September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

SB 300 Amended for Second Time; It and SB 402 Move to Assembly Appropriations Committee

Posted: Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Jessica Sawko

SB300: (Hancock) is a CSTA-sponsored bill that requires the review and revision of the science (and history-social science) content standards. The bill was amended in May to remove the proposed 22-member commission and give the authority to amend the out-dated science standards to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with a final up or down vote required by the State Board of Education. The bill was amended for a second time at the end of June as it moved to the Assembly Education Committee. The latest version of the bill calls for the establishment of a smaller, nine member Academic Content Standards Commission for Science. This commission would be tasked with making recommendations to the State Board of Education by January 1, 2013 to modify, revise, and update the science content standards .

STATUS:  The bill passed the Assembly Education Committee as amended and was re-referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB402: (Correa) states the intent of the legislature that 21st century skills be integrated into the curriculum frameworks of core curricula, including English language arts, math, science, history-social science, visual and performing arts, and world languages.

STATUS: One June 22, the Assembly Education Committee re-referred the bill to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB250: (Brownley) was amended by the author on June 29 and was re-referred to the Senate Education Committee. It is set for hearing on July 6.

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.

5 Responses

  1. Nooooo! Just adopt the national standards, and be done with it! They’re “off the shelf” and way cheaper than re-inventing the wheel. And national standards are much better than 9 Californians can ever write.

    Witness California’s present 5th grade biology standards – biological plumbing? Why just plumbing? Was that some sort of weird compromise? And the over-emphasis on chemistry in the 5th grade with salts having their own separate standard. What’s the big deal with salts? I’ll bet the original committee membership had something to do with that. And that’s just fifth grade because I know it the best.

    I agree the standards badly need to be updated, but after writing lessons to the national standards, I’m spoiled by their well thought out excellence.

  2. I so agree with Susan Morrison. I know it from the 7th and 8th sci stds. 7th is a weird rag bag of topics. 8th neglects to include work, energy and simple machines in it’s force and motion standards. What? Oh and the astronomy standards have as a separated standard that students will know the shapes of galaxies….

  3. If you look at the history of the last revision – that is spelled out in the 2005 Fordham report on the standards of the 50 states – California brought in Glen Seaborg ( the same one that Seaborgium is named after). His philosophy was that all students just need to know facts and nothing more and he pushed this view into the standards. This is also why there are weird chemistry concepts where they should not be.

    Those in power at the time also felt that inquiry based learning was wrong and they pushed out anyone who tried to promote it. This decision has lead to California ranking at the bottom of NAEP testing while more innovative states like Florida that adopted inquiry based learning into their standards in 2008 has seen tremendous learning gains and winning the race to the top grant.

    It came down to a political shell game that lead to the destruction of science education. and it goes to show that just because a person is an eminent scientist in one field does not mean they will be an excellent educator. In fact it was an insult to educators that “anyone can write standards”. Yet, Seaborg has certainly demonstrated that this is not the case and he should have stuck with chemistry as his chosen field because he certainly doesn’t understand how to get children to learn science.

  4. Thanks for your comments. SB 300 does not specifically call for a review of the current standards but instead opens the door for a reconsideration of the science standards “writ large”. This is a first step in beginning the process for any standards review which would surely include a review of any available National Standards once they have become available. The recent alignment of California with the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Development Consortium and California’s adoption of the Common Core Standards in Math and English Language Arts should be taken as a good sign that there may be a change in California’s belief that our state must have its own unique standards. This is just the beginning of the process which will unfold over the next several years. Your continued interest and voice is important to insure that we don’t just settle for the status quo.

  5. […] 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 […]

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