COMET • Vol. 19, No. 04 – 30 September 2018



(1) Award-Winning Mathematics and Science Teachers Recognized by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson

Source: California Department of Education

On September 21, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson congratulated two California teachers who were among the 104 elementary school educators announced by the White House on June 25 as recipients of the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Torlakson also announced six outstanding teachers as the 2018 California state finalists for the PAEMST.

“I applaud these teachers who play an essential role in shaping and inspiring our students in the areas of mathematics and science–which is so critical especially in California, where technology reigns,” said Torlakson, a former science teacher. “Their students are our future scientists, engineers, and inventors who can make a huge impact in our country.”

The California mathematics winner of the 2016 PAEMST is Gabriela Cárdenas, a first and second grade dual language teacher at the UCLA Lab School, the laboratory for the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies in Los Angeles. Gabriela’s focus has been on inquiry, Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) in mathematics, and dual language development. To learn more, visit  Also see

The California science winner is Nancy Wright, who teaches grades 3-6 at Lorin Eden Elementary School and serves as the Science Teacher on Special Assignment for Hayward Unified School District. She leads district implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, provides afterschool gifted and talented education enrichment, leads the engineering club, and coordinates the school science fair. For more information, please visit

The following educators are the state finalists for the 2018 PAEMST. More information about each of these teachers is available at

Mathematics State Finalists:

– Megan Smith, Lincoln Fundamental (Alternative) Elementary School, Corona Norco Unified School District

– Robyn Stankiewicz-Van Der Zanden, La Verne Science and Technology Charter, Pomona Unified School District

– Stacy Zagurski, Merlinda Elementary School, West Covina Unified School District

Science State Finalists:

– Anna Gaiter, Plainview Academic Charter Academy, Los Angeles Unified School District

– Elizabeth Henderson, California School for the Deaf, Riverside, State Special School

– Claudine Phillips, Roscomare Road Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program is the highest recognition that an elementary or secondary mathematics or science (including computer science) teacher may receive. The program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Presidential Award recipients are honored at the White House and receive a $10,000 special award from NSF.

The California Department of Education partners with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program. For more information, visit the PAEMST website at  (There is a button on this webpage to be notified later this fall when the nomination window opens for outstanding teachers of mathematics, science, and computer science in grades 7-12.)


(2) California’s First K-12 Computer Science Standards Approved

URL (CDE–Computer Science Education):
URL (Agenda Item):
URL (Meeting Video, 8:13:15):

At its meeting on 6 September 2018, the California State Board of Education (SBE) enthusiastically approved California’s first K-12 Computer Science Standards(, which are “based on computer science core concepts and core practices aligned to the [Computer Science Teachers Association’s] K-12 Computer Science Framework at” Dean Reese (Chair, Instructional Quality Commission) and Stephanie Gregson (Executive Director, Instructional Quality Commission) presented this item and acknowledged the ardent support of SBE member Trish Williams. As the SBE applauded following the unanimous vote of approval, Gregson and Reese gave each other a joyous high five.

During her presentation to the Board, Gregson quoted the standards document: “In our digital age, computers are both the paint and the paintbrush. Computer science education creates the artist.” There is an emphasis on requiring students “to problem solve, communicate, think critically, create, and collaborate” (

Reese stated, “The fundamental goal of these standards is to expose students to computer science so they are well-equipped to civically engage on topics that fall under the wide umbrella of computer science. What I think we are most proud of with these standards is that they are truly meant for all students in California. They were designed with access and equity as a primary driver and are meant for CA’s diverse educational landscape…”

Reese also mentioned that there are currently no plans to create a computer science framework, so examples for implementation of the standards are included in the document. He also noted that the standards were created with a spirit of integration. The expectation is that the standards will be integrated as much as possible throughout the various subject matter areas within the standards’ grade bands: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. In addition, it is expected that computer science courses will be offered in middle and high schools.

