Contents

ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)

(1) STEM Education Conferences in California During 2020

 Listed below are some of the primary mathematics, science, and technology education conferences that will be held in California this year:

  • The California NGSS STEM Conference 2020 is a one-day event for grades 4-12 teachers that will be held at the Exploratorium in San Francisco on March 7. This year’s theme is “Investigating Earth Systems Science in All Classrooms.” Visit http://bit.ly/CA-NGSS-STEM2020 for more information.

  • The California Mathematics Council (CMC) Central 2020 Symposium will be held in Bakersfield on March 13-14 (Pi Day) and features presentations by inspiring and creative educators. Visit http://bit.ly/CMCC-2020 for more information, including a flyer and registration details. CMC Central teachers with fewer than six years of teaching experience are eligible to apply for the Margaret DeArmond Scholarship, which reimburses travel up to $500 and includes a year’s membership in CMC. Visit http://bit.ly/MDScholarship2020 for more information.

  • Computer-Using Educators (CUE) will hold its Spring 2020 Conference on March 19-21 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Visit https://cue.org/conferences/ for more information. Also consider the CUE BOLD (Blended and Online Learning Design) conference on May 2-3 at Mission Viejo High School. Visit http://bit.ly/CUE-BOLD2020 for more information.

  • A conference of note outside of California this year is the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Exposition, which will be held in Chicago on April 1-4. For details about this special celebration of NCTM’s centennial, please visit https://www.nctm.org/100/

  • A free NSF-funded Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) workshop for mathematics faculty from colleges and universities across North America will be held in Los Angeles on June 16-19. Meals, lodging, and materials are included. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/IBL-2020

  • MIRA: The Third Annual Makerspaces for Innovation and Research in Academics (MIRA) conference seeks proposals for its third annual conference at the University of La Verne on July 15-16, 2020. For more information or to submit a proposal, visit http://bit.ly/MIRA-Makerspace2020

  • The California Science Education 2020 Conference will be held on October 16-18 in Palm Springs. Speaker proposals are now being accepted (deadline: March 20). For more information, visit https://conference.cascience.org/

  • The sixty-first annual CMC South Conference will be held in Palm Springs on November 6-7. The sixty-third annual CMC North Conference will be held at Asilomar in Pacific Grove on December 4-6. CMC Executive Secretary Gretchen Mueller announced that speaker proposals may be submitted after February 1. Information will be posted on the CMC website as it becomes available: http://bit.ly/CalMathCouncil

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(2) State Board of Education Approves 2021 Mathematics Framework Revision Guidelines and Committee Members

Source: California State Board of Education – 8 January 2020

URL (Agenda): http://bit.ly/SBE-8Jan2020
URL (Video): http://bit.ly/MathFW-SBE-Jan20

On 8 January 2020, the California State Board of Education unanimously approved (a) the Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee Guidelines for the 2021 Revision of the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve as recommended by the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and (b) the appointment of 20 individuals recommended by the IQC to serve on the Mathematics Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC).

The Mathematics CFCC members were selected from among 65 applicants. See http://bit.ly/IQC-Nov19DftMin for the IQC minutes where the candidate selections were made. The IQC also recommended that (a) Lori Freiermuth, a teacher from Sweetwater Union School District, and (b) Dianne Willson, a mathematics program specialist from Elk Grove Unified School District, be appointed to serve as co-chairs of the Mathematics CFCC.

The approved guidelines, which will direct the work of the Mathematics CFCC in developing the 2021 revision of the Mathematics Framework, are available in Attachment 1 of the agenda item: http://bit.ly/Jan2020Item3-CFCC (document download). COMET readers will likely find this 7-page document of interest. It includes expectations for the revised Mathematics Framework (which it specifies cannot exceed 900 pages in length) such as the following: (a) include “strategies to support a growth mindset in mathematics,” (b) include “compelling language that underscores the importance of the SMPs (Standards for Mathematical Practice) as well as the mathematics content standards” (and how these complement each other), (c) include guidelines to support the integration of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in initial instruction for all students, (d) provide examples of differentiated instruction, and (e) provide “resources that illustrate the connection between mathematics and other academic disciplines and the ways they support one another (e.g., Career Technical Education pathways, College and Career Readiness, computer science, Next Generation Science Standards, etc.”).

