COMET • Vol. 22, No. 02 – 09 September 2021




(1) Registration is Open for the 2021 California Mathematics Council Fall Conferences 

Registration is open for the California Mathematics Council (CMC) North and CMC South conferences, both of which are planned to be held in person. CMC North’s conference, “The Magic of Mathematics,” will be held on December 3-5 in Pacific Grove. Visit for more information, including a link to register. (Early bird registration ends on October 15.)

CMC South’s conference, “Time to Unmute: Amplifying Diverse Voices,” is scheduled to be held in Palm Springs on November 5-6. Visit for more information, including a link to register. (For the lowest rate, register by September 17.)

Hold the Date: CMC Central’s 2022 conference is scheduled for March 11-12 in Merced, CA.

(Note: The dates for these conferences fall after the current expiration date of November 1 for the COVID-19 vaccination/testing requirement for “mega-events” such as conferences with over 1000 in attendance indoors:




(2) Virtual California Science Education Experience 


The 2021 Virtual California Science Education Experience, hosted by the California Association of Science Educators (CASE), will be held on October 8-10. The conference will feature over 100 workshops, virtual exhibits, and special guests, including opening keynote speakers Diana Trujillo, aerospace engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Chris Lowe, Director of the Shark Lab at CSU Long Beach. 

A unique feature of the “experience” is the inclusion of focus speakers throughout the month of October. See for the schedule, and visit for more conference information. Also offered during the month is a Computer Science Summit on October 2. See for registration and session information.



Additional Opportunities from CASE

(a) Free Webinar: Building on Student and Community Assets to Achieve Equity in STEM Education

On September 23, CASE will present one of the first webinars “in a year-long series that will explore strategies to overcome inequities in STEM through an asset-centered approach to working with diverse student populations.”  

Entitled “Connecting with Students: Learning is Social, Emotional, and Academic,” this free webinar will feature three speakers whose experiences showcase their passion for educational equity, social justice, and community engagement. Visit CASE’s webinar page to learn more: To register for this webinar, visit 

(b) Virtual Meet and Greet for Rural California Science Teachers

CASE is hosting a virtual event on September 22 from 4-5:30 p.m. PDT to support and foster a sense of community among science teachers from rural and small schools. There will be “games, opportunities for small group discussions, and free giveaways.” For more information on this new networking opportunity, visit 




(3) California STEAM Symposium

The 2021 California STEAM Symposium will be held virtually on October 21-23. An overview of the schedule is available at, with more information about symposium strands and pathways available at  Symposium FAQs are available at (As with CASE and CMC conferences, the STEAM Symposium extends a special invitation to preservice teachers, who can attend for a discounted rate.) 




(4) Fall CUE 2021 Conference – October 23-24

The Fall CUE 2021 conference will be offered in a virtual-only format on October 23-24. CUE conferences feature a plethora of sessions focused on effective teaching with technology. Recordings of all sessions at this conference will be available to participants through 31 December 2021. 

Originally conceptualized as a hybrid conference, a hands-on tour of the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) FabLab ( was planned. According to Stephen Callahan, SJCOE Educational Technology Design Coordinator and 2021 Tinker Fellow, a virtual tour of the lab will be provided, and additional sessions featuring a variety of innovative technologies will be streamed from the facility.      

For more information about the conference, including the schedule and registration information, visit For more information about CUE, visit 




(5) Early Math Symposium 2021 – Session Videos Now Available

The 2021 Early Math Symposium was held virtually from 8 a.m.-5 pm. on June 25. The agenda is available at  Videos of sessions of interest can be accessed from the main conference page (click on the speaker’s photo): Videos and resources from past symposia (“Past Events” tab) are also available on this website.

The California Early Math Initiative is administered by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, with state funds supporting professional development and resources for early math educators. For more information about the initiative, visit, as well as the Early Math Project website: 




Related topic:

DREME: Development and Research in Early Mathematics Education

The Development and Research in Early Mathematics Education (DREME) Network was established to “advance the field of early mathematics research and improve young children’s opportunities to develop math skills.” The DREME Teacher Education (TE) project provides resources for preservice and practicing early childhood educators. A significant product is a set of instructional modules, each of which addresses “the integration of mathematical content, teacher practice, pedagogical approaches to support teacher learning, and resources to support that learning.” Visit for more information about the DREME TE project and to learn more about DREME.



