COMET • Vol. 17, No. 01 – 5 February 2016



California’s Teacher Shortage: New Publication Addresses the Growing Challenge


The Learning Policy Institute (LPI, is a new national nonprofit organization focused on research and related policy for PK-12 public education. Led by President/CEO Linda Darling-Hammond (Professor Emerita at Stanford University and Chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing), LPI released the report, Addressing California’s Emerging Teacher Shortage: An Analysis of Sources and Solutions at a conference held in Sacramento on 19 January 2016.

According to the report, “estimated teacher hires for the 2015-16 school year increased by 25 percent from the previous year, while preliminary credentials issued to fully prepared new teachers increased by less than 1 percent from the previous year, and enrollment in teacher education programs increased by only about 2 percent” (p. i; also see Figures 4 and 5 on pp. 5 and 6 for a visual representation of the estimated number of new teacher hires in California between 2001-02 and 2015-16, as well as the dropping enrollment in teacher preparation programs between 2001-02 and 2013-14).

Further, “in 2014-15, provisional and short-term permits…nearly tripled from the number issued two years earlier, growing from about 850 to more than 2,400. In all, the number of teachers hired on substandard permits and credentials nearly doubled in the last two years, to more than 7,700, comprising a third of all the new credentials issued in 2014-15…

“In mathematics and science, the number of preliminary credentials awarded to new, fully prepared teachers dropped by 32 percent and 14 percent, respectively, over the last four years. In that same time, the numbers of underprepared mathematics and science teachers (those with temporary permits and waivers and intern credentials) have increased by 23 percent and 51 percent, respectively” (p. i). See Figure 7 on page 10 of the report for trends in the mathematics and science teacher supply between 2011-12 and 2014-15.

The full report is available online at A related policy brief is available at Visit for more information about the report.

Presenters and panelists at the conference, entitled “California’s Emerging Teacher Shortage: New Evidence and Policy Responses,” included policy leaders, senior researchers, and local practitioners. Keynote addresses were givn by Darling-Hammond and California Senate Education Committee Chair Carol Liu. (Visit Liu’s website to view a video on her support of STEAM:

The conference was co-sponsored by LPI, PACE (, and the Education Policy Center at AIR ( PACE noted on its website that the event featured presentations on new approaches to teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention that might help to ameliorate the worst impacts of the shortage on California students ( Four panels were included:

– California’s Emerging Teacher Shortage in Perspective

– Critical Shortages

– Policy Responses, Pre-Service

– Policy Responses, In-Service

Archived videos of these panels and keynote speakers are available on the PACE website:

The 33-minute keynote address by Darling-Hammond addressed a wide range of topics focused on teacher recruitment and retention. She stated that a strategic focus on recruitment is necessary and gave examples of ideas included in the LPI report (see pp. 23-27 in A video of Darling-Hammond’s keynote address is located at


Related article:

“Legislators Challenge Sacramento to Tackle Teacher Shortage” by Louis Freedberg and John Fensterwald

Source: EdWeek – 2 February 2016

“In the most concerted effort to tackle the teacher shortage in years, three California lawmakers have introduced a package of bills designed to attract new teachers to the profession, ease the burden of getting through preparation programs, and provide rigorous training in the form of year-long ‘residencies’ under the guidance of a master teacher.

“The lawmakers are state Sen. Carol Liu, D-Glendale, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica. All were intimately involved in public school education before they came to Sacramento.”

New Comprehensive Guidebook Provides Ideas and Strategies for Mathematics Teacher Recruitment


The national shortage of mathematics teachers has received much attention in recent years, and one of the efforts to address the shortage has been supported by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The organization’s Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-P) is led nationally by Howard Gobstein and W. Gary Martin. The California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office has been very active in supporting and facilitating a CSU System-wide partnership (CSU MTE-P). Visit for more information about the effort.

One of the Research Action Clusters (RACs) of the MTE-P is “Marketing for Attracting Teacher Hopefuls (MATH).” Led by Ed Dickey, Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of South Carolina, the RAC’s focus has been on mathematics teacher recruitment. A major product of this RAC was the Secondary Mathematics Teacher Recruitment Campaign Implementation Guide, a comprehensive volume containing useful modules on topics ranging from effective campaign planning to uses of social media. Mathematics teacher educators who prepare future math teachers as well as outreach coordinators will find this document especially useful.

