Your CSTA Needs You
Posted: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
by Rick Pomeroy
As I begin to conclude my first year as your president, I have come to realize that running this Association takes a tremendous amount of effort and time from the professional staff in the office, the Board of Directors, the Conference Committee Members, and the CSTA members who have volunteered to assist these people with the day to day operation of CSTA. Unfortunately, we do not have as many volunteer members working on CSTA committees as we would like. This, in large part, has to do with our lack of outreach efforts to our members for this type of support. Starting with this article and the Survey Form linked to this article, I hope to change this for next year and well into the future.
We are missing the voices of the majority of the members. In order to make a professional association work, the members need to be involved. As any of us who have ever participated in a volunteer organization know, it is not healthy for the organization nor the members to have a select few volunteers doing all of the decision-making and implementation of those decisions. As we move into these coming years of new standards, new assessments, and changes in the role of science in the core curriculum, it is important to have members involved at all levels.
I would like to encourage you to give a little bit of your time to the Association as it works on your behalf by serving on one of our standing committees. This is the easiest way to test the waters of being involved in your Association leadership. Committees meet (usually by teleconference call) when there are issues that need to be dealt with. Their decisions are then carried to the Board of Directors for action. The committee then organizes and implements the Board’s recommendations. Committee members represent the interests and needs of the members and contribute their voices to the conversations that guide Association decisions. In the past, committees have met infrequently (less than 5-6 times a year) but their input has been substantial and valued.
Please review the brief committee descriptions below and go to the Survey Form to indicate your interest in participating on a committee. To serve on a CSTA committee, a person needs to be a current member of CSTA, have the willingness to help, and be formally appointed by the President.
Finance Committee: In collaboration with the Executive Director, develops the annual budget, monitor’s income and expenditures, and makes recommendations to the Board on issues related to the financial health of the Association.
Legislative Oversight Committee: Monitors current and proposed legislation, develops recommended responses for the Board, President, and Executive Director, and assists in informing the CSTA Membership on legislative issues that pertain to science education in California. If available, members may be called on to speak to proposed legislation at information meetings or hearings using the Board approved position statements.
Membership, Pre-service, & Marketing Committee: Monitors Association membership and works with the Board and professional staff to engage members in the Association. Develops strategies to increase the number of members through outreach to pre-service and new teachers as well as previous or non-current members. Develops plans to provide value for Association membership to CSTA members and communicates these opportunities to members.
Publications and Materials Review Committee: Over sees and assists in the creation, editing, and publication of the Association’s electronic newsletter, California Classroom Science (CCS) and other publications of the Association.
Electronic Communications Committee: Develops, monitors, and participates in all phases of the Associations electronic communications media including but not limited to email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, and other media as appropriate. Members of this committee assist in the maintenance of the electronic contact information for members.
2013 Conference Committee: Participates in the planning and implementation of the 2013 California Science Education Conference (to be held in Palm Springs, October 24-27, 2013). Members of this committee assist in the identification and solicitation of speakers, assist in the review of conference short courses and workshop proposals, and assist on site with logistical tasks. This committee holds 2-3 on site meetings, in August, November, and February. Costs for travel to these planning meetings may be supported by CSTA. Members from the Palm Springs area are encouraged to apply.
Ad hoc NSTA Relations Committee: The major focus of this committee is to open communications with NSTA on plans for their 2014 Regional Conference and their 2017 National Conference, both of which are proposed for California venues.
Ad hoc Long Term Planning Committee: Analyzes data from past Association activities and proposes strategies to maximize return on investment in the future. Topics addressed by this committee will likely include conference and membership issues.
Ad hoc NGSS Committee: Monitors the process for the development and review of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and any new science standards proposed for California, develops and recommends strategies to support adoption, implementation, and professional development focused on these standards and the subsequent framework development and adoption process.
There are clearly many opportunities for you be involved in CSTA. There is a lot of work to be done, and we need your help to do it. Please visit the Survey Form and provide information about the committees or other areas where you would like to volunteer for your Association. This information will only be used for CSTA purposes.
Access the survey form with the links above or by entering the following url directly into your browser:
Rick Pomeroy is science education lecturer/supervisor in the School of Education, University of California, Davis and is CSTA’s president.
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.
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
What follows are several opportunities for science teachers to work with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on various projects that have direct or indirect implications for the implementation of NGSS in California. Please consider applying to one or more of the following opportunities.
CSET Field Testing Opportunities
Field testing opportunities for future CSET Multiple Subjects and Science tests are available beginning Dec. 5, 2016. Participants will have the choice between a $50 Barnes and Noble eGift Card or a $75 test fee voucher that may be applied to future test registration fees. For more information, including how to register to participate, please visit: http://www.pearsonvue.com/espilot/cset.asp. Learn More…
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…
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…
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.