COMET • Vol. 11, No. 19 – 4 October 2010


(1) California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Adopts New Mathematics Teaching Authorizations

Source: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
URL (Agenda):
URL (Agenda Item 2B): 
URL (Video):

At its meeting on Thursday, September 30, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) unanimously approved a motion to adopt proposed preconditions and program standards for (a) the Mathematics Instructional Certificate and (b) the Mathematics Instructional Leadership (MIL) Specialist Credential. These additional authorizations were developed because “there is a pressing need to provide additional support to teachers by increasing access to mathematics teaching expertise on a consistent basis, especially at the elementary and middle grades levels. The [Teaching Mathematics Advisory Panel] felt that access to expertise in mathematics would best be accomplished by updating the former mathematics specialist credential program standards so that more mathematics specialists could be available statewide to support classroom teachers” (from Agenda Item 2B).

In addition, “to place more emphasis on developing the mathematics knowledge of multiple subject teachers, the panel developed draft language for a mathematics-specific teacher preparation program standard. The standard describes the critical mathematics content knowledge, specialized content knowledge for teaching mathematics, and mathematics pedagogical skills that multiple subject credential holders must have to be effective early teachers of mathematics…Since this recommendation, along with recommendations relating to the teaching of English learners, impacts the Multiple and Single Subject program standards as a whole and has implications for the unit limitation, this standard will be brought separately to the Commission for consideration.” See Appendix E of Agenda Item 2B ( for the draft language of the proposed new standard.

CTC’s Terry Janicki presented this agenda item and began his presentation by thanking the members of the Teaching Mathematics Advisory Panel for their dedicated service over the past 1.5 years. COMET readers are encouraged to view the archived video of the discussion of this agenda item, which includes comments and questions by commissions as well as public comment from a representative of the California Teachers Association. This agenda item appears at time marker 0:40:13 and runs until 1:18:16 (

Excerpts from Agenda Item 2B follow below:

Mathematics Instruction Certificate (MIC): K-Pre-Algebra and K-Algebra I

Candidates with the prerequisite teaching credential [and at least three years of teaching experience] may pursue either of two authorizations through a MIC program, depending on the mathematics content knowledge of the candidate and the authorization desired:

(1) The MIC (K-Pre-Algebra) would apply to candidates who can document mastery of mathematics knowledge, as organized in the California mathematics content standards, from Kindergarten through Algebra I. [This authorization would permit holders to teach mathematics in Kindergarten through Pre-algebra in departmentalized settings.]

(2) The MIC (K-Algebra I) would apply to candidates whose mathematics knowledge includes mastery of the California mathematics content standards from Kindergarten through Algebra I, II, and Geometry. [This authorization would permit the teaching of mathematics in Kindergarten through Algebra I in departmentalized settings.]…
The program standards that provide guidance to program sponsors interested in providing preparation for the Mathematics Instruction Certificate are provided in Appendix C (

Mathematics Instructional Leadership (MIL) Specialist Credential

Individuals must complete the Mathematics Instruction Certificate program before they would be eligible for the MIL Specialist credential as this credential is built upon the MIC. The proposed new MIL Specialist credential would provide experienced teachers the skills required to:
– promote more effective teaching and learning of mathematics PreK-12
– provide the leadership and a vision for mathematics instruction for schools, districts, and county offices
– fulfill a need in the field for a cadre of mathematics teacher leaders who can connect content level and coaching expertise with school, district, and/or county leadership

Programs preparing MIL Specialist credential candidates would include advanced preparation and fieldwork in:
– effectively connecting action research and mentoring/coaching skills with theoretical research to bridge the theory and practice divide in mathematics teaching and learning
– designing and implementing a school and/or district professional development system that involves teachers and administrators in working collaboratively to increase student engagement and learning in mathematics
– analyzing and using student, school, district, county, state, and college/university data to inform school and district program design to increase the number of students who are college-ready and to reverse the pervasive achievement gap
– leading a professional community of practice

The draft program standards for the proposed MIL Specialist credential appear in Appendix D (…

Next Steps

… Staff will develop a standards handbook and disseminate the preconditions and standards [for the MIC and the MIL Specialist Credential] to all institutions via a Program Sponsor Alert and the Commission website. These will include a timeline for transition and implementation and a date on which technical assistance will be provided via webcast. In addition, following the approval of the standards, the Commission will start the Title 5 regulatory process and present an information item [at a later CTC meeting] with proposed regulations for the Mathematics Instructional Certificate and Mathematics Instructional Leadership Specialist credential.