Gregson said that the standards will now be edited and an online platform for the standards will be developed.  She encouraged following #CSforCA, “a campaign to ensure all schools have access to meaningful and sustainable teaching and learning opportunities in computer science,” which is a project of ACCESS, “the state’s leading advocate for computer science education in California” (see

(The California Department of Education’s news report of the standards’ approval is available at


Related Articles:

(a) “California Embraces Computer Science in its Schools” by Trish Williams

Source: EdSource – 13 September 2018

(b) California Gubernatorial and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidate Questionnaire on Computer Science

Source: Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS)


(3) Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Panel Recommendations Presented to State Board of Education

URL (Agenda Item):
URL (Meeting Video, 8:46:44):

Barbara Murchison, chair of the Educator Excellence and Equity Division at the California Department of Education (CDE), presented the recommendations of the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Panel (CSSIPP) at the 6 September 2018 meeting of the State Board of Education (SBE) as an information item.

Her presentation file is available for download from

Murchison presented the state’s computer science education vision: “California’s vision is to ensure that all students develop foundational knowledge and skills in computer science to prepare them for college, careers, and civic engagement.”

She shared the mission:

– All schools offer rigorous and relevant computer science education equitably and sustainably throughout grades K–12.

– All teachers are adequately prepared to teach rigorous and relevant computer science aligned with California’s K–12 computer science standards.

She then shared the eight principles (e.g., “Computer science instruction should involve real-world, engaging, meaningful, and personally relevant activities for students that focus on problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity while emphasizing the ethical impacts of computing.”). These can also be found in the presentation file and in the agenda item:

Forty-nine recommendations that informed the draft implementation plan were then shared. These included the following: establish a Single Subject credential in Computer Science (CS), develop a directory of institutions of higher education that offer coursework for the CS Supplementary Authorization, develop a California Subject Matter Project for CS, dedicate funding for integrated computer science courses through the University of California Curriculum Integration (UCCI) program (, and conduct outreach events.

During the public comment period, Ed Hidalgo, Chief Innovation and Engagement Officer for Cajon Valley Union School District, stated, “We can’t add computer science as a requirement and not consider the educational requirements that are no longer relevant. It is time to redesign a system that is relevant to the 21st century world of work.”

Concerns were expressed by SBE members regarding factors such as the scope of the recommendations and potential cost of implementation. Murchison described the steps in the approval process before the State Board of Education receives a revised implementation plan in March 2019 for review and potential adoption. If approved at that or a subsequent SBE meeting, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction has until 15 July 2019 to present the plan to the State Legislature.


(4) Draft Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Approved for Public Review and Comment

URL (Agenda Item):
URL (Meeting Video, 9:37):

Two weeks after she presented the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Panel’s recommendations to the State Board of Education, Barbara Murchison (California Department of Education) presented the plan to the Education Technology Committee of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC).  At this meeting on 20 September 2018, Murchison was joined by the plan’s primary writer, WestEd’s Aleata Hubbard. The work of both was applauded by the chair of the Education Technology Committee, Melanie Murphy-Corwin.

Following the presentations by Murchison and Hubbard, the committee voted to recommend to the full IQC that the plan be posted on the California Department of Education website for the required 30-day public review and comment period. The committee also voted to recommend that the IQC approve the questions for the online survey that will be posted on the CDE website along with the draft Strategic Implementation Plan through November 9. The documents are available for download from the following websites:


(5) State Board of Education Seeks a 2019-20 Student Board Member

The California State Board of Education (SBE) is now accepting applications for the 2019-20 Student Board Member position.

Eligibility: California resident who is currently attending a public high school and who will be a senior in good standing during the 2019-20 school year; availability to attend a statewide student leadership conference in Sacramento on November 5-8, 2018.

For more information about the 2019-20 Student SBE Member application, please visit, or contact the SBE by email at or by telephone at 916-319-0827. Complete applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, 11 October 2018.


(6) Free Online Courses/Workshops Reviewing Content on the Single Subject Mathematics and Science CSET Subtests Offered this Semester

The Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) at Fresno State offers free online courses and workshops reviewing the content included on the CSET subtests for Single Subject Mathematics and Science. All sessions are live and interactive, and participants receive a link to the archived recordings for personal review.

This fall, courses are being offered for Mathematics Subtests I and II, and Saturday workshops are being held for all areas of science.

Please visit for the course/workshop schedule and credential information.


(7) Call for Speakers: California Mathematics Council Central 2019 Symposium

Source: Cindy Fukuyama, CMC Central President 

The California Mathematics Council (CMC) Central Section is accepting proposals to speak at the 2019 CMC Central Annual Symposium, which will be held on March 8-9 at the University of California, Merced. The symposium theme is Opening Doors to our Students’ Futures. Keynote speakers include Dan Meyer and Graham Fletcher.