(6) Free Online CSET Mathematics and Science Workshops for 2021-2022

The Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) at California State University (CSU) Fresno (Fresno State) and at CSU Northridge offer free online workshops reviewing the content assessed on the three CSET subtests for mathematics (test codes 211-213) and for all subtests for science (test codes 215, 217-220). The sessions are recorded and archived for additional review by participants. See below for more information:

  • Fresno State’s 2021-22 Mathematics Workshop Series (5:30-8:30 p.m. for all three series):

– Subtest I: Tuesdays and Thursdays, September 23-October 19, 2021

– Subtest II: Tuesdays and Thursdays, October 21-November 18, 2021

– Subtest III: Wednesdays, January 26-April 6, 2022


Fresno State will offer four 4-week series of day-long CSET science workshops (all content areas) on Saturdays throughout 2021-22 beginning this week (September 11). For dates and more information about the workshop series for science as well as for math, please visit

Registration is required to receive course materials and links from the instructors. Visit 




(7) California’s Finalists Announced for 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)


Six outstanding middle and high school mathematics and science teachers from California were selected as state-level finalists for the 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation’s most prestigious recognition of K-12 teachers of mathematics, science, and computer science. The program is coordinated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In honoring this year’s state finalists, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond stated, “This has been a year full of significant challenges for students—personal, economic, and social… These incredible educational mentors are driving preparation in math, technology, engineering, and science, including computer science, that connect students with the world around them and help them grow their skills to persevere in any endeavor.”

The following teachers were honored:

  • Mathematics Finalists
    – Kristen Donavan (Woodbridge High School, Irvine Unified School District, Irvine) – Maria Garcia (Richard Henry Dana Middle School, Wiseburn School District, Hawthorne)
    – Stephanie Paris (Granada Hills Charter High School, Los Angeles Unified School District, Granada Hills)
  • Science Finalists
    – Garrett Lim (Walnut High School, Walnut Valley Unified School District, Walnut)
    – Catherine Messenger (Los Gatos High School, Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District, Los Gatos)
    – Zachary Moore (Laguna Blanca School, Hope Elementary School District, Santa Barbara)

Visit for more information about these award-winning educators. Their applications will be considered by the PAEMST National Review and Selection Committee, which will determine the final award winners from each state and invite these national awardees to Washington, D.C. for several days of celebratory and professional events, including the presentation of an award certificate signed by the president and a check for $10,000 from the National Science Foundation in 2022.  

California’s most recent secondary school national PAEMST honorees are Brian Shay ( and Janice Coonrod ( To view all past national recipients of this award, please visit 




Related Information

PAEMST Nominations and Applications are Invited – K-6 STEM Teachers are Eligible

The 2021-22 PAEMST nomination and application period for K-6 STEM teachers has begun. Eligible teachers must have at least five years of K-12 teaching experience, teach at the K-6 level at least 50% of the day, and be full-time employees of a school or school district. 

To nominate an exemplary teacher for this honor, please visit  To apply for the PAEMST, visit (Application deadline: 6 February 2022)

The California Department of Education partners with the California Mathematics Council ( and the California Association of Science Educators ( for the selection of the state PAEMST finalists. Each applicant must display subject mastery, excellent teaching, evidence of lifelong learning, and educational leadership. Each candidate is also required to submit a 30-minute video lesson in support of their application. Contact information for California’s coordinators is available at 

Throughout the nomination/application cycle, informational webinars will be presented. For the schedule and to register, please visit  The next webinar will be held on September 14 at 2 p.m. PDT. 




