have not managed to read the entire Framework, the executive summary advocates for more depth and less breadth in the content to be covered (See the article in this issue of eCCS).

As stated in last month’s eCCS, Senate Bill 300 continues to move forward.  This bill, sponsored by CSTA, calls for the restarting of the standards review process with a report to the State Board of Education presented in January 2013.  (See report in July eCCS).  This does not mean that only the existing standards will be reviewed. What we are hoping for is that this will trigger a rethinking of the content of the standards and the possibility of adopting standards with a more national focus. To this end, we are anticipating the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in late 2012.

As you can see, there is a lot happening in California with the potential of updating and modifying the science curriculum.  As members of CSTA and/or friends of science education in California, it is important to stay abreast of the developments and to voice your opinions about the direction California should take. At CSTA, we will be monitoring all of the developments and distributing information as quickly as possible.

Finally, now is the time to make plans to attend the California Science Education Conference in Pasadena on October 21 – 23. The planning committee has done an outstanding job of bringing together a wide range of workshops, short courses, field courses, and speakers to pique even the most experienced teacher’s interest.  I look forward to seeing you in Pasadena in October.

Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California, Davis and is CSTA’s president.


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Written by Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy

Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California Davis.

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