Tell us about your involvement with AB 2565.
Talking about CAPMSE’s involvement with AB 2565 requires talking about the involvement of our coalition of science educator leaders who have been working together for years in order to promote equitable access to high quality, NGSS-aligned instruction and professional learning for California’s students and educators.
Collectively, CAPMSE helped author and then move AB 2565 through the legislative process, working in lock-step with partners at the Education Trust West, CASE and the Exploratorium. We helped to align AB 2565’s language with the recommendations and priorities from our Blueprint for Action for Equitable K12 Science Education in California, and mobilized our robust statewide network to support and advocate tirelessly for AB 2565 both as a bill and subsequent budget request. Our efforts included participating in multiple calls with legislative advisors and legislators, co-hosting legislative panels, collaborating in the design and execution of advocacy days, and attending multiple meetings with SBE, CDE and Department of Finance staff. We worked collaboratively across institutions and partners to bring awareness, and desperately needed funding, to science teaching and learning.
What do you think the long term benefits of this involvement will bring for science education?
CAPMSE’s statewide science community’s vision is to ensure that each and every California student has access to a highly relevant and standards-aligned science education, and that each and every California science educator is prepared to provide that education. If the multiple investments in science education and professional learning prompted and informed by AB 2565 are leveraged as intended, the long term benefits will be immeasurable because this vision will become a reality.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your involvement with science education?
COVID-19 has revitalized, re-energized, and emboldened CAPMSE’s statewide science leadership coalition and larger community. The pandemic shone a brighter light on deep and longstanding inequities in California’s students’ access to science learning opportunities. It catalyzed the national call to action for equitable science education, and CAPMSE’s related, statewide blueprint. In many ways, the pandemic amplified CAPMSE’s involvement with science education in the state, and shifted our network from one focused mostly on professional learning and leadership development to one focused equally on advocacy, awareness and alliance building.
What do you think the future holds for the CAPSME?
CAPMSE’s statewide science leadership coalition and robust statewide and regional networks represent COE staff, district administrators, instructional coaches, teachers and teacher leaders, informal partners and museums, state agencies, non-profits, the subject matter projects, higher education and research institutions. We stand ready to support - and when needed, to lead - the development, alignment and coherence of statewide science educator learning, communication and advocacy efforts. We will continue to build alliances and partnerships that expand access to our equity-centered communities of practice, and continue building educator capacity to promote science instruction and learning at regional and local levels. We will continue playing an integral leadership role in the fortification and implementation of statewide infrastructure for science professional learning.
What significance does this award hold for your organization?
This award is an incredible honor. It celebrates the legacy of our generous program officers from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation who gave CAPMSE a voice and a place in our state, who believed in the power of a statewide model of professional learning and collaboration between like-minded science education professionals from across agencies, sectors, and segments. It is a testament to the countless hours, tireless dedication, and enduring commitment of the humans who launched CAPMSE’s science network back in 2015 and to those who help lead our network today.
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