You can make a difference! Please act today.
As you know, The PA science standards are outdated and sorely need to be modernized. We received word that there may be some changes coming soon, so we need your help. We're asking you to write letters to three decision makers at PDE to let them know how you feel about the current standards and what you think should happen with them.
Yes, you read that correctly. We're asking you to actually print out a letter and mail it in. "Who writes letters anymore?" you may ask. The people who want to actually make change, that's who. Emails, Tweets and calls are OK to get short-term attention but we need real, paper and ink letters that can be copied and shown to the politicians making decisions.
You won't need to write a book. All they need to hear is how frustrated science teachers are with the current standards and how much better shape we'd be in with the NGSS. There will be a sample letter copied below for you to model yours on. Once you're done writing it, send a copy to each of these people:
Pedro A. Rivera, Secretary, Department of Education
Matthew S. Stem, Deputy Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Brian Campbell, Director, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction
The address is: PA Department of Education 333 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17126
Secretary Rivera wrote an op-ed
in a number of papers across the state this week touting the changes PDE has made that will help our students succeed. One glaring omission was any word about science and STEM standards. Please remind him how important it is to have modern standards for us to teach from.
Secretary Pedro Rivera
PA Department of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126
Dear Secretary Rivera:
I am a retired elementary/middle school science teacher and IUP professor. I write to you today regarding the current legal PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology. Adopted in 2002, they are extremely confusing, non-specific by grade level and outdated. I have often witnessed the confusion and frustration exhibited by classroom teachers trying to navigate between those and their non-legal 2009 counterpart. Unfortunately, the ramifications for students and science education are dire.
The students of the Commonwealth deserve to have access to the best possible science education at all levels. This requires a current, consistently used, research-based set of science standards employed by educators statewide. I strongly encourage the Pennsylvania Department of Education to adopt new standards, specifically, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), to accomplish this goal.