“Making these connections [between math and other disciplines] helps math come alive,” stated Shanine Coats, the new Director of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division (CFIRD) at the California Department of Education in her presentation of this agenda item.

To view a video of the presentation of this agenda item, go to http://bit.ly/MathFW-SBE-Jan20 (2:35-2:53).

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(3) Golden State Teacher Grants ($20,000) Now Available for Teacher Candidates in Mathematics, Science, and Other High-Need Fields

URL (Info): http://bit.ly/GSTGP2020
URL (Law): http://bit.ly/AB114GSTG
URL (Program brochure): http://bit.ly/GSTGP-Brochure

Assembly Bill 114, the Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill, was approved by the governor on 2 October 2019 and contains changes to the law required to implement the approved state budget for 2019-20. This bill included funding for the Golden State Teacher Grant program, which provides grants of $20,000 to a teaching credential candidate who commits to working in a high-need field at a priority school for four years during a five-year period of time after receiving their teaching credential.

“High-need fields” include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; career technical education (CTE) in STEM areas; bilingual education; special education; and multiple subject instruction. A “priority school” is defined as a school with a high percentage of teachers holding emergency-type permits (e.g., short-term staff permits, substitute permits, and provisional internships), based on the most recent data available to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

Repayment of $5000 annually up to the full $20,000 is required for each year that a grant recipient does not satisfy the educational or instructional requirements of the program. Visit http://bit.ly/AB114GSTG and search for “Section 69617 of the Education Code” for bill details. Visit http://bit.ly/GSTGP2020 for information about the program and its requirements.

After Governor Gavin Newsom released his initial 2020-21 budget proposal on January 10, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) issued the following statement: “…I worked to create the Golden State Teacher Grant program to help support and bring more teachers into our classrooms. I’m encouraged by the budget’s proposed additional investments in education workforce development, teacher recruitment, and diversity–especially for our highest-need districts…” (http://bit.ly/RivasBudgetStatement).

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(4) Free Online CSET Mathematics and Science Subtest I and II Courses/Workshops for Spring 2020

The Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) at Fresno State is offering free, online, interactive courses reviewing the content assessed on the first two Single Subject CSET subtests for mathematics and all of the subtests for science this semester. All of the sessions are recorded and archived for additional review by participants.

The two mathematics courses will be held on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The Subtest I course will begin on February 3 and conclude on March 2. The Subtest II course will commence March 9 and conclude on April 2. The day-long science workshop series will be held on four Saturdays in March and will be repeated in June.

Visit http://bit.ly/MSTI-CSET-Spring2020 for more information and registration information.

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Related information:

Multiple and Single Subject Pedagogy Courses — Institutions Offering Ad Hoc Enrollment

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) has released a compilation of Preliminary Multiple and Single Subject Teacher Preparation programs that accept ad hoc enrollment to support educators in satisfying the pedagogy course requirement for earning an additional teaching authorization (e.g., adding a Single Subject Mathematics teaching credential to a Physics credential). The document contains information such as delivery format (online, face-to-face), fees, and subject matter areas. Visit the following website to access this document:

http://bit.ly/CTC-PedagogyCourses 

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(5) Governor Newsom Proposes 2020-21 State Budget with a Focus on STEM Teacher Preparation

URL: http://bit.ly/2020-21BudgetNewsom

Over the course of three hours on 10 January 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom presented his proposed state budget for 2020-21 and fielded numerous questions. A video of his talk is available on Periscope: http://bit.ly/GovNewsom2020-21BudgetPres (press the Play button; the timeline is toward the bottom of the frame).

Governor Newsom noted that California’s economy is the strongest in the nation and the fifth largest in the world. The governor recognizes that equitable education opportunities for students are vital in supporting the state’s economy. “The state has a well-documented, long-term, statewide teacher shortage in the areas of special education, science and math. The Budget proposes an investment of approximately $900 million in teacher training, including professional development, educator service awards, and teacher residency programs. These investments will increase and improve the teacher workforce, which is foundational to improving student outcomes.” The governor stated, “In high poverty schools, there are three times as many unprepared teachers as other schools. The focus of the new $20,000 Golden State Teacher Grants is to prepare teachers for service in schools with a relatively high percentage of underprepared teachers.”

