January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

State Board to Consider Adoption of New Science Standards on July 10

Posted: Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

by Jessica Sawko

On July 10 State Superintendent Tom Torlakson will present to the State Board of Education his recommendation for new science standards for California. Released on Friday, June 28, the proposed standards are essentially the Next Generation Science Standards that were released by Achieve in April, with a few modifications to the clarifying statements, and with the assignment of the middle school performance expectations to specific grades. The proposed standards, known as the “Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade 12“, are available on-line at http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/sc/ngssstandards.asp. The standards are organized by both Disciplinary Core Ideas (Life, Earth and Space, and Physical Science) and by Topic (chemical reactions, structure and function, or space systems).

The arrangement of the middle school standards proposed by Achieve into specific grades was work done by the Science Expert Panel (SEP) that was formed by the Superintendent to advise him on the new standards. All meetings of the SEP were open to the public. CSTA had several representatives on the panel. For more information about the guiding criteria used by the SEP as well as a roster of members, please view the complete State Board Agenda Information Item

CSTA will be at the State Board meeting on Wednesday, July 10 to represent the collective voice of its members. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting (1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814) or watch online. The board meeting begins at 8:30 am and the new science standards are Item #2 on the agenda. If you would like to submit a comment to the State Board, you may do so in person during the meeting (there is a two minute time limit) or in writing via email to sbe@cde.ca.gov. If submitting your comments via email, you must include the item number (Item #2) in the subject line. Email comments must be submitted by 12:00 pm on Monday, July 8. CSTA invites you to copy your email to us at csta@cascience.org so that we can continue to gather and monitor the views and opinions of our members and science teachers throughout the state.

While not anticipated by CSTA, the State Board will have the option to accept and adopt the proposed standards at this July meeting. Legislation requires the board to adopt, reject, or modify the proposed standards by November 30, 2013. They may, however, choose to do so prior to that. The board will also meet in September and may take up the issue again at that time. CSTA will keep you informed on any developments.

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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.