This past year, San Diego Coastkeeper has been leading the fight for strong science programs in San Diego schools. Since 2000, science education and performance has improved dramatically in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). The district is the second largest school district in California and it now ranks competitively with coastal districts and is currently the most proficient urban district in California in science performance.
However, severe state and district education budget cuts, a change in focus and three major reorganizations at the district have changed the way science is taught in SDUSD. SDUSD Board of Education members Richard Barrera and John Lee Evans asked Coastkeeper’s Executive Director, Bruce Reznik, to convene and chair a Science Advisory Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) to evaluate SDUSD’s science curricula and its delivery to the classroom.
The BRTF developed a final report and presented their findings and recommendations to the Board of Education in December 2009 to help SDUSD stay on track to create a world-class science program. In 2010, the BRTF and SDUSD senior staff had three joint meetings to develop an implementation strategy to ensure strong science in San Diego schools to best prepare students for the educational and job opportunities in the 21st Century economy. Coastkeeper will continue to work with SDUSD on implementation of the recommendations.