Technical Education Essay With Outline Of California

K-12 STEM education encompasses the processes of critical thinking, analysis, and collaboration in which students integrate the processes and concepts in real world contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, fostering the development of STEM skills and competencies for college, career, and life.

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s  interview at the CA STEM Summit 2012  where he spoke about CA STEM education. Text transcript of Tom Torlakson’s video.

E-mail lists: If you would like to receive STEM Education updates via e-mail notification about resources, workshops, institutes, funding opportunities, contests, and legislation related to STEM Education, subscribe to the Lyris e-mail list by sending a "blank" message to join-stem-education@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

Defining STEM

STEM Education in California

To be successful, California’s efforts to improve schools and raise student achievement must include advancing our students’ understanding of STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Through STEM education, students learn to become problem solvers, innovators, creators, and collaborators and go on to fill the critical pipeline of engineers, scientists, and innovators so essential to the future of California and the nation. The STEM Task Force calls upon policy makers, business leaders, philanthropists, educators, and all Californians to take the actions necessary to realize this future vision:

California leads the world in STEM education, inspiring and preparing all of its students to seize the opportunities of the global society through innovation, inquiry, collaboration, and creative problem solving.

The growth of jobs in California requiring STEM proficiency is on the rise. In California, there were approximately five people searching for every available job. Meanwhile, there were 1.5 STEM jobs available for every job seeker (Change the Equation, 2012).

California will be a leader in STEM education, preparing and inspiring all of its students to seize the opportunities of the global society through innovation, inquiry, collaboration, and creative problem solving.

  • Increase public awareness
  • Increase resources
  • Increase access
  • Establish a STEM framework
  • Enhance professional learning
  • Integrate STEM into assessment and accountability systems
  • Guarantee the availability of high-quality STEM educational materials and resources

STEM Disciplines

The Four STEM Disciplines Described

Science is the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics, chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, and conventions associated with these disciplines. Science is both a body of knowledge that has been accumulated over time and a process—scientific inquiry—that generates new knowledge. Knowledge from science informs the engineering design process. (NGSS for California Public Schools, K-12)

Technology, while not a discipline in the strictest sense, comprises the entire system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes, and devices that go into creating and operating technological artifacts, as well as the artifacts themselves. Throughout history, humans have created technology to satisfy their wants and needs. Much of modern technology is a product of science and engineering, and technological tools are used in both fields. (Empowering Learning – A Blueprint for California Education Technology 2014-2017 (PDF))

Engineering is both a body of knowledge—about the design and creation of human-made products—and a process for solving problems. This process is design under constraint. One constraint in engineering design is the laws of nature, or science. Other constraints include time, money, available materials, ergonomics, environmental regulations, manufacturability, and reparability. Engineering utilizes concepts from science and mathematics as well as technological tools. (Engineering Design in the NGSS (PDF))

Mathematics is the study of patterns and relationships among quantities, numbers, and space. Unlike in science, where empirical evidence is sought to warrant or overthrow claims, claims in mathematics are warranted through logical arguments based on foundational assumptions. The local arguments themselves are part of mathematics along with the claims. As in science, knowledge in mathematics continues to grow, but unlike in science, knowledge in mathematics is not overturned, unless the foundational assumptions are transformed. Specific conceptual categories of K-12 mathematics include numbers and arithmetic, algebra, functions, geometry, and statistics and probability. Mathematics is used in science, engineering, and technology. (California Common Core State Standards (PDF))

Source: Adapted from the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council, 2009.

Students learn not only in the classroom but also in the real world, and the importance of expanded, informal, and K-12 regular school day learning integration has been emphasized recently by the 2011 convening of the Committee on Integrated STEM Education by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council (NRC), and the NRC convening, STEM is Everywhere. The most effective STEM education takes place where expanded, informal learning, and K-12 regular day instruction are integrated and the unique potential of each of these environments is fully leveraged for high-quality STEM education, often referred to as STEM ecosystems. (Change the Equation, 2012).

