Concern for the proposal to eliminate science labs at Berkeley High sign now

As a parent/guardian of a student currently attending BHS, I want to express my concern about your efforts to eliminate science labs. I believe that the current level of support for science labs provided by BSEP funds should be continued.

The proposal to eliminate science labs flies in the face of the BSEP mandate and the 2020 Vision. The science labs during 0 and 7th periods provide weekly enrichment and satisfy UC and CSU requirements that college prep science classes offer 20\% of instructional time for hands-on lab activities. In addition, the extra lab periods provide additional time to support struggling students. The science program meets the goals articulated by both BSEP and the 2020 Vision providing enrichment, support for all students and UC requirements.

The extra time BSEP funding supports allows BHS to maintain an outstanding AP science program. Many of our students take and succeed in three AP level sciences courses as first year courses. Our students performance on the AP exams well exceeds the national average. These courses would have to become 2nd year offerings if the labs were eliminated. Approximately 600 students per year enroll in our AP programs. All of our students take Advanced Biology, most take chemistry, physics, or environmental science or anatomy and the extra time provides the support students need to develop a deep understanding of these topics.

The elimination of these labs would reduce instructional time by more than 21\% (30\% in AP classes). Such devastating cuts would force science teachers to eliminate many of the labs that enrich the experience for students by having them do science. These cuts would result in the reduction in coverage of the state standards and the inability to effectively use instructional strategies that support student learning. This flies in the face of the current push for equity and the 2020 Vision. To close the achievement gap, students require more instruction, not less; more time with qualified instructors, not less.

Science education and the development of scientific literacy is an essential component in todays secondary education. The issues facing our students ( global warming, the destruction of the ozone layer, urban pollution, health issues such as diabetes, cancer, etc.) , require that our students be well- grounded in the underlying science behind these issues.
For many of our students, high school will be the last time they will take a biology or physics course. We cannot afford to short change them in these subjects.


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Latest Signatures

  • 25 December 2015250. Suzanne P
    I support this petition
  • 24 December 2015249. Cherilyn B
    Labs are a critical part of the science curriculum and should not be eliminated
  • 23 December 2015248. Gina C
    eliminate the lab does not fix the problem. Instead of putting the blame on other people or the school system. Parents should get involved and should ask themselve the question of "why isn't my kid attend to the science class/ lab? " is my kid lacked of p
  • 21 December 2015247. Pinky L
    I'm a Berkeley resident for over 10 yrs and luckily don't have kids. I simply cannot believe a proposal aiming at destroying education rather than helping struggling students is being considered!
  • 15 December 2015246. John G
    I support this petition
  • 12 December 2015245. Steven S
    I support this petition
  • 12 December 2015244. Margit R
    I support this petition
  • 11 December 2015243. Jeff M
    I support this petition
  • 10 December 2015242. Jane W
    To BHS Administrators and small school teachers-please do not advocate for weakening the science program. You must at some level 'get' it. Maybe instead you could think of a way to put more time back into science.
  • 09 December 2015241. Stephen S
  • 09 December 2015240. Don V
    My daughter really benefited from her AP Biology class and the labs were an important part of that. Because of that wonderful class she is now majoring in marine biology at U.C. Santa Cruz. We need to preserve this aspect of Berkeley High.
  • 08 December 2015239. Jamie K
    My son flourished at Berkeley in AP bioloogy because of Mr. Fong and the excellent science lab he had access to. It would be a real disservice to future students to deprive them of this opportunity.
  • 08 December 2015238. Chloe A
    I support this petition
  • 07 December 2015237. Keith W
    I support this petition
  • 04 December 2015236. Elizabeth W
    As a science teacher and parent of one BHS student (with two more we were planning on having attend) I am dismayed that the Board is even considering cutting the time (and labs take time) for our science classes. How is this beneficial to anyone?
  • 02 December 2015235. Robert Y
    I support this petition
  • 02 December 2015234. Lisa Mastam
  • 01 December 2015233. Christa R
    Mr. Slemp is pushing this proposal through in a very underhanded way. Science labs benefit ALL students- it is insulting to say that they only benefit high achievers. Cutting instructional time will likely increase the achievement gap, as wealthier famili
  • 30 November 2015232. George T
    Slemp's dictatorial approach is counter productive.
  • 27 November 2015231. Hally B
    Please save the science labs!
  • 25 November 2015230. Kevin L
    This is a terrible proposal which will create a great deal of bad publicity for Berkeley and the high school.
  • 23 November 2015229. Leah K
    As a parent of two BHS students over the course of 9 years, I recall that the question of cutting science labs and science courses offered at BHS becomes the topic of budget cuts every few years. And parents ask ovewhelmingly for the school to support the
  • 23 November 2015228. Elizabeth S
    I support this petition
  • 22 November 2015227. Robert R
    eliminate anything but the science labs!!!
  • 18 November 2015226. John K
    parent of BUSD 10th and 7th graders
  • 18 November 2015225. Jordan S
    Pure Idiocy, but what do you expect from Berkeley?
  • 17 November 2015224. Christine R
    I support this petition

browse all the signatures


John MccannBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
Principal Slemp and Members of the Berkeley School Board: Beatriz Leyva-Cutler John T. Selawsky Shirly Issel Karen Hemphill Nancy Riddle


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