Related Press Release:

Commission Adopts New Credentials Aimed At Improving Student Math Skills
Source: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing


(2) Video Now Available from the UC-Berkeley Forum “Grading the Teachers–Measures, Media & Policies”

Source/Contact: Steve Cohen –

On September 27, the University of California, Berkeley hosted a forum on teacher evaluation: “Grading the Teachers–Measures, Media, and Policies.”

Video and media pieces from this forum are now available on the comprehensive event website:

Direct links to videos of each panel are as follows:
– Measures:
– Media: 
– Policies: 
(Anyone with a gmail account will be able to comment on the YouTube sites.)



(1) President Obama Announces Goal of Recruiting 10,000 STEM Teachers Over the Next Two Years

Source: The White House

On September 27, President Barack Obama announced a new goal of recruiting 10,000 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers over the next two years. This announcement will move the country forward on the Obama Administration’s goal of preparing 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade.

President Obama stated, “When I came into office, I set a goal of moving our nation from the middle to the top of the pack in math and science education. Strengthening STEM education is vital to preparing our students to compete in the 21st century economy and we need to recruit and train math and science teachers to support our nation’s students.”

President Obama has made improving STEM education one of his top priorities. He has identified three overarching priorities for STEM education, viewed as necessary for laying a new foundation for America’s future prosperity:

– Increasing STEM literacy so all students can think critically in science, math, engineering and technology;
– Improving the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations; and
– Expanding STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and minorities.


A New York Times writer takes a humorous look at “STEM”:
“STEM Education Has Little to Do With Flowers” by Natalie Angier


(2) U.S. Department of Education Launches TEACH Campaign

Source: “A Public Voice” (Association of Public and Land-grant Universities–APLU)

[Published by APLU on September 27, 2010] The Obama Administration has embarked on a new public awareness campaign aimed at attracting a new generation of individuals around the country to choose the teaching profession as a career choice.

The TEACH campaign includes a new website dedicated to providing information, testimonials, and resources for students and prospective teachers on why teaching is important and the potential impact teachers have shaping young minds for the future. The site, managed by the U.S. Department of Education, includes the “Path to Teaching” tool, an interactive feature designed to help individuals chart their course to becoming a teacher; information on how to navigate licensing and certification programs at the state and district levels; and links to teacher preparation programs at universities across the country, many of which participate in APLU’s Science Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI; Additionally, the site allows school districts across the country to post teacher job openings.

“With more than a million teachers expected to retire in the coming years, we have a historic opportunity to transform public education in America by calling on a new generation to join those already in the classroom,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan during a MSNBC broadcast as part of the NBC Education Nation Summit ( “We are working with the broader education community to strengthen and elevate the entire teaching profession so that every teacher has the support and training they need to succeed.”

Duncan said the campaign has several important goals, including:
– Increasing the number, quality and diversity of people seeking to become teachers, particularly in high-need schools (rural and urban) and subject areas in greatest demand: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), English Language Learners (ELL), and Special Education;
– Connecting aspiring teachers with information about the pathways to teaching including preparation, certification, training and mentoring; and
– Celebrating and honoring the profession of teaching.

The campaign also will encourage more minority males to pursue careers in the classroom because while 35 percent of public school students are black or Hispanic, less than 15 percent of teachers are Black or Latino. Only two percent of the nation’s teachers are African-American males.