To submit a proposal to speak at the symposium, please visit The proposal deadline is 15 December 2018, and speaker notifications will be sent by 15 January 2019. Speakers will receive free registration, reimbursement for mileage, and up to $50 for materials reimbursement.


(8) Student Volunteer Applications are Invited for the CMC-North and CMC-South Conferences

Sources: Jaime Bonato and Brennan Brockbank (CMC-North); Jaspreet Sandha and Jerry Song (CMC-South)

The 2018 conference of California Mathematics Council (CMC)-South will be held in Palm Springs on November 2-3 ( The 2018 CMC-North conference will be held on November 30-December 2 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds (

Preservice teachers enrolled at a college/university are invited to serve as Student Volunteers at these conferences. Benefits include (a) free conference registration and (b) free 1-year membership in CMC. At CMC-N, volunteers also receive a free copy of a ComMuniCator Special Conference Activity Issue and five $5 vouchers to use toward the purchase of materials in the conference exhibit hall.

At CMC-N, volunteers are assigned to two sessions on Saturday, December 1, and will introduce the speakers, take a headcount of participants, and collect evaluation forms. At CMC-S, volunteers will work during a selected 4-hour period at the conference.

A limited number of volunteer opportunities exist, so those interested in this opportunity should sign up as soon as possible:

  1. CMC-South:
  2. CMC-North:


(9) Fall CUE Conference in Napa Valley Includes Forum with Candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Over 1200 educators are expected to attend the 2018 Fall CUE conference at American Canyon High School in Napa Valley on October 13-14. For links to descriptions of the more than 250 sessions at the conference, visit  Workshop information is available at

On the first day of the conference, a live forum will be held with the candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck. Napa Valley Unified School District Superintendent Rosanna Mucetti will moderate the event. Participants will have the opportunity to “ask questions about the state of our schools and help drive the ed tech agenda” (

For more information about the conference, visit  For information about regional CUE affiliates, visit


(10) Tribute to Tom Carpenter, Developer of Cognitively Guided Instruction, to be Held at Fresno State

URL (Registration):

Tom Carpenter, widely known as a developer of Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), passed away last month. The San Joaquin Valley Mathematics Project, which sponsored several CGI institutes this summer, is hosting an event at Fresno State from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on October 19 to celebrate his life and work in mathematics education.

Fresno State mathematics educator Jeanie Behrend is one of Carpenter’s former doctoral students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will be sharing her memories, as well as inviting others to share how CGI has impacted their professional lives.

Behrend writes that “Tom Carpenter was an influential mathematics educator who touched a multitude of lives. His work researching children’s thinking in mathematics, in partnership with his colleague Elizabeth Fennema’s research on teaching, led to the development of Cognitively Guided Instruction. Tom lived the principles of CGI: (a) everyone (children, teachers, graduate students, researchers) has knowledge to contribute; (b) we continue to learn if we ask questions, listen to others, and justify our thinking; (c) details matter; and (d) mathematics, as well as teaching, is about problem solving and connections.

To register for this free event, please visit  For more on the life and impact of Tom Carpenter, visit


(11) Monterey Bay Aquarium Offers Free Field Trips and Educational Resources

Since opening in 1984, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has maintained a focus on education, providing free visits for over two million schoolchildren. The Field Trip programs are designed for students to learn, have fun, and discover their connections to the ocean while exploring the Aquarium’s exhibits and programs.

To view program availability and make reservations to bring PreK-College level students to the Aquarium (up to 140 students per school per day), visit

The Monterey Bay Aquarium website contains a number of educational resources (e.g., ocean explorer guides, games and activities, project-based science, and teen career resources). Later in the year, the website will post information about the professional development opportunities available to teachers at the Aquarium in 2019.

Visit for more information.


(1) Free Online Summit: Gateways to STEM Education

Source: Education Week

On Tuesday, October 23, from 10 a.m.-noon, Education Week will host a free online summit where EdWeek journalists are joined by the past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the president of the National Science Teachers Association, and other educators to discuss a variety of topics related to STEM education.

From EdWeek: [This Summit] offers you a big-picture look at how states, districts, and schools can overcome the obstacles that prevent more students from succeeding in STEM as they progress through school.

