Science Education News and Announcements

New Foundational-Level General Science Credential Approved
The Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s (Commission) approval of a Foundational-Level General Science Credential promises to ease the current shortage of science teachers in California’s middle schools. The Commission approved the new authorization at its August 7-8, 2008 meeting in San Diego. An analysis of teacher misassignment by the Commission revealed that 20 percent of all science teachers are underprepared to teach science in California classrooms (Assignment Monitoring of Certificated Employees in California by County Offices of Education 2003-2007, A Report to the Legislature ). Of the 80,000 science courses taught in the public schools in 2006-07, over 43,000 courses were at the foundational level. An individual with a General Science Credential would be prepared to teach these courses, allowing teachers with full science authorizations to teach more advanced courses. The California Department of Education reports over 15,000 individuals were teaching science in 2006-07 and about 8,000 of them were teaching general science courses. The new General Science Credential authorizes instruction in general, introductory, and integrated science, K-8 grades. Teachers holding the General Science Credential teaching courses within this authorization are also considered “Highly Qualified” for the purpose of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Read the complete press release [PDF] here:

CSUF Science Credential Alumunus Named Orange County Teacher of the Year
From among more than 23,000 teachers in Orange County, local teacher and alumnus Alastair Inman was selected as one of five Orange County Teachers of the Year. Inman, a science teacher at Lexington Junior High School in Cypress, was among four K-12 teachers and a community college instructor given the top teaching honor. The educator, who completed Cal State Fullerton's single subject credential program in biological science this year and lectures in biological science on campus, now is among the nominees for state teachers of the year honors. State Supt. Jack O'Connell is expected to announce recipients of the California Department of Education award in November. Read the complete press release here: