May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Science Assessment in CA – What are your thoughts?

Posted: Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

One of the most common questions CSTA has received from its members, and the science teacher community in general, when talking about the future of science education is: “what about science assessments?”.

The answer, in short, is that there is currently no answer, and the subject is currently under discussion. Well now there is an opportunity for you to weigh in on the future of science assessment in California!  

As part of the process in developing recommendations to the Legislature for the reauthorization of the California pupil assessment system, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI), Tom Torlakson, is seeking your help.

All Californians have a unique opportunity to provide thoughts on and suggestions for what they think should be included in this system. Comments will be vital in helping the SSPI make his recommendations to the Legislature.

The California reauthorized assessment system will work in conjunction with the assessments being developed by the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). California is one of SBAC’s governing states. The assessments being developed by SBAC are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and will assess students in mathematics and English–language arts in grades three through eight and grade eleven.

In addition, there are on-going conversations around the testing of science at grade levels four and above, about the use of performance-based assessment, and the use of matrix sampling.

The following opportunities exist for you to provide feedback on the reauthorization of California’s pupil assessment system:

  • Complete a brief survey (including questions on the inclusion of science assessments in California’s assessment system): To access the English version of the survey, select the following link: http://bit.ly/reauthorization. To access the Spanish version of the survey, select the following link: http://bit.ly/exámenes. The survey will close August 31, 2012.
  • Send comments by e-mail to reauthorization@cde.ca.gov.
  • Attend the Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Work Group meetings, which are open to the public.

To access the schedule select the following link: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/ab250.asp.

We encourage you to forward this e-mail to others you think may be interested in providing input.

If the survey does not allow you to express your thoughts completely, please send an email to reauthorization@cde.ca.gov and copy CSTA at csta@cascience.org so that we can keep informed on what our members want, and continue to represent their voices at the State Board of Education and other meetings at the state level.

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.

2 Responses

  1. The link for the English version survey needs an URL in order to access. I was unable to access due to this problem.

  2. Linda, Thank you for letting us know about the link errors! I have fixed them.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

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.

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Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

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The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.