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Strengthening Science Education in California
SRI and partners are studying an initiative that examines the quality of science teaching and learning in the state.
Concerned that too few California public school children have access to high-quality learning opportunities in science, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd brought together researchers from SRI’s Center for Education Policy and from the Lawrence Hall of Science to investigate science education in California.
The researchers worked in collaboration to conduct statewide surveys of California districts, principals, and teachers and to conduct site visits to elementary schools. Their first report, High Hopes – Few Opportunities: The Status of Elementary Science Education in California, revealed that pressure to meet accountability goals in mathematics and English has resulted in limited instructional time for science and that teachers and schools do not have the infrastructure to consistently provide students with quality science learning opportunities.
The second report, Untapped Potential: The Status of Middle School Science Education in California, highlighted that the state’s middle schools have the potential to provide students with high-quality science education, but significant challenges limit opportunities for science learning, leaving that potential unfulfilled.