Sunday, 28 May 2023

Bill would strengthen role of project-based learning in schools

SACRAMENTO – State Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) has introduced legislation to clarify that California schools are allowed to offer supplemental instruction courses that integrate project-based learning with core curriculum, including courses in career technical education.

Her legislation, Senate Bill 1442, would only apply to supplemental programs offered before or after the regular school day, on Saturdays, during inter-sessions or summer sessions.

“Current law is not clear on the different approaches schools can utilize in their supplemental instruction programs,” Wiggins said. “One such approach is integrating project-based learning with core curriculum in their remedial courses.

“Project-based learning enables students to apply knowledge in a real-world context as they are presented with authentic problems and situations that are part of the modern workplace,” Wiggins noted. “Through this contextualized learning, students get the opportunity to test their classroom learning in practical application and work-based experiences.”

Furthermore, Wiggins added, “I know these types of teaching approaches work because I have visited schools where students learn through a hands-on approach. I see how motivated and engaged these students and most importantly, I see that they learn the material. This is because they see the relevancy in the curriculum, something they do not see in conventional teaching instruction.”

Wiggins said students in supplemental instruction programs should be provided with different methods of learning the curriculum since they have already proven that the traditional teaching approach was ineffective for them.

“Supplemental instruction programs provide additional academic assistance for students who are at risk of failing to meet state-adopted standards or who are at risk of remediation, for students who want to attain extra class credits, to improve a grade in a specific course or take a college preparatory course,” she said. “However, in order to comply with state and federal academic standards, schools must prioritize using their supplemental funds primarily for remediation.”

Remedial courses are designed to reinforce key concepts of academic core subjects – mathematics, science, English, history and social studies, foreign language, and visual and performing arts. Wiggins said that “the harsh reality is that many students taking remedial courses are still not mastering the core curriculum, making them repeat the remedial class again.”

Wiggins said she agrees with educators who say it does not make sense to continue using the same teaching strategies time after time when we are seeing that kids continue to fail to learn the material this way.

Wiggins said she introduced SB 1442 because current law “lacks clarity of how these supplemental instruction programs can be taught. This creates confusion and is the reason why many schools adhere to ineffective teaching strategies that may have attributed to a student’s low performance in the first place, strategies which can prevent students from learning the core curriculum they need in order to succeed in their secondary and post-secondary careers.”

“My bill will reassure schools that they can use a variety of teaching methods in their supplemental instruction programs and encourages them to be creative without fearing that they are breaking any laws.”

Evidence shows that integrating project-based learning with core curriculum increases test scores and graduation rates, especially among underachieving students. This type of teaching is performed at California Partnership Academies (CPAs), programs in high schools that combine rigorous core curriculum with technical education, focus on team-building and provide them with internship opportunities.

The report showed that 84 percent of CPA students passed the English Language Arts test, compared to 76% of students statewide. Furthermore, 80% of CPA students passed the mathematics exam compared with 74% statewide.

Wiggins, who represents California’s 2nd Senate District, is a member of both the Senate Select Committee on High School Graduation and the Senate Select Committee on Schools and Community.

While in the Assembly, she instituted School-to-Career in California after the federal government had phased it out. She also established 100 Information Technology Career Academies in California’s public high schools in partnership with the National Academy Foundation.

The 2nd Senate District is comprised of portions or all of six counties: Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma.

For more information on Senate Bill 1442, please visit Click on legislation and then search for the link to the bill.


Upcoming Calendar

05.28.2023 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Lower Lake Daze & Street Fair
05.28.2023 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lakeport Speedway Memorial Weekend Opener
Memorial Day
05.31.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Konocti Unified walking school bus event
06.01.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
06.03.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.
Cookies! uses cookies for statistical information and to improve the site.

// Infolinks