(8) Kareem Abdul-Jabarr Recognized for Work in STEM Education 


Kareem Abdul-Jabarr was one of three influential individuals named by State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tony Thurmond as an Ambassador of Education earlier this summer. This was Abdul-Jabbar’s latest state honor for his dedication to providing after-school STEM learning opportunities to students in underserved communities. His Skyhook Foundation’s mission is to use STEM education to “give kids a shot that can’t be blocked” ( Abdul-Jabarr previously was named by then-SSPI Tom Torlakson as California’s After School STEM Ambassador at the 2012 California STEM Summit (  

In an interview for NBC news, Abdul-Jabbar stated, “I would see my legacy as being a success when the kids that we’re trying to reach end up with jobs as engineers, and scientists, and inventors. That’s going to make me feel good” ( 




(9) Applications Are Open Now for the 2022-2023 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program (Deadline: Nov. 19) 


The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend eleven months working in Federal agencies or in U.S. Congressional offices, applying their extensive knowledge and classroom experiences to national education programs and/or education policy efforts. 




(10) Update: Revision of the California Mathematics Framework

Revised Mathematics Framework Timeline

At its 14 July 2021 meeting, the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved a revised Schedule of Significant Events for the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, 2021 Revision. The revised timeline is available at  

The text of this agenda item included the following: “To ensure that the writing team has sufficient time to implement the changes approved by the [Instructional Quality Commission (IQC)], and the SBE has sufficient time to fully evaluate the feedback from the public from the second 60-day public comment and review period prior to final action, the [California Department of Education (CDE)] is proposing moving the start of the second field review to December and extending the final action by the SBE on the framework to its May 2022 meeting.” (Download agenda item at  

Board Member Patricia Rucker recommended inserting a placeholder in the proposed calendar for another opportunity for public comment and further discussion at an IQC meeting called in early 2022 following the next 60-day public comment period should it be needed. She also suggested giving the Executive Director of the SBE the authority to convene this meeting. This placeholder is included in the timeline approved by the SBE.

Prologue to the July 2021 SBE Action on the Mathematics Framework Timeline

At the 19 May 2021 meeting of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), the Mathematics Subject Matter Committee (SMC) of the IQC reviewed a 496-page compilation of survey responses and comments received by the California Department of Education (CDE) during the first 60-day (February 8-April 8, 2021) public comment period for the Mathematics Framework draft (automatic download: For each comment, writers and CDE staff provided a recommended response/action. 

Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources (CFIR) Division Director Shanine Coats noted that a considerable number of public comments were received concerning mathematics acceleration in middle school and the draft guidance around Grade 8 algebra, instructional services with regard to gifted and talented mathematics, high school calculus, and the issue of tracking. Lead Mathematics Framework writer Brian Lindaman then provided an overview of key changes recommended, and Constantino Silva provided an overview of the structure of the document. Numerous statements were given during the 110-minute public comment period. A number of the comments were consistent with the position of the National Association for Gifted Children as expressed in the organization’s “Statement on the California Math Framework” ( 

Following the public comment period, the Mathematics SMC discussed the recommended edits. After this review, committee chair Christine Chapman presented approved motions to the full IQC. The commission accepted the recommended edits and delegated the IQC chair Manuel Rustin, Mathematics SMC chair Chapman, and Commissioner (Senator) Ben Allen to review the agreed-upon changes to the draft Mathematics Framework along with minor edits identified by CFIR Division staff (grammar, punctuation, word order, etc.) before the edited draft is posted for the next 60-day period of public review and comment. The IQC took action to recommend the revised draft to the State Board of Education following the public comment period. (The video of the Mathematics Framework discussion during the IQC meeting is available at time marker 1:24:47-6:19:22 on )

A website with FAQ has been developed to address issues, concerns, and questions regarding the Mathematics Framework: see The FAQ now contains a summary of the changes recommended by the IQC at this meeting.




(11) Webinar: Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance for Mathematics 

The State Board of Education adopted the 541-page California Digital Learning Integration and Standards Guidance document at its meeting on 12 May 2021. The guide was created to support educators in effectively utilizing technology to support instruction in the areas of mathematics, English language arts, and English language development. For more information about this project, visit The document can be downloaded from 

On August 26, the California Department of Education hosted a video introduction to Section B: Standards Guidance for Mathematics, which is organized around the “big ideas” of the revised Mathematics Framework draft. To view the video, visit 




(12) California State Budget 2021-22 and AB 130 (Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill)

