Opportunity for Successful Science Implementation in a Post-Pandemic Climate
GUIDANCE FOR USING THE LCAP TO MITIGATE SCIENCE LEARNING LOSS
The following excerpt below and accompanying PDF is provided by the Networked Improvement Community Region 10 (Geographic area in California that includes Inyo, Mono, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties).
Download the complete tool to help to advocate for science funding in LCAP
This document is intended to support and encourage school districts to reflect upon their current Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), evaluate the inclusion of science instruction, and prioritize science when drafting future funding allocations.
Science education is foundational. The knowledge and skills taught in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science classrooms are vital for student success, not only as students matriculate through school, but also in the 21st century economy. With a renewed laser focus on English language arts and mathematics instruction, there is a clear and present danger that science instruction is being systematically minimized across the state. Students are struggling from the lack of support of high-quality science instruction. This current situation must be addressed directly.
High-quality NGSS instruction encompasses rigorous phenomena-based inquiry that inspires critical thinking and sense-making in the discipline of science, through communication within a scientific community. The ability to collaborate and apply creativity through problem-solving fosters applications in engineering, and can be integrated with project-based learning approaches that weave science and other subjects together. These skills build language proficiency and data literacy, utilizing relevant and engaging content for all learners. While science education equips students with sought-after technical skills and prepares them for high-demand careers in science research, engineering, and computer science fields, its purpose in K-12 schools is more fundamental. It is about providing every student with the opportunities and tools to become scientifically literate citizens, able to navigate daily life, work, civic engagement, and community in an increasingly technology driven world.
Pre-pandemic, districts targeted system-wide changes that supported these fundamental instructional shifts; distance learning has magnified the need to focus on strong instruction that supports every student. This requires deliberate, measurable goals and equitable actions that explicitly utilize the terms “Science, NGSS, Environmental Literacy, STEM /STEAM” in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), ensuring that districts prioritize science instruction for all students.