In this virtual event, Education Week journalists and guests will staff online “discussion” rooms on a host of topics, including the challenge of providing strong early STEM experiences, controversies over high school math tracking, and the ongoing challenge of implementing new science standards.


(2) Free NCTM Journal Articles for Mathematics Educators

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics currently produces three grade-level-span practitioner journals for PK-12 teachers of mathematics as well as one journal focusing on research. NCTM members have online access to all articles in the journal to which they subscribe, and non-members may access selected articles from the journals each month. See below for links to download recent freely-available articles:

  • Journal: Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
    – “Using Data to Understand and Improve Students’ Learning: Empowering Teachers and Researchers Through Building and Using a Knowledge Base”


(3) NCTM Twitter Chats for K-12 Teachers of Mathematics


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics presents Twitter Chats focused on articles or blog posts from each of NCTM’s three journals for teachers. All hour-long chats are held on Wednesdays beginning at 6 p.m. PT. Six open-ended questions are posed every ten minutes. See below for the Twitter Chat schedule, as well as links to archived blog posts.

– Teaching Children Mathematics (PreK-6)

Second Wednesday of the month — #TCMchat (direct link:

TCM blog:

– Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School (Gr. 5-9)

Third Wednesday of the month — #MTMSchat (direct link:

MTMS Blog:

– Mathematics Teacher (Gr. 8-14)

Fourth Wednesday of the month — #MTchat (direct link:

MT Blog:


(4) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to Launch New Journal for PreK-12 Teachers of Mathematics in 2020

Last year, the NCTM Board of Directors approved a proposal to consolidate its three practitioner journals (Teaching Children Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, and Mathematics Teacher) and launch a new journal, Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PreK-12 (MTLT). The new journal will launch in January 2020 as a kick-off to NCTM’s centennial year celebration.

Angela Barlow, Professor and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Central Arkansas, was recently named as MTLT’s editor-in-chief. Barlow said that the new monthly journal, which will include peer-reviewed and invited articles, will look at new ways to bring relevant and engaging content to mathematics educators at all levels ( The Editorial Board consists of eleven associate directors (see

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript for publication consideration, please visit


(5) Professional Journals for Science Educators

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) publishes the following four grade-level journals and provides free online access to nonmembers for selected articles in each issue. Below are links to these journals:

–  Science and Children (

–  Science Scope (

–  The Science Teacher (

–  Journal of College Science Teaching (

In addition to these four journals, NSTA publishes Connected Science Learning in conjunction with the Association of Science-Technology Centers. This online journal “showcases highly effective programs, practices, collaborations, and research taking place between the formal [in-school] and informal [out-of-school] science learning communities… In addition to being a valuable resource for a broad range of STEM education professionals, this journal is useful to policy makers, corporations, foundations, and others seeking to identify, advance, and invest in STEM education.”

Visit to read sample articles (e.g.,, search the archives (e.g., “engineering” identified the following article, among many others:, and learn how to submit an article for possible publication.


(6) Free Resources for Science Teachers


The National Science Teachers Association’s website includes a searchable page, “Freebies for Science Teachers,” that contains descriptions of and links to hundreds of free resources for teachers of science. Entries in the extensive database can be filtered by keyword or type (i.e., CD-ROMs, publications, videos/DVDs, kits, and other materials).

In addition, NSTA publishes a number of free e-newsletters for educators at all levels. All except the weekly NSTA Express are published monthly. Additional publications include the following:

– Science and the STEM Classroom

– NSTA’s Book Beat

– Encouraging Youth Scientists

– Science Matters

– Next Gen Navigator

For more information about these free newsletters and to subscribe, visit


(7) National Mathematics Education Conference to be Held in San Diego in April 2019


The 2019 Annual Meeting and Exposition for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) will be held on April 3-6 in San Diego, CA. Registration and housing information are now available on the NCTM website:

NCTM’s Centennial Annual Meeting will be held in Chicago on April 1-4, 2020.