California’s 2021-22 State Budget ( was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on 28 June 2021. The Enacted Budget Summary is available online at the following website, followed by links to the chapters on K-12 and higher education: 

Readers interested in a detailed look at the state budget for K-12 and higher education can visit the following website: 

The TK-12 Education Omnibus Budget Trailer bill, AB 130, was signed into law by the governor on 9 July 2021: 

This bill authorizes significant funding for a number of educational initiatives, including the following:

  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification Incentive Program: Awards $25,000 to any teacher who has attained NBPTS certification if the teacher agrees to teach at a high-priority school for at least five years after July 1, 2021. Also, teachers pursuing National Board certification are eligible for a $2500 award, with half to be disbursed upon application and the balance upon successful National Board certification.
  • Significant funding to establish or expand Teacher Residency Programs that support designated shortage fields such as science, computer science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Fund for the Fresno County Office of Education to continue to administer the statewide Early Math Initiative
  • Computer Science Supplementary Authorization Incentive Grant Program: Up to $2500 to support the preparation of credentialed teachers to earn a CS-SA and provide instruction in computer science coursework in settings authorized by this credential



(13) New Basic Skills Requirement Options for Prospective Teachers

California’s 2021-22 TK-12 Education Omnibus Budget Trailer bill ( provides additional options for prospective teachers in California to fulfill the state-mandated Basic Skills Requirement – demonstrated proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Although a variety of testing options exist to assess basic skills in these areas, the most common examination used has been the CBEST (  

In addition to the test-only option, there are now coursework and exam/coursework combination options available. Details are available on the Commission of Teacher Credentialing website:  A new guidance chart containing the minimum scores needed for each allowable examination when mixing two or more pathways is available here: (Note that while there is no recency requirement for coursework, exam scores such as the CBEST or CSET are only valid for 10 years.)

The Commission hosted a webinar on the basic skills requirement options on August 3. Moderated by Erin Skubal, Director of the Commission’s Certification Division, a recording of this informative 1.5-hour webinar is available at The presentation file is available for download from this webpage. 

Questions on the basic skills requirement may be submitted to 

Note: The Commission on Teacher Credentialing YouTube page contains approximately 250 videos of meetings and webinars: 




(14) New Options for Credential Candidates to Meet Subject Matter Competence Requirement

Prior to the passage of the Education Omnibus Budget Trailer bill on 9 July 2021 (, candidates for a California teaching credential were required to demonstrate subject matter competence by completing a subject matter preparation program (SMPP) approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing or by passing Commission-approved CSET subtests for the credential(s) being sought (e.g., CSET: Mathematics Subtest I and Subtest II for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Foundational-Level Mathematics). 

AB 130 expands the options for meeting the subject matter competence requirement. Details can be found in two documents released by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing:

  1. (3 September 2021) Program Sponsor Alert (PSA 21-10) – “Implementation of New Options for Meeting the Statutory Subject Matter Competence Requirement”:
  2. (22 July 2021) Coded Correspondence 21-05 – “Assembly Bill 130: Availability of New Options to Meet the Subject Matter and the Basic Skills Requirements”:

The September 3 PSA (p. 2) summarizes the three new options for Single Subject teaching credential candidates to demonstrate subject matter competence:

  1. Completion of an academic major in the subject area of the credential being sought. 
  2. Completion of coursework addressing each of the Commission-adopted subject matter domains.
  3. Completion of a combination of coursework and examination(s) that meets or exceeds the subject matter domains. [The updated “Domains of the Subject Matter Requirements” document was posted last week by the Commission: Also see “SMRs and Corresponding CSET Examination Subjects”:

Note: The second and third options are currently not available for use by institutions that do not have a Commission-approved SMPP in the subject matter area of interest, e.g., mathematics.

For Single Subject credential candidates, the first option above is currently available for a number of majors, including mathematics and all areas of science assessed on the CSET. The PSA includes the following statement (p. 3): “At this time, the Commission will also accept applied majors in the single subject credential areas (e.g., Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics) and exact majors in one of the single subject areas that may have additional modifiers (e.g., Biology: Environmental Biology…).” “[For] Multiple Subject candidates: Liberal Studies degrees as well as Liberal Studies degrees that include any focus or concentration in the title” would also serve to demonstrate subject matter competency.

