NSTA strongly supports using the Framework for K–12 Science Education (NRC 2012) for guiding reform in science education. Essential elements of science education reform include aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment with national, state, and local standards; implementing professional learning based on district and state needs and objectives; and ensuring that the infrastructure needed to sustain the science program over time is firmly in place. NSTA asserts that the only way to realize these goals is through the presence of strong leaders at the district and state levels.
It is important for science leaders to cultivate a leadership network consisting of principals, lead teachers, science department heads, and community leaders to implement science education reform at all levels of the school system. It is equally important for local superintendents, local school boards, and chief state school officers to work closely with science leaders as they move forward with science education reform. Therefore, NSTA strongly encourages local superintendents, local school boards, and chief state school officers to support science leaders by establishing district- and statewide policies that promote effective science education reform.
NSTA makes the following declarations about the crucial role of science leaders and their leadership network in implementing science education reform and the administrative support they need in order to be successful.
In the area of science teaching and learning, it is important for science leaders to
In the area of professional development, it is important for science leaders to
In the area of science curriculum, it is important for science leaders to
In the area of assessment, it is important for science leaders to
If science leaders and their leadership network are to successfully carry out the roles outlined above, the full support and commitment of the superintendent, the board of education, and the chief state school officer are required. These key players in the reform process must shape policies that support standards-based science education, promote collaboration among an experienced science leadership network, allocate adequate funds to attract and maintain a well-qualified science teaching staff and provide teachers with exemplary science curriculum materials, and build time into the school day for high quality professional development programs.
Only with the kind of administrative support defined here can the science leaders move forward with systemic science education reform. By working as a team, the administration, the science leaders, and the science leadership network can ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve scientific literacy.
—Adopted by the NSTA Board of Directors, February 2003,
Revised, July 2016
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