(8) National Conferences on Science Education to be Held in St. Louis and San Francisco in 2019

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) will hold its 2019 National Conference on Science Education in St. Louis, MO, on April 11-14, 2019. For more information, please visit

NSTA’s 8th Annual STEM Forum and Expo will be held in San Francisco on July 24-26, 2019. For more information about this conference (including information on submitting session proposals), visit


(9) Ireland to Host 15th Annual International Conference of the Mathematics Education for the Future Project

The 15th International Conference of the Mathematics Education for the Future Project will be held at Maynooth University in Kildare, Ireland, on 4-9 August 2019. The conference theme is “Theory and Practice: An Interface or A Great Divide?” Photos of the Maynooth region are available at

Conference organizer Alan Rogerson (Poland/UK) shares that the Mathematics Education for the Future Project was founded in 1986 to develop innovation in mathematics, statistics, science, and computer education. Since 1999, there have been 14 conferences held throughout the world. The conferences are renowned for their friendly and productive working atmosphere and are attended by innovative teachers and mathematics educators from countries worldwide.

Visit to view the first announcement and call for papers. Abstracts are due by 1 December 2018. For more information, please contact Alan Rogerson at


(10) Number of Girls and Underrepresented Students Taking AP Computer Courses Spikes Again

Source: The College Board

The College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program is comprised of AP courses and exams. In the area of computer science, two courses/exams are offered: AP Computer Science A (CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (CSP):

AP CSA is an introductory course in computer science. It focuses on problem solving, design strategies, organization of data, approaches to processing data, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both problem solving and design using Java language. For more information on this course, including informative links to over 100 career areas and college majors where knowledge of computer science is important, visit

AP CSP (launched in 2016) is focused on creativity, ideas, and new ways of thinking. AP CSP provides students with the time, space, and technical tools to begin using the principles of computing to explore and create solutions for their needs and interests. Programming and other aspects of computing are taught in the course; however, students don’t need previous coding experience to take AP CSP.

Data released by the College Board shows that significantly more students around the country are taking and doing well in AP computer science courses and on exams. The number of students who took the AP CSA exam went up by 8% – from 61,000 students in 2017 to 66,000 in 2018.

The number of students taking the AP CSP exam jumped over 50% from 2017 to 2018–from 50,000 to 76,000. Among female, rural, and underrepresented minority students, AP CSP participation expanded by approximately 70% from 2017 to 2018, and the number of students who scored a 3 or higher on the AP CSP exam increased around 60% among these groups of students.

“The success of AP CSP is thanks to the tireless work of educators and AP teachers around the country who have made access to computer science education for all students a priority,” said Trevor Packer, who leads the AP Program.  “At a time when there are 10 times more job openings in computing than qualified candidates, AP Computer Science Principles is preparing students not only for college, but also for careers.” Visit for more information about this popular course.


Related Articles: 

(a) “Female, Minority Students took AP Computer Science in Record Numbers” by Ryan Suppe

Source: USA Today – 27 August 2018

(b) Compilation of News Articles



(11) Finalists Named in Broadcom MASTERS Competition for Middle School Students

Source: Broadcom Foundation

On September 18, Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced the 30 finalists in the 8th annual Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), the nation’s premier STEM middle school competition. Nine of these finalists were from California.

Broadcom MASTERS seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future.  The finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., on October 19-23 where they will participate in a rigorous competition that leverages project-based learning to test and demonstrate their mastery of 21st Century skills–critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration–in each of the STEM areas.

In addition to participating in team challenges, the finalists will meet with government officials and showcase their projects for the public during a free event at the National Geographic Society on October 20. Winners will be named during an awards ceremony on October 23 at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

“Congratulations to the 2018 Broadcom MASTERS Finalists–and to every young scientist, engineer and mathematician who has competed in state and regional science fairs this year,” said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation. “It is exciting to see so many young people showing their passion for STEM subjects early through competitions like the Broadcom MASTERS. By cultivating their STEM talents in middle school, students will continue in STEM fields in high school and college and become the scientists, engineers, and innovators of the future.”

“Science competitions like the Broadcom MASTERS are critical to the STEM talent pipeline,” said Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “I applaud all the impressive young people who have been named finalists.”

Visit to read profiles of the finalists and summaries of their research.


COMET is supported by a grant from the California Mathematics Project.


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Carol Fry Bohlin, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator (M.A. in Education-C&I)
Director, Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)
Reporter/Editor, California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET)
California State University, Fresno
5005 N. Maple Ave. M/S ED 2
Fresno, CA  93740-8025