Recognizing the vital importance of early learning, the governor stated, “We want to establish a Department of Early Childhood Development. We’ve got all of these groups doing great work but not together–private and public need to come under one roof.”

The governor also announced, “We have a big initiative on computer science education.” See below for some of the computer science education initiatives supported in the governor’s proposed budget (from page 82 in the Governor’s Budget Summary, available at http://bit.ly/Gov2020-21BudgetSummary):

– $15 million …for grants to local educational agencies to support the preparation of approximately 10,000 K‑12 teachers to earn a supplementary authorization on their credential to teach computer science.

– $2.5 million …for a county office of education within the Statewide System of Support to identify, compile, and share computer science resources for professional development, curriculum, and best practices.

– $1.3 million … to develop a new [University of California] Subject Matter Project in computer science and $340,000 non-Proposition 98 General Fund for one cohort of approximately 1,200 educators to participate in the new project. [This project would supplement the current constellation of statewide Subject Matter Projects: https://csmp.ucop.edu/home/about]

The entire California Budget for 2020-21 is available on www.ebudget.ca.gov The detailed proposed education budget is available at http://bit.ly/2020-21GovBudgEd

State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond enthusiastically supported this plan: “I applaud Governor Newsom’s K-12 education budget proposal and am especially excited to see expanded investments in the quality of classroom teaching, particularly in the critical areas of math, science, special education and bilingual education.

“Our state cannot close achievement gaps in student learning without first closing quality gaps in classroom instruction caused by California’s teacher shortage. Some students spend the year in classrooms staffed by highly trained, highly prepared teachers. But many others do not. These disparities are particularly grievous for low-income students of color. The 2020-21 budget investments in educator recruitment and professional development will help place California on solid footing moving forward as we work to build, train and support the kind of high-quality educator workforce all our students need and deserve.”

In his statement of support for the governor’s plan (see below), State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond stated, “The Governor mentioned that students should have teachers that look more like them, and we couldn’t agree more. We look forward to having the opportunity to invest in our teacher workforce and the pipeline of future teachers coming into the profession, specifically teachers of color and in the fields of science, math, and special education.”

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Related:

(a) “California Governor Proposes Nearly $1 Billion to Tackle Teacher Preparation, Shortages” by John Fensterwald

Source: EdSource – 10 January 2020
URL: http://bit.ly/EdSourceGovBudg2020-21   

(b) State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Praises Governor Newsom’s 2020 Budget

Source: California Department of Education – 10 January 2020
URL: http://bit.ly/CDE-Jan10Budget

(c) California State Summer School for Math and Science (COSMOS)

URL:  https://cosmos-ucop.ucdavis.edu/app/main

The California State Summer School for Math and Science (COSMOS) is supported by the state budget. The California Legislature established COSMOS in 1998 with the goal of engaging highly talented and motivated students in an intensive program of study, experimentation, and activities to further their interests and skills in STEM subjects. The deadline for the summer 2020 4-week residential (on the campus of UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, or UC Santa Cruz) STEM program for high school students is February 7. Visit the COSMOS website, https://cosmos-ucop.ucdavis.edu/app/main/, for more information.

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(6) California State University Board of Trustees to Vote on Proposal to Require an Additional Quantitative Reasoning Course in High School for CSU Admission at January 29 Meeting

URL: http://bit.ly/BOT-MtgAgenda

At the 20 November 2019 meeting of the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees (BOT), the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) presented the following as an information item: “Amendment to Title 5 Regarding Admissions Requirements: Quantitative Reasoning.” The 20-page agenda item containing the proposed regulatory changes is available at http://bit.ly/BOT-CEPNov2019 (Item 3).

Action on the proposed policy to require an additional year of quantitative reasoning coursework in high school for CSU admission was originally planned for the November 20 meeting but was delayed until next week’s BOT meeting. The agenda for the January 28-29 BOT meeting (including detailed agenda items for all committees) is available at http://bit.ly/BOT-MtgAgenda The CEP is scheduled for the second day of the BOT meeting, and “Admission Requirements: Quantitative Reasoning” (QR) is the fourth item on the CEP’s agenda.

