education system throughout California. The coalition would include all of the stakeholders involved in science education, including K-12 teachers and administrators, parents, education researchers and evaluators, colleges and universities, professional societies, government at all levels, research institutions, business and industry, informal science education organizations, and philanthropies. Such a coalition would provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to agree on a shared vision and common goals.
The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and the California State University System (with California Polytechnic State University as the lead institution) have received a planning grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to produce a blueprint by the end of 2009 for an advocacy campaign on behalf of science education.1 According to CCST’s executive director Susan Hackwood, this ongoing activity has made it an ideal time to establish a science education coalition in California. The advocacy campaign will be “long-term, on target, with many people saying the same thing over and over.” It will involve well-known public figures, chief executive officers (CEOs), industry associations, and others who are in a position to make a difference. CCST is planning two levels of advocacy. The “grass roots” are the schools, districts, parents, and local industries that have a stake in science education. The “grass tops” are the prominent leaders who can work directly with government, industry, and foundations to foment change. “We’re going to rely on you for the content,” Hackwood said to the convocation participants. “But what comes out of this meeting will get traction within our organization, and within other organizations, too…. We can help build the campaign to make it happen.”
Marilyn Edling of California Polytechnic State University said that she was putting together an advisory board for the campaign, which will include “people who are very powerful at a national level and a state level who can really take this campaign to Sacramento.” The California Teacher Advisory Council of the CCST also can offer guidance to the coalition.
Each partner in the coalition would have a specific role to play. These roles were discussed throughout the convocation and particularly during a breakout session on the second day, when attendees separated into groups organized by sector. Rapporteurs for each group were asked to highlight up to three points that their sectors of the “village” could contribute to future efforts. The following section summarizes the discussions
PowerPoint slides from this presentation are available at http://www.nasonline.org/site/DocServer/Hackwood__CA_STEM_Innovation_Network.pdf?docID=54989. Additional information about the California STEM Innovation Initiative is available at http://ccst.us/publications/2009/2009STEM.pdf.