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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HIgh School Science Adoption Survey

The High School Science Instructional Materials Adoption page has links to surveys for staff, students and community/family members. That they are asking for student input is great so encourage your student to take the survey. The surveys close on Jan. 6th.

They are also looking for members of the Science Instructional Materials Adoption Committee. The application period closes on Jan. 6th and you will be notified by January 14th.

5 comments:

ParentofThree said...

"What are the current science curriculum materials your child is using that supports their achievement of the WA State Science Standards?"

Seriously? What parent has reviewed science materials against the standards.

and this...
"Probeware"

Not sure what it is, but I can tell ya I don't want me kids near it, sounds creepy.

peonypower said...

Probeware is a some very cool computer based technology that allows students to detect speed, motion, force, carbon dioxide, oxygen, light, temperature, etc. They come from a company called vernier and they are a fantastic piece of technology used at high school.

On the other side- my favorite question for teachers is do you use "science equipment", and as the district supplies none at the secondary level I guess this means rubber bands and pencils. Unless of course you have asked your PTSA for a grant to buy probeware.

peonypower said...

Oh and please keep in mind that high school science is being dismantled and rebuilt. I am working on the full write up of this disaster, but you can kiss Garfield's science program goodbye. They are already re-tooling for next year.

No where in this survey is there a place to ask for teacher designed community oriented science standard based instruction, because apparently this is not wanted or is seen as ineffective.

ParentofThree said...

Question: What was broken at the high school science level that it needs to be completely dismantled and rebuilt?

Eric M said...

Indeed. What was broken?

Apparently, the only way to get better science programs into Rainier Beach is to homogenize science programs throughout the district. Early on, the reason offered was that if students transferred between district high schools, they would then be able to step right in to their new class without losing any time.

Of course this is nonsense - do you really invest bazillions of person-hours revamping a system with the goal of accommodating 1% (at most, there were no actual numbers supplied, except by teachers in rebuttal) of your clientele? Teachers challenged this notion, and have since been supplied with equally flimsy and after-the-fact rationale.

Why, then? Because SPS got (was given, without asking for it) a Gates grant to do "science alignment". Why the hurry? Because the Gates grant runs out in less than a year. Why are we always chasing this kind of "Quick, do something thoughtless money!" in this district?

Why are the people charged with administering the "alignment process" so startlingly unfamiliar with science teaching? (Post from another commenter, a few days ago: I sat through a meeting where Cathy Thompson mis-stated the scope of science standards from the state. She kept referring to k-10 and our new standards go k-12. A pretty big gaffe to make in front of a room full of angry science teachers.)

SPS HSPE science test numbers are better than the state average. High Schools with the best scores are precisely those schools with exemplary, innovative, entrepreneurial science programs that reflect the expertise and passions of their teaching staff.

Let's make them look like the other schools.

Instead of asking '"How could we get the other schools to be more like them?"