CSTA . . . Working for YOU!
CSTA is a proactive voice for K-16 science teachers in the state. Through our leadership and staff, we are present at State Board of Education and Instructional Quality Commission meetings and at Legislative hearings, on an ongoing basis, to promote the needs of our members and science education.
- In November 2013, collaboarated with other education organizations to successfully convince the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to remove all language regarding recommended instructional minutes for English Language Arts instructional materials from the draft ELA/ELD curriculum framework.
- Relentlessly pursued for years and ultimately accomplished in 2011 the passage of legislation to revise the California science content standards (SB 300 – Hancock, 2011). Ultimately leading to the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards for California in September 2013.
- Through our advocacy efforts and in collaboration with education partners, prevented the slashing of the high school science graduation requirement from two years to one in 2012
- In 2004, the state issued the criteria that would be used to evaluate textbooks and other instructional materials, in preparation for the 2006 adoption of science materials. The original criteria limited the amount of hands-on activities that could be offered to no more than 25% of instructional time. CSTA was instrumental in getting the state to change the science criteria from no more than 25% to at least 25% hands-on instruction.
- CSTA closely followed the science adoption throughout 2005 and 2006, to try to ensure the integrity of the process. Our ongoing observations of Curriculum Commission meetings were invaluable in overturning or preventing several egregious irregularities in the process. (See our letter to the State Board of Education.)
- CSTA organized science teachers from around the state to review the submitted instructional materials for the 2006 adoption and conduct a "parallel" review to that of the state. Our teams attended the state deliberations meetings to oversee the process and comment if we observed deviation from stated protocols. Our attendance at the meetings proved to be important safeguards against some deviations that would have proved fatal to the adoption of some very good programs.
- In 2002, the State Board of Education, dismayed by the low test scores in Integrated Science, considered dropping Integrated Science from the state testing scheme. Had that occurred, it could have spelled the end of Integrated Science altogether, as few districts would consider offering integrated programs that would not be part of the STAR tests. CSTA offered to spearhead the revision of the Integrated Science test to a more useful format for districts, so that the state board would not eliminate it from the testing scheme. See the Model Instructional Sequences we developed to assist districts with Integrated Science programs.