Computer Science

Computer Science Education Initiatives at CDE

Recognizing the increasing importance of computer science education in California, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has been tasked with supporting two efforts to establish this content area in California. Torlakson convened an advisory committee to develop new state computer science content standards on September 25, 2017. The second initiative began in response to California Education Code Section 53313, which specifies that the Superintendent shall develop a computer science strategic implementation plan for submission to the Legislature, if the plan is adopted by the State Board of Education, on or before July 15, 2019. The implementation of computer science education, throughout kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, would allow for pupils to build their computational and critical thinking skills, enhance technological development, and prepare them for the 21st century.   

CDE Programs and Initiatives

Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan
Information and resources related to the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan.

California Computer Science Education Standards
Information on current computer science education resources, initiatives, and standards.

California Career Technical Education: Information and Communication Technologies (PDF)
The Career Technical Education (CTE) Model Curriculum Standards have expanded to include the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector. Essential skills for those within the ICT sector, such as project management and effective communication, are described here.

Digital Literacy (PDF)
The Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools provides standards for libraries across California public institutions regarding the accessibility and usage of print and digital resources for students.

CDE for CS Newsletter
To subscribe to this quarterly newsletter, send a blank e-mail to CAComputerSci@cde.ca.gov.

Resources

Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS)
ACCESS is a statewide network of computer scientists, K-12 teachers, professors from community colleges through universities, educational policy advocates, and related industry professionals who advocate for high-quality K-12 computer science education in California to ensure that it is accessible to all students.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Regarded as the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, the Association for Computing Machinery provides resources that aim to advance computing as both a science and profession.

Code.org
Code.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing access to and equity within computer science education for women and underrepresented communities. The website provides programming courses for grades K-12, resources for the Hour of Code, and advocacy materials.

Computer Science Education Week
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to participate in computer science.

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)
The CSTA aims to empower, engage, and advocate for K-12 computer science educators worldwide. The CSTA has developed a core set of learning objectives designed to provide the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum at the K-12 implementation level.

CSPdWeek
Computer Science Professional Development Week (CSPdWeek) makes high-quality professional development available for every teacher and counselor, regardless of where they work, what program they teach, or their district’s ability to fund their development.

CS Unplugged
CS Unplugged is a collection of free teaching tools for educators that teaches computer science through engaging games, puzzles, and activities.

K-12 Computer Science Framework
Developed by organizations including Code.org, the CSTA, and the Association for Computing Machinery, the K-12 Computer Science Framework is designed to guide computer science education toward accessibility and participation for all students.

National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)
The NCWIT is a non-profit community that aims to increase the meaningful participation of all women in the computing sector, particularly in terms of technological innovation and development. The NCWIT provides valuable resources for educators to utilize in diverse classrooms.

STEM Resources

CDE Resources

Assessment – California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress System (CAASPP) is a resource for educators to access test administration systems, training resources and materials, the latest CAASPP news, and important dates regarding administering the CAASPP tests. 

Education Technology
Provides assistance to schools and districts in integrating technology with teaching and learning.

Engaging Girls in STEM
Resources to support girls in STEM fields.

Engineering and Architecture (PDF)
Foundational information about the engineering and architecture sector pathways and occupations for students in California.

Environmental Education
Information on current environmental education resources, special events, and grant opportunities.

Mathematics
Resources and information for enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers and links to foundational documents which guide California's mathematics instruction.

Professional Learning – Collaboration in Common (CiC)Join Now
CiC is an innovative tool that allows educators, teams, and organizations to discover colleagues and communities, curate, organize, and share resources to further professional learning.

Science
Resources and information for enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers and links to foundational documents which guide California's science instruction.

External Resources

CA 4 NGSS Toolkit
The California Alliance for Next Generation Science Standards facilitates collaboration among education, business, government, and community leaders to support effective and timely implementation of NGSS throughout California.

California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Mathematics Subcommittee
The focus of this committee’s work is providing high-quality, equitable mathematics learning opportunities for every child and support for every educator teaching mathematics.