“Education is the great equalizer in America. If you care about promoting opportunity and reducing inequality, the classroom is the place to start. Great teaching is about so much more than education,” Duncan said. According to Duncan, the need for effective teachers is especially acute in big cities and rural communities where schools lack talented teachers in key areas like math, science, technology, special education, and English language learning.

The website, which hopes to elevate the teaching profession and encourage new teachers to join the ones who are already making a difference in the classroom, uses short video vignettes from teachers, politicians and celebrities who are strong advocates for public education and reform.


(3) NGA Center Embarks on Public-Private Partnership to Improve STEM Education

Source: National Governors Association (NGA)

Last Tuesday, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) kicked off a public-private partnership with states and Innovate+Educate, an alliance of corporations committed to education, to improve Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education through the sharing of best practices and leveraging industry investments.

“The 21st century workforce requires workers with strong science, technology, engineering and math skills. Establishing and growing STEM education programs is important for states as they strive to increase their economic competitiveness,” said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center. “One of the best ways to establish programs in states is to learn from the work of other states. Massachusetts has been a leader in building a sound STEM education program, and its experiences and lessons serve as best practices and examples for other states.”

The NGA Center and Innovate+Educate are working to strengthen STEM education by convening key state and business stakeholders to strategically align industry support with state STEM plans and disseminate lessons learned across a wide range of states. In one of its first actions to support states directly, Innovate+Educate allocated $50,000 in planning grant dollars to support the implementation of the Massachusetts Governor’s STEM Council recommendations as a part of the state’s comprehensive STEM policy reform.

“We have made STEM education a priority in Massachusetts to provide our students with the skills they need to leave school prepared for the workforce,” said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. “We hope that our work provides other states with information and ideas for establishing their own programs.”

“Business and industry leaders realize that cultivating the qualified workers of tomorrow begins in schools with students gaining a comprehensive education that includes STEM expertise,” said Jami Grindatto, Southwest Corporate Affairs Director, Intel Corporation, and Chairman of the Board, Innovate+Educate. “We are proud to partner with the NGA Center to provide states with the information they need to create these important programs. With STEM at the core of a modern economy, aligning industry partnerships in a sustainable, scalable model is of utmost importance, and Innovate+Educate’s focus is on this alignment.”

State leaders increasingly view STEM achievement as a critical component of success in college, careers and life. The NGA Center supports governors in advancing state STEM education policy agendas.


(4) “The Secret Lives of Scientists”

Source: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
URL (Scientists):

For the past year, PBS has been showcasing a variety of scientists and their often surprising avocations on NOVA’s Emmy-nominated “The Secret Lives of Scientists,” a series that is only available on the Web. Last week’s featured scientist was Mollie Woodworth, a graduate student at Harvard who is conducting research in the neurosciences and who also coaches the MIT cheerleading squad. Visit for more about Mollie’s professional life and avocation. Also visit for links to the pages of all of the scientists who have been profiled on this show.

The following is from the introduction to the series; it appears on

…This is the place where you can watch intimate, engaging, and funny videos with accomplished scientists who happen to have extremely compelling secret lives. You’ll hear these scientists talk about their work and about their “secrets”–the unique parts of themselves that make them who they are and often help to fuel their science. You’ll also see them answer penetrating and insightful questions like “When was the last time you ate blood?” and “Have you ever been called ‘Doogie Howser’?” Finally, you’ll get to interact via this blog with many of these scientists, with us–the SLoS team–and with the other folks who will make up “The Secret Life of Scientists” community…


(5) PBS Teachers STEM Education Resource Center

Source: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Web site contains a section dedicated to STEM resources for teachers of grades preK-12. The PBS Teachers STEM Education Resource Center contains a searchable database of nearly 4000 STEM resources at plus Web pages devoted to each of the STEM areas and free webinars for educators.

Visit the resource center at and also see the following pages that contain resources specific to….
– Science (e.g., NOVA science programs, Sid the Science Kid, and more): 
– Technology (e.g., Cyberchase and NOVA technology programs): 
– Engineering (e.g., Curious George and ZOOM into Engineering):
– Mathematics (e.g., MathActive and Mathline):