The guidebook is available free of charge via the following link: (Note: This takes you to a very short survey required for access to the link for the entire volume.)

Last week, Dickey spoke to CSU mathematics educators at the CSU MTE-P meeting at the CSU-Fullerton regional campus in Irvine and also presented the keynote address at the 2016 Annual Conference of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE): “Rebranding the Teaching Profession: Ideas and Strategies for Effective Recruitment of Mathematics Teachers.” His presentation file is available for download from

Dickey will be one of two mathematics educators honored at the 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Barbara Reys will also be honored with this award at the conference, which will be held on April 13-16 in San Francisco.

New Brochures Help Teachers Explain the California Common Core State Standards to Parents, Guardians, and Other Community Members

Source: Deborah Franklin, Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division,
California Department of Education

The California Department of Education recently produced two sets of new brochures that focus on the California Common Core State Standards. The brochures were developed as a tool for K-12 teachers to explain the Standards and as a starting point for discussion about student learning.

The four brochures on the Mathematics Standards are organized by grade span (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). They showcase sample problems and highlight the progression of learning through the grade levels. Each brochure also provides suggestions for parents and guardians to support student learning as well as a list of additional resources. Four similar brochures were created for the English Language Arts/Literacy Standards.

Both sets of brochures can be downloaded from the State Resources section of the Sacramento County Office of Education webpage at (The brochures are designed to be printed double-sided, then folded into thirds.)

The brochures were developed on behalf of the Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core under the leadership of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division of the California Department of Education and the Sacramento County Office of Education.

Free Workshop at MSRI Next Week–Observing, Evaluating and Improving Mathematics Teaching from the Early Grades through the University

Contact: Jenn Murawski –

For over a decade, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley has hosted a series of workshops addressing key problems in education. The Critical Issues in Mathematics Education series seeks to provide an opportunity for mathematicians, mathematics education researchers, and K-12 teachers to learn about current and relevant research, share their perspectives about related issues, make connections with each other, and develop approaches to tackle problems related to mathematics teaching and learning.

Videos and related documents from past workshops are available at

The focus of this year’s workshop, which will be held at MSRI on February 10-12, is Observing, Evaluating and Improving Mathematics Teaching from the Early Grades through the University. For more details about this free workshop (e.g., speakers, registration, schedule, etc.), visit

Phil Daro to Provide Keynote Address for the March 11-12 Central Valley Common Core Mathematics Symposium


The Central Section of the California Mathematics Council and the South Kern Mathematics Partnership present the Central Valley Common Core Mathematics Symposium on March 11 (11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for administrators and lead teachers) and March 12 (9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for teachers and administrators) at California State University, Bakersfield.

This year’s theme is Common Core State Standards and Productive Struggle. In addition to grade-level breakouts, Saturday’s sessions include keynote speaker Phil Daro, a co-author of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Daro’s topic will be “Using Progressions to Make Progress.”

Daro writes, “Mathematical concepts build on each other. In writing the Common Core Mathematics Standards, we put a lot of effort into sequencing concepts that depend on each other in a coherent way. Progressions also must align to cognitive development of children. The Standards lay out progressions across grades, but do not specify progressions of lessons and chapters within a grade. Instructional programs must do that. The toughest job, however, belongs to teachers who must deal with the progressions within each lesson, day in and day out. This session will show how differences among students within each lesson reveal the real progressions along which students travel to learn. The variety of ways students think about a particular problem can and should be used as stepping stones within each lesson to bring students up to grade level thinking each day.”

Registration for the CMC Central Symposium is now open. Please visit for more information.

National Mathematics Education Conferences come to the San Francisco Bay Area in April

Registration is now open for two major mathematics education conferences this coming April:

(a) National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) in Oakland on April

(b) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in San Francisco on April 13-16:

Statewide Science Education Conference Invites Workshop and Short Course Proposals

You are invited to submit a proposal to present at the 2016 California Science Education Conference, which will be held in Palm Springs on October 21-23.

Please visit for more information.