California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Science Subcommittee
The Science Subcommittee provides collaborative leadership among county offices of education, California Department of Education, and science partners to improve achievement in science for all students and to close the achievement gap.

California Mathematics Council
The California Mathematics Council (CMC) is an organization that believes all students have the capacity to become mathematically competent and confident when provided a rigorous and challenging mathematical program supported by high expectations.

California Science Teachers Association
The California Science Teachers Association's (CSTA) mission is to promote high quality science education.

California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) NGSS Resources
The CSTA has developed a collection of resources and information for California science educators regarding the implementation of the state’s new science standards.

California State University and Better Together NGSS Resources
The California State University collaborated with the Better Together California Teachers’ Summit to create this very comprehensive list of resources for teachers and schools who are implementing the NGSS.

Contra County Office of Education STEAM Initiative
The Contra Costa Office of Education provides resources and a newsletter for STEAM educators.

Engineer Girl
Engineer Girl is part of a National Academy of Engineering project to bring national attention to the opportunity that engineering represents to all people at any age, but particularly to women and girls.

LCAP Primer for Science and Environmental Literacy Advocates (PDF)
The LCAP Toolkit for Science and Environmental Literacy was developed by The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, along with a handful of partners. The toolkit is designed to help districts strengthen supports for science education and environmental literacy as they develop their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP).

Los Angeles County Office of Education NGSS Posters
The Los Angeles County Office of Education has provided printable NGSS poster resources for educators to use in their classrooms.

Makerspace Resources
This Web page provides a wide variety of resources for setting up and teaching in a Makerspace classroom.

NASA for Educators
NASA for Educators provides resources for kindergarten through college teachers and students. NASA's Education Materials Finder helps teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom.

PBS KIDS' Design Squad Nation
With funding from the National Science Foundation and the Bechtel Foundation, the Web site provides elementary teachers with over 100 easy-to-do engineering design projects that can be replicated either in the classroom or used as do-at-home activities for students and their parents.

PBS Teachers STEM Education Resource Center
The PBS Teachers STEM Education Resource Center provides selected STEM education resources. To find more, search the database of nearly 4,000 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics resources for grades preK-12.

Santa Clara County Office of Education, STEAM
The Santa Clara County Office of Education provides STEAM workshops and resources.

Teach Engineering
The Teach Engineering digital library is a collaborative project between faculty, students and teachers associated with five founding partner universities, with National Science Foundation funding.

The Practical Uses of Math and Science (PUMA)
This is an Online Journal of Mathematics and Science, at NASA. This is a collection of examples ("lessons" or "activities") showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes can be used in interesting settings, including everyday life.

Publications

The Condition of STEM (PDF; 2013)
The report will show achievement levels for students in each of the four areas of STEM on a national level.

Disparities in STEM Employment by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: American Community Survey Reports (PDF; 2013)
This report details the historical demographic composition of STEM occupations, followed by a detailed examination of current STEM employment by age and sex, presence of children in the household, and race and Hispanic origin based on the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS).

Vital Signs. The Next Frontier for Data: The More We know, the More We Can Do to Improve STEM Learning (PDF; 2012)
The Vital Signs provide important insights on strengths and weaknesses in STEM learning in each state.

The Impact of Engineering Curriculum Units on Students’ Interests in Engineering and Science (PDF; 2012)
This report we describe the analysis of a survey of engineering and science interest given as part of a larger study aimed at evaluating the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curriculum.

Working Paper: How Cross-Sector Collaborations are Advancing STEM Learning (PDF; 2014)
This paper describes the attributes and strategies of 15 leading ecosystem efforts throughout the country with the hope that others may use their lessons to deepen rich STEM learning for many more of America’s children.

Questions: STEM Office | stem@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5847 

Last Reviewed: Monday, February 5, 2018

Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school.

Since 2010, a number of states across the nation have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the standards to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.

The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards. Below you will find information about the standards and the CCSS-related activities taking place in California.


