IUSD: Let Us Have a Voice
IUSD: Let Us Have a Voice
Petition to the IUSD
Board of Education to
Hold a Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to the Science Curriculum
IUSD is considering fundamental changes to the science curriculum, much like the changes it just implemented to the math curriculum.
If you have children in elementary or middle school, this proposed change WILL affect them.
If you own real estate within Irvine, this change has the potential to reduce the value of your investment. Our district prides itself in producing bright, successful kids. However, it has recently chosen to pursue paths that hinder students and prevent them from reaching their potential. The recent changes in math have already had a detrimental effect on the STEM career potential of our children. Can we afford similar changes to the science program?
Here are the facts:
1. California has recently adopted NGSS, which changes the way science is taught (much like CCSS changed the way English/math are taught).
2. NGSS does NOT require integrated science in high school (just as CCSS did not require integrated math).
3. IUSD has appointed a “science implementation committee” which included IUSD staff, teachers, and parents.
4. There was a similar “math implementation committee” which ultimately chose to implement integrated math. That committee included EIGHT parents, only SEVEN of whom actually had students in IUSD schools.
5. Every high school in IUSD has used some form of integrated science at some point in the past and every high school except Northwood has abandoned it.
6. At the UC’s, THREE years of integrated science equate to TWO years of science and one year of an elective. The first year of an integrated science program fulfills the elective “g” requirement, not the science requirement. (http://www.ucop.edu/agguide/a-g-requirements/d-lab-science/faq/index.html
7. Mental health is a large concern at the high schools in Irvine. If integrated science is reintroduced, this puts additional pressure on the students by adding another class to take. In the past, the “honors” science track required honors integrated science as freshmen, honors biology AND honors chemistry as sophomores, and AP biology/chemistry/physics as juniors and seniors.
8. At Woodbridge and University High, which do not have exclusively block schedule and therefore have only 6 classes per semester, there is very limited time for students to make up the year lost to integrated science. They are disproportionately hampered by the addition of another required class/class sequence. Irvine High and Northwood High have 8 classes per semester, which amounts to a total of 8 additional yearlong courses over the 4 years of high school.
The vast majority of people in IUSD did not know that integrated math was going to be implemented until it was too late. The majority of people in IUSD do not know that integrated science is being considered. Having 7 hand-selected parents represent over 32,000 students is so obviously disproportionate it almost needs no mentioning.
We are asking the Board of Education, who we have elected, to hold a public meeting where parents of children within IUSD’s boundaries have a meaningful opportunity to learn more about these proposed changes and have some input into significant changes being considered by IUSD BEFORE these changes are final.