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In 1998 California adopted academically rigorous content standards in science. The adoption of standards in each core subject area marked a turning point in the education reform movement that began in 1983 with the report A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, by the National Commission on Excellence in Education. Until then, the reform movement had focused on important but largely structural improvements, such as more instructional time, minimum course requirements for high school diplomas, and an emphasis on local planning efforts to promote efficiency and effectiveness. The desire to improve student achievement was there, but the focus on content-that is, a comprehensive, specific vision of what students actually needed to know and be able to do-was lacking.

Standards are a bold initiative.

Through content standards in the core subjects, California began to redefine the state’s role in public education. For the first time, the knowledge and skills that students needed to acquire were explicitly stated for the most part by grade level, although science standards at the high school level were organized by discipline. The standards are rigorous. Students who master this content are on a par with those in the best educational systems in other states and nations. The content is attainable by all students, given sufficient time, except for those few who have severe disabilities. We continue to regard the standards as firm but not unyielding; they will be modified in future years to reflect new research and scholarship.

Standards describe what to teach, not how to teach it.

Standards-based education maintains California’s tradition of respect for local control of schools. To help students achieve at high levels, local educators-with the full support and cooperation of families, businesses, and community partners-have taken these standards and designed the specific curricular and instructional strategies that best deliver the content to their students. Their efforts have been admirable.

Standards are here to stay.

Since the science content standards were adopted, much has been done to align all of the state’s efforts in curriculum, instruction, assessment, teacher preparation, and professional development to the standards. Educators now see these science content standards as the foundation for their work, not as an additional layer.

Standards are a continuing commitment to excellence.

The adoption of science content standards and the work to align the whole of the educational system to them have placed our state on the path to success in science education. The standards have brought certainty of knowledge and purpose to all. They are comprehensive and specific. They reflect our continuing commitment to excellence.

Science in Action!

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Science Department Staff

Florio, Mike
Minami, Toshimi
Pre-Algebra Teacher
Pharris, Kate
Worthington, Michela

Mr. Florio's 5 Core Values

I believe, all good scientists should have these 5 core values:

1. Curosity- A scientist must be able to look at the natural world and ask WHY?

2. Cooperation-Help others out if they need help, share information.

3. Organization- Keep your notes neat and organized. Don't waste time looking for things.

4. Perseverance- Don't give up, keep going until you're finish the job.

5. Responsibility-Don't blame others for something you did or didn't do.  Own it!