COMET • Vol. 11, No. 23 – 31 October 2010


(1) CTC to Discuss How California’s Adoption of the Common Core Standards May Impact Teacher Credentialing Examinations and Program Standards

Source: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
URL (video feed):

One of the items to be discussed at the November 8 meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing concerns the state’s adoption of the Common Core Standards for K-12 public school students. Questions have been raised about how this new adoption impacts the work of the Commission and the preparation of educators in California to teach to the new standards. Agenda Item 2C presents an overview of the implications of the academic content standards and frameworks for the Commission’s examinations and program standards. (Further discussion about the impact of the adoption of the Common Core Standards will occur at a meeting to be held jointly with the State Board of Education after lunch on November 8. See COMET article below.)

See to read the entire agenda item.


Next Steps for the Commission Regarding Alignment with the Recently Adopted Common Core Standards

The Commission’s adopted plan and timeline for the review of educator preparation standards calls for standards to be reviewed every ten years. However, there are instances when a review of adopted standards should take place before ten years, e.g., a legislative directive or the adoption of revised framework or content standards. In the next several months, the [State Superintendent of Public Instruction–SSPI] and [State Board of Education–SBE] will present to the Governor and to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature a schedule and implementation plan for integrating the recently adopted academic content standards into the state education system. Clearly, the Commission will need to review and possibly revise its scheduled timeline once the SBE and SSPI timeline and plan become available.

Among the activities that will need to take place and that will be included in the Commission plan will be a review of its [Subject Matter Requirements–SMR]. When new formally-adopted academic content standards become available (like the newly adopted Common Core Standards), supplemental alignment and congruence studies are conducted to determine whether any further course of action is necessary.

– If the studies find no substantive changes are necessary, any references made in the SMRs to the content standards will be simply revised to reflect the newer standards and materials.
– If substantive changes are needed, then staff would begin the process of realigning the SMRs. As previously discussed, this process addresses the content validity of the examination for use with teacher credential candidates. Once the SBE and SPPI plan becomes available, staff will present to the Commission an agenda item that discusses the impact of that plan on the Commission’s future work as it relates to the Commission’s standards and examinations.


This meeting will be webcast live at


(2) Joint Meeting of California State Board of Education and Commission on Teacher Credentialing to be Held on November 8

Source:  California Commission on Teacher Credentialing – 28 October 2010
URL (Agenda):

Two of the leading education policy boards in California will meet to discuss topics of mutual interest on the afternoon of November 8 at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza in Sacramento. Members of the State Board of Education and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing will begin their policy discussions at 1:30 p.m.

Featured topics include the following:

– Common Core State Standards

Greg Geeting, Chair of the California Academic Content Standards Commission, will be joined by Standards Commission Project Director Sue Stickel (Sacramento County Office of Education), Tom Adams (California Department of Education), and Teri Clark and Cheryl Hickey (Commission on Teacher Credentialing) in leading a discussion covering the adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. (To view the standards, visit The next steps for implementation and the alignment of the Standards with educator preparation and teacher exam specifications will also be discussed.

– National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) – 2009 State Teacher Policy Yearbook results for California

Sandi Jacobs of NCTQ will begin with a presentation, which will be followed by a question and answer period and a discussion of the implications for California based on conclusions contained in the 2009 State Teacher Policy Yearbook.

– Teacher and Principal Evaluation

Terry Janicki and Gay Roby from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing will be joined by Steve Betando, who chairs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Task Force of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), Karen Kearney of WestEd, and ACSA’s Sherry Skelly Griffith in leading a discussion on current evaluation models for new and beginning teachers and what is under development for possible evaluation of veteran teachers and school leaders.

The State Board of Education and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing encourage education policy leaders and interested members of the public to attend this meeting.


(3) State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell Announces Launch of CDE on iTunes U

Source: California Department of Education (CDE) – 27 October 2010
URL (CDE on iTunes U):

On Wednesday, October 27, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell announced the launch of the California Department of Education on iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store (

“The launch of CDE on iTunes U means that California is able to offer educators free professional development resources that are produced primarily by local educational agencies and private education institutions throughout the state,” O’Connell said. “Districts and schools are under tremendous pressure to make every dollar count. Teachers can now download top-rated educational content at no charge from CDE on iTunes U.”

From CDE on iTunes U, high-quality professional development resources at all levels of California’s education system are available to any educator. Content that meets CDE’s posting criteria includes high-quality videos, audio recordings, presentations, PDF documents, and other education-related information.

“Whether accessed through a desktop, laptop, or smart phone, CDE on iTunes U will be an important tool for the continued professional development of our community of education professionals,” O’Connell said. “Educators now have more opportunities to access relevant information whenever and wherever it is convenient for them.”