California Common Core State Standards

Resources

  • Common Core Search
    Common Core Search is a collection of resources to support implementation of the CCSS. Resources organized by audience are available in the tab sections below.

Implementation Plan

Approved on March 7, 2012, by the State Board of Education, the CCSS systems implementation plan is a living document that identifies major phases and activities in the implementation of the CCSS throughout California's educational system.

  • CCSS Systems Implementation Guide
    This resource, designed to support local CCSS implementation, provides suggestions and resources organized by the seven guiding strategies of the CCSS Systems Implementation Plan for California.
  • Common Core Channel
    Videos and related resources to provide information and support for implementing the CCSS.
  • CCSS Update Listserv
    Join the CCSS Update Listserv to receive information regarding the implementation of the CCSS including resources and opportunities to participate.
    • California Spotlight
      This is a feature of the CDE CCSS Update Listserv to highlight and share Web sites, curriculum, lessons, units, communications, and other online resources developed by California schools, districts, and county offices of education to support the use of the CCSS.

Resources for Teachers

  • Parent/Guardian Overview Brochures (Jan-2016)
    These brochures explain the CCSS to pa​rents/guardians, providing insights into what students will learn and highlighting progression through the grade levels.
    • English Language Arts/Literacy:
    • Mathematics:
  • Achieve the Core
    Free, high-quality resources compiled by Student Achievement Partners, writers of the CCSS, for educators implementing the CCSS, including professional learning modules, handouts, presentations, sample lessons, lesson videos, and much more.
    • Instructional Practice Guide
      This guide includes coaching and lesson planning tools to help teachers and those who support teachers to make the key shifts in instructional practice required by the CCSS.
  • CCSS Resource Clearinghouses
    Listed Web sites include continuously expanding collections of CCSS implementation resources. Since many of these sites are under development, users are advised to visit these sites often for the latest resources.

Not finding what you need? Use the keyword search and filters to find specific resources at Common Core Search.

Resources for Administrators

  • CA CCSS Instructional Leadership Guide
    Developed by the CDE, in collaboration with the El Dorado County Office of Education and Butte County Office of Education, and with the help of California educators and students, this is an online resource meant to be a companion to the Mathematics Framework and ELA/ELD Framework. It includes videos of California instructional leaders and classrooms, discussion prompts, and resources for further exploration, with the purpose of building the capacity of instructional leaders as they address complex questions and challenges related to the implementation of the standards.
  • Achieve the Core
    Free, high-quality resources compiled by Student Achievement Partners, writers of the CCSS, for educators implementing the CCSS, including professional learning modules, handouts, presentations, sample lessons, lesson videos, and much more.
    • Instructional Leadership and the CCSS Module
      This is a 1.5 hour module designed to guide the school-level instructional leader in beginning the work of understanding and implementing the CCSS.
    • Instructional Practice Guide
      This guide includes coaching and lesson planning tools to help teachers and those who support teachers to make the key shifts in instructional practice required by the CCSS.
  • PACE/CCSESA Regional Leadership Sessions on CCSS Implementation
    Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) sponsored regional leadership sessions to highlight a variety of strategies, tools, and resources, including local examples and strategic advice on key issues, to support the successful implementation of the CCSS. On this Web site you can find videos of session presentations and related tools and resources.

Not finding what you need? Use the keyword search and filters to find specific resources at Common Core Search.

Resources for Students, Parents, and Guardians

Information and resources about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for students, parents, and guardians.