Advanced degrees “in the exact area of the credential being sought [(e.g., M.S. in Mathematics or Ph.D. in Physics)] may also count as verification of subject matter competence.” As was the case with the basic skills requirement, there is no recency requirement for the academic coursework or degrees. 

The Commission maintains a webpage containing information regarding the demonstration of subject matter competence: 

A webinar on this topic is expected later this month. For alerts about this webinar and other updates from the Professional Services Division of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, subscribe to “PSD News” here: 





(1) Incorporating Computational Thinking in the Elementary Mathematics Curriculum

On September 14 from 4-5 p.m. PDT, Calvin Irons and James Burnett will host a free webinar on “some of the ways that computational thinking can be incorporated in the elementary school mathematics curriculum. The session will use examples from the different strands of mathematics where computational thinking has been recommended. The activities will focus on methods that can help students develop algorithms; work with simple spreadsheet functions; and follow, create, and debug flow charts.” 

The session is the first in this year’s webinar series entitled “Mathematics for Global Challenges: Lessons Learned from International Mathematics Educators.” For more information, visit To register, please visit:  




(2) Exploring Math Education Relationships by Analyzing Large Data Sets


Results were recently published from a large-scale multi-state study designed to “identify specific mathematical competencies in earlier grades that provide the most critical foundation for success in algebraic areas in later grades in an effort to inform policy that will improve outcomes and better support all students, but especially those who are Black, Latino, English learner-designated, experiencing poverty, and/or female and have been historically underserved” ( The study, which used four-year Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) longitudinal data sets, was led by University of Missouri psychology professor David C. Geary, a primary contributor to the 1999 California Mathematics Framework.

The results of this study, entitled Preparation for Success in Algebra: Exploring Math Education Relationships by Analyzing Large Data Sets (EMERALDS), demonstrated a significant relationship between mathematics performance in elementary school and success in algebra among over one million students studied, including nearly 900,000 in California. “The more specific predictors of later Algebra outcomes suggested effects that cut across content topics: multi-step problems were more predictive than one-step problems, and Mathematical Reasoning & Communication added the most predictive value above and beyond the total mathematics score.” The report was published by Student Achievement Partners and is available for free download from the webpages below.

Full report: 

Report in Brief: 


Related Note:

Smarter Balanced Resources for Teachers

The Smarter Balanced website for California teachers ( includes links to a number of supports related to the assessments: sample items, Tools for Teachers, practice tests, Desmos calculators (, and more. The “Student Interface Practice and Training Tests” website allows users to select a variety of options for grade level and test type, including the California Alternative Assessment (CAA) and English Language Proficiency Assessments (ELPAC): (“guest user” sign-in is available). 



(3) Videos from the 2021 National Math Festival

This year’s National Math Festival (NMF) Live Online Weekend showcased the “beauty, fun, and importance of mathematics in the world around us,” with the speakers endeavoring to engage the general audience in the wonder and power of mathematics. Videos of the NMF presentations are available for viewing online at 




(1) Anna Kiesenhofer: A Mathematician who Pulled off one of the Biggest Shocks in Olympics History

Source: First Sportz – 28 July 2021


Related Coverage:

– CNN: 

– Sportskeeda: 




(2) [Television] Academy Announces New Peer Group: Science and Technology


On August 31, the Television Academy put new emphasis on its mission to embrace the “sciences” of television with the announcement of a new Science and Technology Peer Group, an addition to its existing membership structure, effective Jan. 1, 2022, with election of peer group Governors to take place by December 2021. This new peer group provides a membership base for the engineers, scientists and technologists who create the systems and devices that enable or advance the storytelling and transmission capabilities of television.




(3) 3,700-Year-Old Babylonian Clay Tablet is Earliest Known Example of Applied Geometry

Source: Sci-News – 5 August 2021




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

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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 Option

Director, Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)

Editor, California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET)

California State University, Fresno

5005 N. Maple Ave. M/S ED 2

Fresno, CA  93740-8025      



Twitter: @STEM_Fresno