The CDE recently placed hundreds of media files on iTunes U, some of which have been contributed by California school districts and charter schools. CDE on iTunes U can be found at the iTunes Store:




(1) Study Finds that Women’s Interest in Communal Goals Influences STEM Career Decisions

Source:  Psychological Science 2010

Research reported in the October 2010 issue of Psychological Science provides new information regarding the relative lack of women in STEM careers relative to men. The article abstract for “Seeking Congruity Between Goals and Roles: A New Look at Why Women Opt Out of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers” by Amanda B. Diekman, Elizabeth R. Brown, Amanda M. Johnston and Emily K. Clark follows below:


Although women have nearly attained equality with men in several formerly male-dominated fields, they remain underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We argue that one important reason for this discrepancy is that STEM careers are perceived as less likely than careers in other fields to fulfill communal goals (e.g., working with or helping other people). Such perceptions might disproportionately affect women’s career decisions, because women tend to endorse communal goals more than men. As predicted, we found that STEM careers, relative to other careers, were perceived to impede communal goals. Moreover, communal-goal endorsement negatively predicted interest in STEM careers, even when controlling for past experience and self-efficacy in science and mathematics. Understanding how communal goals influence people’s interest in STEM fields thus provides a new perspective on the issue of women’s representation in STEM careers.


In their conclusion, the authors state, “It is ironic that STEM fields hold the key to helping many people, but are commonly regarded as antithetical (or, at best, irrelevant) to such communal goals. However, the first step toward change is increasing knowledge about this belief and its consequences. Interventions could not only provide opportunities for girls and young women to succeed in mathematics and science but also demonstrate how STEM fields involve helping and collaborating with other people. For example, our current research investigates how portraying science or engineering careers as more other-oriented fosters positivity. Indeed, science-related fields with the greatest influx of women are those that are most obviously involved in helping people, such as psychological science and the biomedical sciences…”


Related article:

Women’s Choices, Not Abilities, Keep Them Out of Math-Intensive Fields
Source: Association for Psychological Science

A brief review of the literature on gender representation in mathematics fields was published this month in Current Directions in Psychological Science. Authors Steve Ceci and Wendy Williams write: “Various explanations for the underrepresentation of women in math-intensive fields have been given. Here we review evidence for three: (a) sex differences in mathematical and spatial ability; (b) sex discrimination in publishing, funding, and hiring; and (c) occupational/lifestyle preferences and choices that reduce women’s participation in math-intensive fields.”  The article abstract is available online at


(2) Strategies for Increasing the Number of Girls Pursuing STEM Careers: Report and Webcast

Source:  National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
URL  (Report):

On 19 July 2010, individuals knowledgeable about the research on women and girls in science and engineering met in Washington, DC to select promising strategies for increasing the numbers of girls pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers and recommend them to the Educate to Innovate Campaign ( launched by President Obama. In addition to those participating in person, about 350 participated in brainstorming online.

Thirty-nine educational strategies found to be effective in recruiting more girls to STEM were considered by the face-to-face and online groups. Concurrence was reached on five top strategies to recommend. The meeting report and the Educate to Innovate memo are available online at

The National Girls Collaborative Project ( will host a webcast about the meeting and the report on Wednesday, November 3 at 9:00 AM PT. Attendees and report contributors will discuss the process and recommendations. To register for the webcast, visit


(3) Knowles Fellowship Program Applications Now Available Online

Source: Knowles Science Teaching Foundation
URL and
URL (application info):

The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation established its Teaching Fellowship Program to support beginning teachers of high school math and science from the onset of the credentialing process through the early years of their careers. It is one of the most generous and comprehensive teaching fellowships in the nation, providing tuition assistance, monthly stipends, support for professional development, and classroom materials.

KSTF Fellows and Alumni note that the most valuable aspect of the program is being part of a close, collaborative community of highly talented and dedicated new teachers for the five years of the fellowship, and for a lifetime as a KSTF Alumnus. They consider the KSTF Teaching Fellowship experience to be one of the most important factors in their development as leaders and in their ability to help all students succeed.

KSTF Teaching Fellowships are awarded in the disciplinary areas of biology, mathematics and physical sciences to individuals who have exceptional content knowledge, a commitment to teaching, demonstrated professional ability, and leadership potential.

If you (or someone you know) are passionate about teaching high school math or science and are committed to becoming an outstanding professional teacher with the capability of making a positive impact on the lives of students, you are strongly encouraged to apply for the KSTF Teaching Fellowship.

Applicants should have received their most recent content (i.e., science, mathematics or engineering) degree within five years of the start of the fellowship (1 June 2011). At the time of application, applicants do not need to be admitted into a teacher education program. However, successful applicants must be admitted into such a program before the fellowships are awarded in June 2011. Individuals who have completed their secondary credential no earlier than the end of Fall 2010 are also eligible to apply. In addition, an individual who is in the final year of an undergraduate, master’s, combined B.S./master’s program, or near the completion of a doctoral program in a content area may also be eligible. Visit the Web site above for more information.

The application deadline is 12 January 2011 at 5:00 p.m. EST.