January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

The Door Has Opened a Crack – Let’s Work Together to Push It Wide Open

Posted: Friday, November 4th, 2011

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

At this year’s California Science Education Conference our president Rick Pomeroy was able to express the thanks that many of us need to continue to express. Thanks to California Senator Loni Hancock for her work – her dedication – to SB 300 signed by Governor Brown on October 8. Thanks to Christine Bertrand, recently retired Executive Director of CSTA, who worked even after her retirement to see SB 300 through to the Governor’s desk. Finally, thanks to all of the CSTA members who made their voices heard about science education in California.

In case you were unable to express your voice or thanks it is not too late. Many of the letters to the Governor, that urged him signing SB 300, were from business or industry partners of educators across the state. No, this is not a CTE bill–it is referred to as the “Pupil instruction: instructional materials: content standards legislation.” In brief though what it does is move forward the updating of California’s science content documents for education and encourages the use of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as the template for science standards that include engineering process, not just content, and parallels the more rigorous critical thinking and other 21st Century Skills seen in the math and reading/language arts California Common Core State Standards.

Those of you who know me know I tend to see things as half-full, and this is wonderful news to encourage science and all other educators. However, the issue is not over. So if you have the chance to express your support for rigorous, inquiry- and process-based science that is up-to-date for our students (Pre-K through high school), then speak up, please. While SB 300 requires the Superintendent (SPI) to present the new standards to the State Board of Education (SBE) by March 30, 2013, the SBE has the option to accept, modify, or reject the proposed standards. Additionally, the SBE and the SPI must present to the governor and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature a schedule and implementation plan for integrating the science content standards adopted. Please encourage them to do what is best for students, not just what’s affordable, but and investment in our future. Remind those you work with that we need to move education forward to serve our students now, and our society in the future.

As Herb Brunkorst, CSTA member and faculty member at CSU San Bernardino said:

“The door to the future of science education in California has opened a crack. We can let it shut and lose a chance for changing science education for the next 20 years, or we can push through it and move on to a new and exciting frontier.”

Please read over the language (below) that has opened this door. The door is open a crack, now is the time to realize that if we don’t encourage the best possible action now we lose our opportunity for a future where science education is of the quality our children deserve.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) It is widely acknowledged that California has the eighth largest economy in the world.

(b) California must develop scientifically and technologically literate citizens in order to maintain our edge in the world economy.

(c) The state’s current science content standards do not include any mention of biotechnologies or nanotechnologies, and they do not require pupils to learn about environmental issues or the fact that Pluto is no longer considered a planet.

(d) The state’s science content standards were developed in 1998 and are now 13 years old.

(e) There is nothing in current law that requires science content standards to be reviewed and updated.

SEC. 2.  Section 60605.85 is added to the Education Code, to read:

60605.85.  (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the state board shall adopt science content standards pursuant to the following requirements:

(1) The Superintendent, in consultation with the state board, shall convene a group of science experts. The Superintendent shall ensure that the members of the group of science experts include, but are not limited to, individuals who are elementary and secondary science teachers, schoolsite principals, school district or county office of education administrators, and university professors. The Superintendent and the group of science experts shall recommend science content standards for adoption to the state board and shall utilize the Next Generation Science Standards as the basis for their deliberations and recommendations to the state board.

(2) The Superintendent shall hold a minimum of two public meetings pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) in order for the public to provide input on the science content standards that would be recommended pursuant to paragraph (1).

(3) The Superintendent shall present the recommended science content standards to the state board on or before March 30, 2013.

(4) On or before July 30, 2013, the state board shall adopt, reject, or modify the science content standards presented by the Superintendent.

(5) If the state board modifies the science content standards presented by the Superintendent, it shall provide written reasons for its modifications in a public meeting. The state board shall adopt its modifications to the science content standards at a subsequent public meeting held no later than July 30, 2013. The public meetings required by this paragraph shall be held pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(b) The Superintendent and the state board shall present to the Governor and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature a schedule and implementation plan for integrating the science content standards adopted pursuant to this section into the state educational system.

(c) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2014, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before July 1, 2014, deletes or extends that date.

 

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s secretary and chair of CSTA’s Legislative Oversight Committee.

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.

3 Responses

  1. In the 45 years I had been teaching I had seen four sets of standards go through. The first were content performance, then thematically based. The latest we have lived with was constructed by “experts” who were appointed not for their classroom skills but for their notoriety (Seaborg). One example is grade 7 standard on plants and animal structure function is ONE standard for at least a quarter’s work. When we tried to update those standards about after 12 years, we found the standards could only be changed by the legislature and we could only address the framework, how it was taught. The weaknesses still exist.
    My son runs a nanotechnology lab at UCLA. During the 7 years it took to build the lab arrangements required four changes to accommodate the new technologies. Change is fast.

  2. How about making science as important as language arts and math in the california state standards?

  3. […] of SB 300 authorizing the rewriting of the California science education […]

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LATEST POST

California Science Test Academy for Educators

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018

California Science Test Academy for Educators

To support implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education is partnering with Educational Testing Service and WestEd to offer a one-day CAST Academy for local educational agency (LEA) science educators, to be presented at three locations in California from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate virtually via WebEx on one of the dates listed below.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2018—Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018—Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018—Irvine

The CAST Academy will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. The academy also will provide information and activities designed to assist educators in their implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help them gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning. The CAST Academy dates above are intended for school and district science instructional leaders, including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches. Additional trainings will be offered at a later date specifically for county staff. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from this training.

A $100 registration fee will be charged for each person attending the in-person training. Each virtual team participating via WebEx will be charged $100 for up to 10 participants through one access point. Each workshop will have the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 50 virtual teams. Each virtual team will need to designate a lead, who is responsible for organizing the group locally. Registration and payment must be completed online at http://www.cvent.com/d/6tqg8k.

For more information regarding the CAST Academy, please contact Elizabeth Dilke, Program Coordinator, Educational Testing Service, by phone at 916-403-2407 or by e‑mail at caasppworkshops@ets.org.

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.

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. Learn More…

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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.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal 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.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. 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.