California State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond released a statement on the delay in voting on the proposal: “This is an important issue that will have a wide-reaching effect on our schools, and so I am grateful to Chancellor White for giving us extra time to evaluate impacts. I applaud the CSU for its goal of improving STEM opportunities for students and for thinking intensely about how to support K-12 efforts in this regard. It is critical that any new expectations not exacerbate existing inequalities in access to quantitative skills at the K-12 level, in particular the already acute shortage of qualified math and science teachers that has reduced access to coursework and to high-quality teaching for students in many schools.”

A summary of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) proposal is included in the CEP agenda item for the January 29 BOT meeting. Excerpts follow below:

“As the largest and most diverse four-year public university system in the nation, the California State University (CSU) is committed to completely eliminating equity gaps – the gaps between degree attainment for students from historically underserved communities and their peers – at all levels of the university… Quantitative reasoning skills represent one of the greatest disparities among incoming college students. Too often, quantitative reasoning preparation disparities in PK-12 schools exacerbate equity gaps that follow students to college and influence their academic and career options. Students with additional quantitative reasoning preparation in high school – in every region of the country and across all ethnic groups – experience greater success in college. This preparation also readies students for the workforce, regardless of their field of interest…

“The CSU proposes that graduating high school students, beginning with the entering first-year class of 2027, complete one additional course in quantitative reasoning to meet the minimum qualifications for CSU first-year admission. It will be possible for students to fulfill this requirement through high school coursework in mathematics, science, or an elective course with a quantitative reasoning foundation. Students may also meet the requirement with a range of qualifying career and technical education courses or with appropriate dual enrollment courses at a local community college. Students who would otherwise be CSU eligible, but are unable to meet this requirement because of course limitations at their high school, will be automatically provided an exemption during the initial implementation of the requirement. This practice is consistent with prior phase-in processes of ‘‘a-g’’ course requirements for admission. The proposed implementation term was extended to fall 2027 to ensure ample time for planning, communication and capacity building, particularly at high schools that currently have fewer course options.

“The CSU will continue to collaborate with PK-12 districts in every region of the state – building on decades-long partnerships – to expand curricular offerings in subjects that align with this requirement. Consistent with Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2020-21 proposed K-12 budget supporting approximately $900 million for educator recruitment and training, the CSU has committed an additional $10 million over the next four years to its Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) to double (from 1,000 to 2,000) the number of mathematics, science, and computer science teachers prepared at the CSU. Additionally, the university will continue to expand the co-development of transitional courses currently offered at more than 160 high schools across the state, and will tailor and expand existing student outreach and enrichment programs to support PK-12 student learning…Many of these opportunities will be conducted by the CSU Center for the Advancement of Instruction in Quantitative Reasoning (CAIQR)…

Specifically, “the CSU is proposing to expand the ‘a-g’ requirements that determine minimal eligibility for CSU admission by including the completion of an additional course in quantitative reasoning, which could be fulfilled from area ‘c – mathematics,’ area ‘d – laboratory science’ or a quantitative reasoning course from area ‘g – college preparatory elective.’ Such college preparatory courses in area ‘g’ could include computer science, coding, personal finance, and career and technical education courses with quantitative reasoning content. Students can satisfy this requirement with course-taking beginning in middle school… The objective of this change is that students take the next appropriate quantitative reasoning course to strengthen fluency and preparation for college-level coursework.”

Prior to the BOT’s discussion of the agenda item on November 20, a number of individuals took advantage of the opportunity for public comment regarding the CEP agenda items. All spoke against the QR proposal, with many expressing appreciation for the changes to the proposal but still greatly concerned about the potential for limiting access to the CSU for historically underrepresented groups, particularly Black and Latino students.

Among the speakers during the public comment period were Sara Mooney and Michele Siqueriros from the Campaign for College Opportunity, which has collected signatures from over 90 organizations and individuals opposed to the QR proposal: https://collegecampaign.org/csuaccessdenied/

In the current proposal, the CSU has addressed concerns and has included “multiple ‘reflection points’ and ‘safety valves’ that would allow the implementation timeline to be extended — or halted–if the policy is resulting in unintended consequences.”  See page 26 of this agenda item (http://bit.ly/BOT-CEP-Jan2020) for details. As it currently stands, the proposed QR Resolution is as follows (see p. 27):

RESOLVED, by the Board of Trustees of the California State University, that:

1. The Board of Trustees seeks to have all incoming first year students complete, in addition to the current ‘a-g’ high school course requirements, a fourth year quantitative reasoning course, selecting from a wide range of courses as described in this agenda item, and will consider approving such a requirement and Title 5 change by spring 2022 to be effective fall 2027.

