Monthly Archives: November 2014

CSUs transforming secondary math teachers

California State University Systemwide Effort to Improve the Preparation of Secondary Mathematics Teachers



Mathematics educators at 22 campuses of the California State University (CSU) system are embarking on a major initiative designed “to transform the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers to ensure they can promote mathematical excellence in their future students, leading to college and career readiness as described in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and other documents” ( 


The new statewide effort is affiliated with the national Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-Partnership), an initiative of the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI) of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The initiative is significantly informed by the Mathematical Education of Teachers II document ( and utilizes a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) design, incorporating improvement science and networked design precepts. The July 4 issue of COMET described the goals of the effort and the initial meeting on June 23 at the CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach (—4-july-2014). 


On October 10-11, faculty members from every CSU campus with a teacher preparation program and school district personnel convened at the CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach to delve into the details of the MET-Partnership (referred to as “CSU MTEP”) and determine what role each of the campus teams wished to play in the faculty-led community though participation in one of five Research Action Clusters (RACs).


Lead presenters included MTE-Partnership Co-Directors W. Gary Martin (Auburn University) and Howard Gobstein (APLU), as well as the national chairs of the RACs, Paul LeMahieu of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, CSU faculty leads Brian Lawler and David Pagni, and CSU MTEP facilitator Joan Bissell, Director for Teacher Preparation and Public School Programs at the CSU Chancellor’s Office. (Photographs from each day may be accessed in the following Dropbox folder:


For more information about this initiative, please visit the CSU MTEP website at




Related Information: 


CSU K-12 STEM Partnerships Advancing the CCSS and NGSS


In addition to CSU MTEP, the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office (CO) has taken a leadership or significant supportive role in several new initiatives designed to help transform the preparation of mathematics and science teachers across the state. Short overviews of two of these follow below:


Preparing a New Generation of Educators for California 


“Preparing a New Generation of Educators for California,” funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, is aimed at preparing world-class educators who are equipped to teach and implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with excellence. For more on this initiative, visit


Federal Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grants of $53.7 Million to CSU Campuses for STEM Teacher Preparation


Seven CSU campuses (or a campus’s district partner) recently received large grants for STEM teacher preparation. Receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Education to support major teacher preparation initiatives were CSU Bakersfield, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey Bay, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. To learn more about this program, visit


California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET)

Vol. 15, No. 7 – 28 October 2014


Editor: Carol Fry Bohlin –

COMET Archives (2000-2014):

California Mathematics Project


California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET) is an electronic news bulletin providing STEM-related news from California and across the nation, as well as information about professional events and opportunities, current educational issues, and online resources.

Khan- How to get into College

College admissions and financial aid can be confusing. I grew up with a single mother who made less in a year than many colleges were charging for tuition. If I didn’t have an older sister who had navigated the process herself, I don’t think I would have had the same higher education and career opportunities, and Khan Academy might not exist.

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Learn more about College Admissions

Online resources can never be as good as a great mentor. However, we hope that we can help students get a solid start and to provide teachers, parents and counselors with a useful tool to help the students in their lives.

Check out College Admissions resources!

If you’re a student considering college or know someone who would like these resources, I hope you’ll take a look at and share our new College Admissions resources.


Controversy on Tenure


Capitol Connection

Conversation and Controversy on Tenure

The national teacher tenure debate has been reignited with this week’s TIME magazine cover featuring the title “Rotten Apples—It is nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.” The cover is stimulating significant pushback from educators and fueling ongoing and related conversations about teacher evaluations and the controversy over using student test scores in educator assessments. Read the article here.

The article comes on the heels of the contentious Vergara v. California (2014) verdict, which deemed teacher tenure laws unconstitutional in California. It provides additional background information on the players and actions that led to the Vergara case, the degree to which the case has become a factor in California’s state elections, and the ripple effects it’s creating in other states (like New York) facing the prospect of similar suits.

While some observers have commented on the balanced nature of the magazine’s main article, educators and policymakers alike have lambasted the cover art. A national petition against the cover has received over 50,000 signatures, and TIME has since invited critics to respond. See prominent responses, including one from California Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

The ongoing debate highlights the need for any conversation about teacher effectiveness to acknowledge that educators must be evaluated fairly, using multiple measures, and provided with high-quality professional development that helps them improve their practice. It also calls for educators to be respected as professionals and actively included in the national discussion about strengthening the profession. See ASCD’s 2014 Legislative Agenda (PDF) for recommendations on multimetric accountability (PDF) and educator effectiveness (PDF).