  • Parent/Guardian Overview Brochures (Jan-2016)
    These brochures explain the CCSS to pa​rents/guardians, providing insights into what students will learn and highlighting progression through the grade levels.
    • English Language Arts/Literacy:
    • Mathematics:
  • Informational Handouts
    Informational flyers providing overviews and highlights of the CCSS, available in multiple languages.
  • What’s Cooking with Common Core in California?
    This brief video explains what the transition to the CCSS means for California. This video was developed by the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation in collaboration with the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, California State PTA®, California School Boards Association, California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers AFT/AFL-CIO, Association of California School Administrators, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
  • K-8 California's Common Core Standards Parent Handbook
    This handbook, created by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) in consultation with the California State Parent Teacher Association (PTA), gives parents an introduction to California's CCSS and a summary of what students are expected to learn as they advance from kindergarten through grade eight. This document has been translated into 17 languages. The handbook and translations may be found on the CCSESA Common Core Standards Communication Tools Web page under the General Overview Materials section.
  • California PTA Common Core Web Page
    The California State PTA has made available many resources for parents to learn more about the CCSS and support their child's achievement of the standards. Resources include informational fliers, frequently asked questions, grade level parents' guides, links to additional resources, and articles of interest. The fliers and parents' guides are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
    • National PTA Assessment Resources
      The National PTA has released a fact sheet on assessments to provide parents with information about what he assessments should do and what they are trying to accomplish. It has also made available videos about the assessments and test scores.
  • Achieve the Core Common Core Resources for Parents and Community Members
    This Web page contains resources compiled for parents and guardians introducing the CCSS including information about the standards; guides, roadmaps, and videos for parents; and teacher and business support for the CCSS.
    • A Common Core FAQ (PDF) created by teachers for teachers that includes key information about the background of the Standards, what the changes mean for students, and resources where parents can learn more.
    • Milestone Videos from GreatKids.org are short videos for parents that show what children in grades K-5 should be able to do in each grade.
  • Council of Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps
    The Council of Great City Schools has developed parent roadmaps for understanding the ELA and mathematics CCSS in kindergarten through eighth grade. For each grade and subject, the roadmaps explain to parents what children will be learning and how parents can support learning outside of the classroom.
  • Shifts for Students and Parents
    EngageNY has created a practical guide that provides steps that parents can take to improve their child’s learning of the CCSS.
  • Be a Learning Hero
    A collection of education organizations seek to help parents and guardians support their child's success in school with tools and resources.

Resources for the Higher Education Community

  • Letter from UC, CSU, CCC, and AICCU Leaders
    In this letter to the State Board of Education, leaders of the University of California system, the California State University system, the California Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities outline their endorsement of the CCSS and their support for continuous collaboration between K–12 and higher education.
  • Higher Education for Higher Standards
    Higher Education for Higher Standards is a growing coalition of college and university leaders who believe college- and career-ready standards, including the CCSS, are critical to improving student success.

Community Partners

Information and resources about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for local school board members, business leaders, and community partners.

  • CSBA CCSS Web Page
    The California School Boards Association (CSBA) has produced a number of resources to assist governance teams as they implement the CCSS in their district or county office of education.
  • CPE Understanding the Common Core
    The Center for Public Education (CPE), an initiative of the National School Boards Association, has gathered a compendium of resources to help you understand what these new standards are—and aren't—and what states are doing to ensure all students graduate college and career ready.
  • Chamber of Commerce Smarter Balanced Flyer (PDF)
    This informational flyer was developed by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives in collaboration with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to inform the business community about what the Smarter Balanced assessment system will mean for them.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation | Business for Core
    On this Web site, visitors will find simple and useful information and multimedia about the state of education in the U.S. and the importance of the CCSS. Here you will find myths vs. facts, an electronic communications toolkit, opinion and editorial pieces, an interactive map for state level information about student achievement, and informative videos.
  • Business Resources for a College- and Career-Ready America
    Business leaders in collaboration with Achieve have created a toolkit that helps business leaders think more strategically about how best to support college and career readiness for all students. To strengthen the bridge between awareness and engagement, the toolkit features a range of key data and practical examples of how current business leaders are supporting standards-based education reform within and across states.
  • What’s Cooking with Common Core in California?
    This brief video explains what the transition to the CCSS means for California. This video was developed by the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation in collaboration with the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, California State PTA®, California School Boards Association, California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers AFT/AFL-CIO, Association of California School Administrators, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

Questions:   Common Core Team | commoncoreteam@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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