Science instruction declined in California during pandemic, survey finds

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

The pandemic set back the momentum to implement the state‚Äôs Next Generation Science Standards, and only about one in four districts is making science a high recovery priority, the Public Policy Institute of California revealed a new report. 

In a survey of 213 school districts, 62% reported that science became a lower priority in 2020-21, citing staff shortages, teacher burnout, a lack of dedicated funding and and emphasis on math and English language arts; 43 percent provided summer science programs.

Only a quarter of the districts surveyed made science a priority in their recovery plans, although nearly half included plans to adopt, develop or buy new science materials, and 38% included teacher training in science in their Local Control and Accountability Plans.

Among its recommendations to promote equitable investments in science education, PPIC suggests adding data on student performance on science assessments and on science course taking and completion to the California School Dashboard. It also recommends compiling evidence-based strategies for science recovery so that districts can include them when using federal COVID relief funding. 

PPIC will hold a webinar on Aug. 16 from noon to 1 pm on the report and strategies for science education moving forward. Go here to read the report and here to register. 

Leave a Reply

The Exedra comments section is an essential part of the site. The goal of our comments policy is to help ensure it is a vibrant yet civil space. To participate, we ask that Exedra commenters please provide a first and last name. Please note that comments expressing congratulations or condolences may be published without full names. (View our full Comments Policy.)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *