Council of State Science Supervisors
“The voice and vision of science education for the states”

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Past Presidents

Frank Kizer, VA (1963-1965)

Dick Peterson, UT (1965-1967)Ken Dowling, WI (1967-1969)

Larry McKinney, OK (1969-1971)

Sigmond Abeles, CT (1971-1973)

Bud Edgar, PA (1973-1975)

Ray Theiss, OR (1975-1977)

Doug Reynolds, NY (1977-1979)

Lonnie Love, GA (1979-1981)

Joe Huckstein, TX (1981-1983)

Joe Exline, VA (1983-1985)

Richard Clark, MN (1985-1987)

Jack Gerlovich, IA (1987-1989)

David Kennedy, WA (1989-1991)

Bill Spooner, NC (1991-1993)

Ramona Anschutz, KS (1993-1995)

Mike Lang, AZ (1995*)

Tom Keller, ME (1995-1997)

I had the advantage of being on the shoulders of two giants, Bill Spooner and Mike Lang, who had positioned us well in the development and release of the National Science Education Standards (1996, https://www.nap.edu/catalog/4962/national-science-education-standards). Mike served a year of his presidential term before being recruited by a science project in AZ.

 Accomplishments during my term:

  1. Partnered with NASA (using their funding and facilities) to conduct an introduction to a toolkit for making teachers and parents aware of the standards. In an interactive session using NASA’s video-conferencing system from multiple NASA sites, Tricia Kerr of KY and Brett Moulding of UT (I think) provided pd for members at these various regional NASA offices. I attended the one held at Greenbelt, MD for the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Significance: expenses were covered for members to meet face-to-face regionally and virtually nationally, members opened up the toolkit and learned how to use it, and close connections to NASA were reinforced.
  2. Partnered again with NASA (using leftover funds and their Classroom of the Future, in the now The Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies at the Wheeling Jesuit College, now Wheeling University) to bring members together to experience this high-tech facility and deeply dive into assessment. Significance: expenses were covered for members to meet and learn about assessment which was a new-ish topic for many of us. We had fabulous presenters including Iris Weiss from Horizon and Pam Aschbacher and Joan Herman from UCLA’s CRESST. I think Mary Gromko and Steve Weinberg were the leads on this.
  3. Brought together CS3 (and the Association of State Supervisors of Math) members who ran the Presidential Awards program in their state to learn about standards-based scoring for the award leading to consistency and fairness in selecting state finalists, efforts to increase the participation of underserved minority teachers, appropriate recognition and later utilization of awardees at the state level, and connecting awardees at the state and national levels with significant education reform efforts in mathematics and science. This was accomplished through a grant from NSF. Significance: This got us into a revision of the rubric for Presidential Awards and a discussion of the attributes and expectations we had for awardees and standards-based scoring of essays. It also brought us together with our math counterparts to build community.
  4. Facilitated 3 national meetings in St. Louis, New Orleans, and Anaheim, as always held before NSTA conferences. There is some fuzziness around this since Mike Lang came and went quickly as president but I seem to remember chairing 3 national meetings. But I could be wrong…

    Mary Gromko, CO (1997-1999)

    The years in the late 1990’s were an exciting time to be a leader in science education in the United States.  In early 1996, the National Science Education Standards were released by the National Research Council (NRC) to the nation.  These standards defined the science content as what ALL students should know and be able to do and provided guidelines for assessing the degree to which students have learned and implemented that content.  The NRC sent copies to governors in every state and territories, all members of Congress, NSF funded projects, all National Science Labs ( NOAH, NREL, USGS, UCAR, NIST, Fermi, NASA, etc. etc.),  all professional science organizations ( AAPT, ACS, NSTA, NABT, AAAS, CSSS, etc.)   As of 1997, approximately 140,000 copies of those science standards had been disseminated throughout the science education community.  The NRC also engaged the informal science education community ( museums, zoos, science and technology centers, botanical centers, environmental centers, etc. )  to build partnerships and collaborative efforts based around teacher professional development and the science standards

    Because CSSS members were the key science education personnel in every state and US territory departments of education, members played a key and vital role in the implementation of collaborative efforts and partnerships.  The focus was to provide opportunities to apply new in-depth understandings of the NRC science standards.  During my two years as President, CSSS worked with many science institutions and organizations  across the country such as the following:

      • Eisenhower National Clearing House  hosted CSSS members to their Columbus Ohio location ( the Eisenhower state funds were still alive and well at that time period)
      • Regional educational labs such as McREL WestEd, etc, also hosted our members to their sites for collaboration;
      • National Academy of Science sites in California and DC hosted several professional development collaborative partnerships with CSSS members
      • Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley CA focusing on the standards and Family Science invited CSSS members to their Hall for professional development.
      • Statewide Systemic Initiative (SSI)  $10 million grants given to CSSS states for science and math coordination, partnerships, and collaboration based on equity, professional development, and systems thinking and implementation using the  foundation of the national standards
      • Environmental Education Roundtable where 9 of our CSSS states participated in a 5 year PEW study using the environment as the integrating concept  in the science classroom
      • Several of the national science research labs ----NREL, NOAA, USGS, NASA, Fermi, etc.  funded professional development for CSSS educators as well as other classroom teachers.
      • NSTA annual conferences in 1998 in Las Vegas and in 1999 in Boston central themes were the NRC standards.  Many CSSS members did presentations and workshops based on that central theme and what they has accomplished in their states.
      • Several states were part of the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards----SCASS---coalition to develop the assessment portion of the NRC science standards.  This project was funded through CCSSO. (Council of Chief State School Officers)
      • Continued the assessment professional development with Horizon Research (Iris Weiss) and Inverness Research initiated with Tom Keller as President.

      As referenced above, the years of the late 1990’s were an exciting and rewarding  time that brought together national, state, and local, science educators, informal science educators, higher education institutions, scientists and engineers, curriculum and instruction developers, national and state policy stakeholders.  The focus was to build a community of learners built on a foundational framework with the National Science Standards.  CSSS played a vital and necessary role in the development of that community. 

      Steve Weinberg, CT (1999-2001)

      I was president of CSSS from April of 1999 till April 2001.  While I was the science consultant for the Connecticut Department of Education, for part of 2000 and 2001 I was on leave of absence from the Department.  Frank Owens,  Director of Education at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had asked me to come to Washington to begin to plan educational programs to bring the nascent International Space Station (ISS) to K - 12 classrooms.  Frank turned out to be a great friend both to me and to CSSS.

       As CSSS president I had the wonderful opportunity of being able to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of my two predecessors:  Mary Gromko from Colorado and Tom Keller from Maine.  Mary went on to become NSTA president and Tom is still involved in professional development for science teachers - every once in a while I still see his name in relation to CSSS programs.  I also had the advice and assistance of Joe Exline from Virginia, our Executive Secretary at the time. ( Joe was the Council’s eleventh president.)

       By chance, in April of 2000 the NSTA national conference took place in Orlando.  Joe and Frank were able to acquire funding for all the Cubers who were at the conference to visit and take a special tour of Kennedy Space Center.  We had dinner in the Saturn V building (under the rocket) and were addressed by the Chief Scientist of the Space Station.  (In my dotage I don’t remember our social activity the following year in St. Louis.)

       The members of the Council were involved in a number of activities involved in disseminating the (first) National Science Standards. What stands out most was Networking For Leadership, Inquiry And Systems Thinking (NLIST). NLIST was a joint effort of CSSS and NASA to bring inquiry learning to schools throughout the United States. With funding from NASA and the National Research Council (NRC) we were able to bring Cubers to several meetings to create and promulgate the program.  NLIST products can still be found on the archive section of the CSSS website.

       With funding from NASA (our friend Frank again), the Eisenhower Clearing House, and the American Chemical Society, a committee chaired by Bob Davis from Alabama developed and produced an Elementary Science Safety brochure.  Enough copies of the brochure were printed to give one to each elementary school in the country.

       If my memory serves me - and clearly it may not, 2000 was about the time CSSS transitioned from PSINet to an e-mail listserv and a website. Bill Fulton from Arkansas took the lead in developing what I believe was the Council’s first iteration of a website.

       One of the goals of the CSSS Board was to work and communicate with other science education organizations.  To that end different members of the board worked with organizations such as the Triangle Coalition,  Educational Development Corporation (EDC), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and of course NSTA.  And I’m sure I’m missing more than one group we worked with.

       While no longer  an active member, it has been a pleasure to follow changes in membership and leadership and most important see that with programs such as ACESSE and BCESSE that the Council of State Science Supervisors has remained a vital force in science education.

      Jim Woodland, NE (2001-2003)

      In April of 2000, CSSS met at the NSTA Orlando National Conference.  The highlight of that meeting was a day long tour of the Kennedy Space Center which included a stop at the Shuttle refurbishing facility.  We walked under the Endeavor Space Shuttle.  After that meeting, all CSSS members were invited to attend the launch of the STA-97 Endeavor on November 30, 2000.  After a reception at the visitor center, CSSS members boarded buses taking us to view the launch in VIP seating.  The shuttle launched at 10:02 pm.

       At the 2002 National Convention in San Diego, CSSS had an afternoon tour of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and an evening reception at the San Diego Naval Base Officer’s Club.  One afternoon session of this meeting was a workshop on using EDThoughts - What We Know About Science Teaching and Learning.  The purpose of this publication  was to provide science educators a two-page response (one page focused on research and best practices, the second focused on classroom implications) to questions about effective science pedagogy focused on the following areas:  Science for All, Teaching Science, Assessment in Science, Science Curriculum, Instructional Technology in Science, Learning Science.  Also provided are references and resources related to these topics.   Leading the project was John Sutton and Alice Kruger of McREL (Mid-Continent Research for Science and Learning). Several CSSS members were contributing authors.

       At the 2003 National Convention in Philadelphia, CSSS members participated in an early evening tour of Longmont Gardens and dinner. 

       I cannot remember the years in which these events took place however the following is a list of partnership meetings with CSSS and various national organizations.

       CSSS worked with Horizon Research (Iris Weiss) on several projects.  One was the refinement of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching application and process.  The project was initiated by Rowena Douglas (former Ohio State Science Supervisor who left Ohio to work at NSF.)  Rowena Invited Horizon to play an important role in this work.  Horizon also provided CSSS membership with two effective resources, What We Know About Effective Science Teaching and The State of Science Education.

       CSSS also partnered with the Eisenhower Regional Consortiums on other projects and meetings.  Each consortium (I believe there were 12) worked with CSSS members to improve science education at the regional and state level.  Over a two-year period (in addition to the EDThoughts) we had other workshops.  One workshop focused on becoming familiar with Project 2061 resources, most notably Benchmarks for Science Literacy, and the Designs for Science Literacy.   In addition, a workshop on effective elementary science teaching utilized Katherine Valentino, author of the Invention Convention Competition, leading elementary science textbook author, and nationally known in-service provider, as the featured presenter.  Both of these sessions took place in Las Vegas.

       Throughout my association with CSSS, I have found NASA to be an effective partner.  Using NASA resources, we completed the NLIST Project (I cannot remember what that stands for).  The project defined science inquiry and provided several web-based resources for CSSS members such as the rubric evaluating science inquiry materials and curriculum, and the K-12 Science Inquiry Rubric for evaluating students mastery of the National Science Education Standards (NSES) on scientific inquiry.  This rubric was developed by Nebraska science educators, and refined by CSSS members, to make it a usable national document.  In addition to CSSS members (led by CSSS Executive Secretary Joe Exline) an important contributor to this project was Harold Pratt, a NSTA Past-President.

       Another important partner throughout the years was Eugenie Scott, the Director of the National Center for Science Education.  She provided valuable insights and guidance to the importance of the teaching of evolution.

       As would be expected, CSSS has worked with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  Before, during, and after my term as president about 20 states at one time or another were actively involved in the State Collaborative on Assessment and Science Standards (SCASS).   The goal of this project was to provide states with exemplary science assessments aligned to the NSES.  The CCSSO staff member leading this project was Art Halbrook.

       Finally it is important to recognize the support given to CSSS by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).   NSTA  provided regional and national conferences for science education, resources such as professional journals, science safety materials, and classroom resources.  In addition, NSTA was always willing to work with CSSS members to improve science leadership within each member’s state. The CSSS president was a de facto member of the NSTA Board of Directors.  Gerry Wheeler was Executive Director of NSTA at this time.

      Brett Moulding, UT (2003-2005)

      Bill Tucci, NC (2005*)

      Richard Vineyard, NV (2005-2007)

      Jan McLaughlin, NH (2007-2009)

      Stephen Pruitt, GA (2009-2010*)

      Peter McLaren, RI (2010-2013)

      Juan-Carlos Aguilar, GA (2013-2015)

      Matt Krehbiel, KS (2015-2017)

      Tiffany Neill, OK (2017-2019)

      Kevin Anderson, WI (2019-2021)

      *Denotes President did not serve full term.

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