Smarter Balanced Online Test Administration Manual is Now Available

Source: California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Flash #1 – 19 January 2016 

The California Department of Education (CDE) has initiated a series of flash announcements to provide updates about assessment-related topics. To receive these announcements and weekly updates, you may subscribe to the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) list by sending a blank message to

Flash #1 announced that the Smarter Balanced Online Test Administration Manual (TAM) for the Smarter Balanced Online Summative Assessments for Mathematics and for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) has been posted to the CAASPP Instructions and Manuals webpage (

To view the TAM, please visit

One feature highlighted in the TAM is Section 7.5 (p. 47), which describes the Early Assessment Program (EAP). The EAP is a joint program of the California Department of Education, California State University (CSU), and the California Community Colleges (CCC). The EAP provides high school students with an early indicator of their college readiness in English and mathematics prior to starting the senior year. Students taking the grade 11 CAASPP ELA and mathematics assessments will automatically be participating in the EAP.

Students may voluntarily release their grade 11 CAASPP ELA and/or mathematics results to the CSU and CCCs (see pages 67-68 in the TAM). EAP results may earn students an exemption from the English and/or mathematics placement tests that are required for entering freshmen at CSU and participating CCC campuses.

Related item: 

California State Board of Education Provides Update on Smarter Balanced Assessments, Digital Library, and California Next Generation Science Standards Assessments

Item 3 on last month’s meeting agenda for the California State Board of Education included updates on activities related to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, Interim Assessments, and Digital Library, as well as the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) and California Next Generation Science Standards assessments. To read this agenda item,

Archived Webinar Available for Every Student Succeeds Act Presentation at State Board of Education Meeting

Source: California Department of Education 

Agenda Item 1 of the January 2016 State Board of Education (SBE) meeting provided an update of the state’s implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Julia Martin of Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC, presented “The Every Student Succeeds Act Summary and Key Points.” Her PowerPoint slides are available, and her presentation may be viewed in the archived webcast now located on the SBE website at The agenda for the January SBE meeting is available at

Related Item:

Webinar Video: Implications of Every Student Succeeds Act for California and Equity

Source: EdSource – 22 January 2016

EdSource reports that the video, slides, and background document (including a history of ESEA and a comparison of NCLB and the Every Student Succeeds Act–ESSA) are now available for its 90-minute webinar on the implications of the ESSA for California and equity (visit the website above).

The webinar panel, EdSource writes, provided a diverse and insightful array of perspectives on how the new law might affect efforts to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed in school.

The webinar, sponsored by EdSource and Partners for Each and Every Child ( was moderated by EdSource Executive Director Louis Freedberg.


– Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute

– Christopher Edley, Chair, Partners for Each and Every Child, Co-Founder, The Opportunity Institute

– Rick Miller, Executive Director, CORE Districts

– Michelle Rodriguez, Assistant Superintendent, Santa Ana Unified School District

– Tom Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

– Socorro Shiels, Superintendent, Santa Rosa City Schools, Education Director, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence

– Ryan Smith, Executive Director, The Education Trust-West


Free Online Reviews of Topics Assessed on the Mathematics and Science CSET Subtests will begin on February 20


The Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) at California State University, Fresno will offer free, synchronous, online reviews of the content assessed on CSET: Mathematics Subtests I and II and CSET: Science Subtests I, II, and III (for all areas of science) starting on Saturday, February 20.

Prospective or current mathematics and science teachers who need to demonstrate subject matter competency via the CSET to earn a full or Foundational-level Single Subject credential should find these interactive workshops very helpful. Following the conclusion of each session, participants will receive a link to the archived webinar so they can review the material later if desired. Reimbursement of CSET fees may also be possible for webinar participants.

Space is limited, so please visit for more information and for registration details.


“With Math I Can” Initiative Unveiled


On Tuesday, February 2, a coalition of non-profit education organizations (e.g., the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Teaching Channel) launched a national initiative to transform student attitudes about math. Developed under the leadership of Amazon Education and TenMarks, “With Math I Can” challenges the nation’s more than three million teachers and their students to take the pledge to replace the notion of “I’m not good at math” with “I am working to get better at math” by embracing a “growth mindset,” the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed.

“Students become discouraged and feel they aren’t good at math as soon as they encounter challenges or struggle with solving problems, and this is precisely what we want to change,” said Rohit Agarwal, General Manager of Amazon K-12 Education. “By collaborating with the education community, we are taking a bold step to transform society’s approach and mindset toward math so all students can reach their full potential and have equal access to career and economic opportunities. Our ambitious goal is to drive a change in attitude–from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can and I will’–for every student in the country.”

Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford is a key supporter of this movement. She is also the co-founder of, a website dedicated to providing free resources to teachers, parents, and students to help students develop mathematical mindsets.

Boaler said, “If you ask most students what they think their role is in math classrooms, they will tell you it is to get questions right, and when they inevitably struggle, most decide they are not a ‘math person.’ When students are in math classrooms where they are given growth mindset messages, as well as encouraged to appreciate the beauty of mathematics, to ask deep questions, and to explore the rich set of connections that make up the subject, they develop a growth mindset. ‘With Math I Can’ is an extraordinary opportunity to help students all around the country transform their thinking about math and develop a growth mindset.”

The initiative is supported by a website (, a video that highlights the need for a growth mindset around math, and a set of free resources for teachers to use with their students (

Related Links:

“We Need to ‘Revolutionize’ How We Teach Math, Says Stanford’s Jo Boaler”

Source: National Public Radio
URL (audio archive):

“Stanford Professor Urges Teachers to Rethink Math Instruction” by Theresa Harrington (Interview with Jo Boaler)

Source: EdSource – 24 January 2016


Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings

Source: National Academies Press

More and more young people are learning about STEM in a wide variety of afterschool, summer, and informal programs. At the same time, there has been increasing awareness of the value of such programs in sparking, sustaining, and extending interest in and understanding of STEM.

To help policy makers, funders, and education leaders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions about how to best leverage the educational and learning resources in their community, the National Academics Press published Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings. The volume identifies features of productive STEM programs in such settings and provides guidance on evaluating and sustaining these programs. The report is a resource for local, state, and federal policy makers seeking to broaden access to multiple high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community.

Next Friday, February 12, members of the authoring committee and other experts will discuss the report’s recommendation. This presentation, which will be held in Washington, DC, will be webcast at between 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. PST at The agenda is available at

To download the book free of charge, visit

President Obama Announces Computer Science for All Initiative

URL (Video): 

Last Saturday (1/30/2016), President Obama announced his Computer Science for All initiative, pledging $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million directly for districts in his forthcoming budget to increase access to K-12 computer science by training teachers, expanding access to high-quality instructional materials, and building effective regional partnerships.

Numerous companies and school districts are expected to support this effort. Microsoft is announcing a fifty-state campaign to expand computer science, and is announcing plans to offer computer science training to an additional 25,000 teachers this year. The Computer Science Teachers Association will pilot a digital badging and portfolio program to capture and track the professional development that a teacher obtains, mapped back to K-12 computer science content standards ( Read more about the more than 50 organizations responding to the President’s call to action at

Related Resource:

Computer Science is for All Students

Source: National Science Foundation

This webpage contains information about NSF-supported computer science programs, projects and resources.

Illustrative Mathematics and MSRI Present a Mathematics Virtual Lecture Series for Teachers, Coaches, and Professional Development Providers

Source: Jenn Murawski –

MSRI is partnering with Illustrative Mathematics to bring educators the 2015-2016 Virtual Lecture Series: Speaking of Mathematics Education: Productive Conversations with Families.

The intended audience for this series consists of classroom teachers, mathematics coaches, district and state level math experts, and math teacher leaders that develop or facilitate professional learning experiences.

Four hour-long (4:00-5:00 p.m. PT) webinars will be presented on selected Thursdays: February 25, March 24, April 28, and May 19, 2016. Each session will commence with a short video from the 2015 National Mathematics Festival (, followed by a 20-minute speaker presentation and then 15-20 minutes of live, interactive discussion.

Presenters and topics:

– February 25, 2016 – Bill McCallum, President and CEO, Illustrative Mathematics; University of Arizona Distinguished Professor: “Standards and Curriculum: What’s the difference?”

– March 24, 2016 – Suzanne Wilson, Neag Endowed Professor of Education, University of Connecticut: “How can we learn from the history of efforts to improve U. S. mathematics education?”

– April 28, 2016 – Deborah Ball, Dean, School of Education, University of Michigan: “The Mathematical Work of Teaching”

– May 19, 2016 – Peggy Brookins, President and CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and Mathematics Instructor: “Educating All Students”

To register for the series, please visit


COMET is sponsored in part by a grant from the California Mathematics Project.

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