2. The Chancellor shall submit to the Board a progress report in March 2021 and a final report by January 2022 that includes:

   a. a third-party independent analysis of the planned implementation and potential impact of the proposed requirement on high school students’ application to the CSU,

   b. the progress on doubling the number of STEM qualified teachers annually prepared by the CSU,

   c. clarity of the charge, role and composition of a steering committee that reports to the EVC of Academic and Student Affairs,

   d. clarity on exemptions for students whose public schools do not provide sufficient courses, and

   e. the progress on increasing outreach and awareness of the proposed requirement with schools, counselors, and families.

During the November BOT meeting, CSU Chancellor Timothy White was the last to contribute to the discussion by the Trustees that followed the presentation of the QR agenda item by Loren J. Blanchard, Nathan Evans, Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, and James T. Minor.

“The nature of work in the future will require more quantitative reasoning,” Chancellor White stated. “We want underserved students to be competitive in the future of work. There are numerous safety valves in this proposal over the next seven years to assure that it’s not going to be hurtful to a single student in California. We need to have the courage to give the support to these young men and women who need to be competitive in the workplace of tomorrow.”

A video of the CEP portion of the November BOT meeting, including the public comment period, is available at http://bit.ly/CEPNov2019. Next week’s meeting will be live streamed at http://bit.ly/CSU-BOT-Livestream

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Related information:

Academic Senate of the California State University Passes Resolution in Support of Additional Preparation in Quantitative Reasoning

URL: http://bit.ly/ASCSU-QR-Res

At its November 2019 meeting, the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) passed a resolution supporting “the CSU proposal to the Board of Trustees to add an additional year of quantitative reasoning coursework to first-year admission requirements to be implemented in the 2027-28 academic year. It also recommended that the CSU continue to work with K-12 partners to implement this proposal and eliminate negative impacts on underserved school districts and students. This requirement increases transparency regarding CSU academic expectations and the high-school preparation needed to succeed at the university.” The ASCSU resolution (including a number of links to earlier resolutions) is available at http://bit.ly/ASCSU-QR-Res

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(7) Recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) are Honored in Washington, D.C.

URL: http://bit.ly/WH-PAEMST1718

On 15 October 2019, President Trump announced 215 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) for the years 2017 and 2018, as well as the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) for 2017. Up to 108 teachers per year are selected for the PAEMST (one in math and one in science per state plus the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Department of Defense schools, and–as a group–four U.S. territories). The teachers recognized by the White House in October for the PAEMST were the 2017: Gr. 7-12 and 2018: Gr. K-6 award recipients.

The teachers attended a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities during the time they were in Washington, D.C.  They toured the White House and met U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. They also received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, which administers the program on behalf of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) in the White House, the office that makes the final selection of recipients after expert committees render recommendations.

The following educators from California received the awards in October:

Mathematics Recipients:

 – (Gr. K-6) Megan Smith, Lincoln Fundamental Elementary School
 – (Gr. 7-12) Andrew Walter, Amos Alonzo Stagg Senior HighScience Recipients:

 – (Gr. K-6) Elizabeth Henderson, California School for the Deaf, Riverside
 – (Gr. 7-12) Jose Rivas, Lennox Mathematics, Science and Technology Academy

The full list of recipients is available at https://www.paemst.org/awardees_all  Links to photos and biographical profiles of the recipients are included. (Megan’s Twitter feed documents her experiences in Washington, DC: https://twitter.com/mksmithca; scroll to the bottom.)

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The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) recognizes educators and organizations with a sustained record of exemplary STEM mentoring outside the traditional classroom setting for at least five years. It is  “the nation’s highest honors for mentors who work with underrepresented groups to develop fully the nation’s human resources in STEM.” Like the PAEMST awardees, the PAESMEM recipients received a $10,000 award and the special recognitions in Washington, D.C. in October.

Among the 15 mentors recognized last fall were two educators from California: (a) Dominique Evans, a 2016 Teacher of the Year for Los Angeles Unified School District and (b) Gisele (Gigi) Ragusa, a professor of Engineering Education Practice and faculty member in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California (USC).

