I recently read, with a great deal of intrigue, about the enormous potential and possibilities that can be presented to English Learners through rigorous science programs. A study and report (available online here) explains that research has shown how science has been proven to be a catalyst for learning. This is an important report provided by The Education Trust, a respectable and qualified authority in education.
This is great news for a state that has over 1.3 million English Learners, many of whom struggle academically throughout their entire educational journey. Included in the report is information on how we as advocates and parents can help insist that LCFF include science programs and curriculum that will help address the gap in learning for these students.
But I must caution parents that currently, schools in California (at least over the last decade) have not had much of a science program. That is slowly changing. So, it will be up to us to demand more science programs and initiatives. LCFF and LCAP provide us with the capacity to insist that more science programming be integrated into the current elementary and middle school day. Also, the fact that English Language Learners are mandated to receive extra instructional minutes, this could be a perfect opportunity to insist on the growth of science programs in our schools and for our EL’s.
The push for more science could be resisted. Are you aware that currently only 58% of high schools offer Chemistry? Or that on 51% offer Physics? Did you know that a mere 7% of California High Schools offer advanced math courses? As someone who is well versed in education and education policy, I must admit I was taken aback by these statistics!
I would encourage parents to read the report and attend your child’s District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) to present this information and request a blueprint for English Learners that includes more science.
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