California STEM Learning Network
CSLNet’s mission is help California prepare the nation's most STEM-capable graduates.
The California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet) is working to address California’s workforce needs and better prepare our state’s students to contribute to a vibrant California economy by:
- Increasing interest, capabilities and engagement of all PK-14 students
- Strengthen and expand access to STEM teaching and learning in schools, colleges and communities
- Increase the number of students who pursue STEM-related degrees and careers
In order for all California students to have access to high quality STEM teaching and learning it is critical to address statewide gaps in California’s education system.
CSLNet’s Statewide Initiatives address key STEM learning challenges by building coherence among California’s many STEM-related programs and identifying solutions that can be addressed by a concerted statewide effort. CSLNet is working with its Regional Networks and other partners around California to advance a set of Statewide Initiatives that scale high quality STEM teaching and learning across regions and throughout the state.
CSLNet supports the following policy and advocacy priorities to advance STEM learning in California:
PRIORITY 1: Adopt and Implement Next Generation Science Standards
CSLNet urges California’s policy makers to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards and ensure that any new or existing policies support the implementation of these new standards, including the development of instructional materials and assessments that reflect the standards and embrace hands-on, problem or inquiry-based approaches.
PRIORITY 2: Reform Teacher Preparation
The implementation of Common Core State Standards and expected adoption of Next Generation Science Standards underscore the need for serious and systematic reform of teacher preparation and support systems to foster improved STEM teaching. CSLNet supports policies that will transform the training of new teachers and support systems for existing teachers so that they have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully implement Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards in their classroom. We also support efforts to leverage these new standards as a means to strengthen programming during afterschool and other learning environments.
PRIORITY 3: Revise Accountability Systems
State and federal accountability systems should place greater weight on science, engineering and technology in order to encourage STEM learning. As the K-12 level, CSLNet supports measures to broaden the state’s API formula to account for a more comprehensive set of criteria in order to ensure students have access to high quality STEM education offerings. CSLNet also supports efforts to emphasize science, technology and engineering as part of the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. At the postsecondary level, CSLNet supports policies that will help attract and retain students in undergraduate STEM majors.
PRIORITY 4: Advocate for Strengthened Public-Private Partnerships and Alignment of Resources
Given resource constraints, California must coordinate and align public and private resources with local, regional and state economic and workforce development needs and develop models that catalyze business-education partnerships in STEM.
PRIORITY 5: Ensure All California Students Have Access to High-Quality STEM in Out-Of-School Time
CSLNet urges policymakers to support STEM learning and career exploration in informal and out-of-school time settings and to foster stronger connections with in-school teaching and learning.