Dominique teaches Biology and Geographical Information Systems at Clark Magnet High School, which has a strong focus on STEM education. She was the only high school teacher selected to receive the award this year. For more about Dominique, visit http://bit.ly/DominiqueEvansPAESMEM and http://bit.ly/DominiqueEvansLATimes

Gigi is chairperson of USC’s STEM Consortium and involved in a number of research projects related to STEM education. For more information about Gigi, visit http://bit.ly/GigiRagusaUSC and http://bit.ly/GigiRagusaPAESMEM

For more information on the PAESMEM, visit https://paesmem.net/about

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(8) Six California Teachers Selected as Finalists for the 2019 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Source: California Department of Education
URL: http://bit.ly/CDE-PAEMST2019Finalists

On 14 October 2019, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the six state finalists (3 each in mathematics and science education) for the 2019 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The middle and high school teachers were recruited and selected by the California Mathematics Council and the California Science Teachers Association in partnership with the California Department of Education. Secondary school teachers of mathematics, science, engineering, or computer science are eligible for the PAEMST in odd-numbered years; grades K-6 teachers are eligible in even-numbered years.

The following teachers are finalists for this award:

Mathematics:

– Holly Brown, Moreland Middle School, Moreland School District, San Jose

– Maria Garcia, Richard Henry Dana Middle School, Wiseburn Unified School District, El Segundo. 

– Brian Shay, Canyon Crest Academy, San Dieguito Union High School District, San Diego

Science:

– Janice Coonrod, Bishop O’Dowd High School, Diocese of Oakland, Oakland

– Erica Delgado, Lennox Mathematics, Science and Technology Academy; Lennox Elementary School District, Lennox

– Joanna Trigo, La Viña Middle School, Delano Union Elementary School District, Delano. 

Superintendent Thurmond said, “We want more teachers like them all across California so that all students can enroll in great STEAM and computer science programs to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

For highlights of these teachers’ work, please visit http://bit.ly/CDE-PAEMST2019Finalists

The PAEMST 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 an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., and receive a $10,000 award from NSF. Please visit https://www.paemst.org/about/view for more information about these awards.

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ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)

(1) Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) in Grades K-6 for 2020: Nominations and Applications are Invited

Nominate an outstanding mathematics or science teacher for the 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The nomination deadline is March 1, and the deadline for a teacher to apply for this prestigious honor is May 1. For 2020, nominees must be teaching mathematics, science, and/or computer science in grades K-6.

For more information, please visit https://www.paemst.org/

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(2) STEM Teacher Leadership Network Launched

URL: https://stemtlnet.org/ 

TERC’s STEM Teacher Leadership Network, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), invites teacher leaders and aspiring teacher leaders, as well as researchers and administrators interested in effective school leadership, to join, view, share, and interact with this new virtual learning community and collegial network. Visit https://stemtlnet.org to become a member.

“This interactive professional learning community will focus on how teacher leaders can effect change in STEM education,” said Joni Falk, Principal Investigator of this effort. “We’ve already heard from many teacher leaders who are excited that this network will enable them to explore new leadership paths and opportunities, connect to leaders across the country, and find relevant resources and upcoming events for their continued professional growth.”

The free membership will provide access to networking tools, resources, and interactive online events throughout the year to explore topics related to STEM teacher leadership. Members will share their leadership paths, challenges, strategies, resources, upcoming opportunities, and events with each other.

“NSF is pleased to support a project that is developing an interactive professional learning community for STEM educators,” said Nafeesa Owens, Program Director/Staff Associate within the Education and Human Resources Directorate at NSF. There are excellent STEM teachers across our country who are leading in and out of the classroom each day. This project not only gives them needed resources, but also promises a network where they can grow and learn on their leadership journey together.”

Each month, the site will explore a theme related to teacher leadership. Each theme will have an online, interactive expert panel; related resources; a blog; and a month-long facilitated discussion. Last month’s theme was “Leading Without Leaving the Classroom”; a video of the event is available at https://stemtlnet.org/theme/leading-without-leaving-classroom  The theme of this month’s webinar and discussion is “America’s Strategy for STEM Education–Why it is Relevant to STEM Leaders.” See https://stemtlnet.org/theme/january2020-expertpanel? to view a video of the informative January 8 webinar.

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(3) Bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act Supports PreK-6 and Female STEM Education Initiatives and Research

URL: http://bit.ly/BuildingBlockSTEM

Last month, President Trump signed into law S.737 – Building Blocks of STEM Act, “to direct the National Science Foundation to support STEM education research focused on early childhood… In awarding grants under the Discovery Research PreK–12 program, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall consider the age distribution of a STEM education research and development project to improve the focus of research and development on elementary and prekindergarten education.”

The act provides for a number of components that seek to support female students in grades PreK-6 in computer science education, as well as to allow funding under the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act to include research on factors that may support female students in grades PreK-6 in STEM education (e.g., the role of parents, teachers, STEM activities, mentorship, teacher training, and the learning environment).

Among the endorsers of the bill were the Girl Scouts of the USA, the American Association of University Women, Code.org, and Girls Who Code.

Visit http://bit.ly/BuildingBlocksSTEM-Act for more details regarding the bill, including possible initiatives and areas of research related to early childhood STEM education and female participation in STEM fields, including computer science.

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(4) Christa McAuliffe to be Commemorated with a New $1 Silver Coin with Proceeds Benefiting FIRST Robotics

URL: http://bit.ly/McAuliffeCoinLegis

On 8 October 2019, President Trump signed into law a bill (S. 239) to mint and issue $1 silver coins to commemorate Christa McAuliffe, the social studies teacher from New Hampshire who lost her life in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion on 28 January 1986.

According to the text of the law, “all surcharges received by Treasury from the sale of the coins [($10 per coin)] shall be paid to the FIRST robotics program for the purpose of engaging and inspiring young people, through mentor-based programs, to become leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/McAuliffeCoinInfo

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STEM SNIPPETS

(1) California Dashboard Mobile App

– The California School Dashboard (www.caschooldashboard.org/) is available on the California Dashboard Mobile App, which can be used to access school and district performance data (e.g., mathematics assessment scores, graduation rates, and implementation of state standards). For more information, visit www.cde.ca.gov/re/mo/cadashboard.asp

(2) “Surprise Party: Oakland Math Teacher Receives Milken Educator Award” by Roger McKinney

Source: Columbia Daily Tribune – 10 January 2020

URL: http://bit.ly/OaklandTchrMilken

URL (Milken Educator Award Info): https://www.milkeneducatorawards.org/about/home/

(3) New Report: Branching Out: Designing High School Math Pathways for Equity

URL: http://bit.ly/BRANCHING-OUT

– In November, Just Equations released Branching Out: Designing High School Math Pathways for Equity, a report written by Phil Daro and Harold Asturios. Pamela Burdman, Executive Director of Just Equations, invites feedback on the document, as well as any questions regarding implementing alternative math pathways at the school or district level: info@justequations.org

(4) “Math that Feels Good: Creating Learning Resources for Blind Students” by the American Institute of Mathematics

URL: http://bit.ly/Math-Blind

(5) Single Subject Mathematics Assessors Needed for Scoring the California Teaching Performance Assessment

URL (Application): http://bit.ly/CalTPA-Assessors

(6) “Trump to Nominate Arizona State Computer Scientist to Lead the National Science Foundation” by Jeffrey Mervis

Source: Science – 19 December 2019

– Sethuraman Panchanathan, Executive Vice President and the Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University, was selected by President Trump to be the Director of the National Science Foundation. Visit http://bit.ly/NSF-Director2020  and http://bit.ly/Panch-NSF for more information.

(7) “Students Talk Through Math in this California School. Now Test Scores are Rising” by Sydney Johnson

Source: EdSource – 18 November 2019
URL: http://bit.ly/Talk_Math

(8) “Science Demonstration Clinches Win for Miss America” by Rob Quinn

– Last month, Camille Schrier, a student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy and Miss Virginia 2019, was crowned Miss America 2020 after impressing judges with a science experiment that she conducted on stage. Visit http://bit.ly/YouTubeCamille to view the video. Also see http://bit.ly/FemaleBillNye and http://bit.ly/USA-Today-Camille for more about Camille.

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Carol Fry Bohlin, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
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
Email: carolb@csufresno.edu        Twitter: @STEM_Fresno