COMET • Vol. 3, No. 26 – 20 September 2002


(1) State Board of Education Approved Providers–AB 466 Mathematics Professional Development Program

Source: California State Board of Education – 12 September 2002

The AB 466 Mathematics and Reading Professional Development Program provides incentive funding for professional development for teachers and paraprofessionals and instructional aides. AB 466 professional development providers and their training curriculum must be approved by the State Board of Education. Below is the list of approved providers and the instructional materials programs for which their training curriculum is approved.

1. Provider: Calabash Professional Learning Systems
Contact: Cathy Barkett, Vice President, Training: 916-498-6822
Approved Curricula:
(a) Houghton Mifflin, Mathematics
(b) McDougal Littell, Concepts and Skills, Course 1, Course 2, and Algebra I

2. Provider: Elk Grove Unified School District (Providing training for district only)
Approved Curricula:
(a) McDougal Littell, Concepts and Skills, Course 2, Geometry, and Algebra II
(b) Prentice Hall Pre-Algebra, California Edition, and Algebra I, California Edition

3. Provider: Sacramento County Office of Education
Contact: Pat Duckhorn, Director, Mathematics: 916-228-2244
Approved Curricula:
(a) McDougal Littell, Concepts and Skills, Course 2
(b) Prentice Hall, Pre-Algebra, California Edition, and Algebra I, California Edition

(2) Reauthorization of the California Subject Matter Projects


On September 11, Governor Gray Davis signed AB 2950, a bill reauthorizing the California Subject Matter Projects (including the California Mathematics Project). Below is an excerpt from the full text of the bill:

AB 2950, Strom-Martin.  Instructional strategies:  subject matter projects.
(1) Existing law provides for the establishment and maintenance of 6 subject matter projects by the Regents of the University of California with the approval of the Concurrence Committee.  Existing law provides that these subject matter projects are to create opportunities for researchers, higher education faculty, and elementary and secondary school faculty to work together to identify exemplary teaching practices, examine and develop research on learning, knowledge, and educational materials and to provide support to teachers to develop and enhance content knowledge and pedagogical skills.
Existing law also requests the Regents of the University of California to jointly develop with the Trustees of the California State University and the independent colleges and universities, the California Professional Development Institutes that provide training to teachers in various subject matters taught in the elementary and secondary schools. Existing law provides that the provisions concerning the subject matter projects and the professional development institutes will become inoperative on June 30, 2002, and will be repealed as of January 1, 2003.
This bill would extend the inoperative date to June 30, 2007, and the repeal date to January 1, 2008, and would make these provisions applicable only to the subject matter projects, thereby eliminating the inoperative date and repeal date for the California Professional Development Institutes.
(2) Existing law requires a 4-year independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the subject matter projects to be reported to the State Board of Education, the Governor, and the Legislature by July 1, 2002, and requires annual reports of the preliminary results of this evaluation beginning July 1, 2000.
This bill would require the independent evaluation to be reported by February 1, 2006, and would require annual reports of the preliminary results of the evaluation beginning February 1, 2004.

(3) California Building a Presence for Science (CABAP)

Source: Deborah Tucker – Science Consultant, California Department of Education: 916-323-4963

You are invited to join an exciting new project for California science educators! The National Science Teachers Association has provided funding to bring their “Building A Presence for Science” project ( to California. WestEd is the lead organization, in partnership with the California Department of Education, California Science Teachers Association, K-12 Alliance, and California Science Project. Our goal is to create a statewide network of science educators in every California public and private school.

The mission of “Building a Presence for Science” is to end the isolation of classroom science teachers and to provide them with professional development opportunities and science teaching resources.

The goals of the program are to:
* Identify a “Point of Contact” to disseminate information about effective, standards-based science teaching and learning in every school;
* Establish an electronic network of science educators;
* Create an infrastructure of national and state partners who are advocates for effective science teaching and learning.’

“Key Leaders” have been designated throughout California to work with local schools and districts to designate and train Points of Contact in each public and private school in California. A Point of Contact is a classroom teacher who is an advocate and contact person for science education in his or her individual school building.

Each Point of Contact will:
* Register electronically on the NSTA database.
* Receive resources provided by the statewide leadership and their Key Leader.
* Disseminate to other teachers in their school the information/resources received through participating in CABAP.
* Be encouraged and assisted to participate in a local “Building a Presence” training.
* Be encouraged to access and assisted in accessing the statewide online resources.

If you are interested in being a Point of Contact, register on the NSTA website ( by selecting “Become a Point of Contact,” then “California,” and then submitting the requested information.

OR you may send your name, email address, school name and city to:

CABAP c/o Libby Rognier
730 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Fax: 415-512-2024           Email:

(4) “California Definitions of Qualified Teachers Rejected by Education Department” by Joetta L. Sack

Source:  Education Week – 4 September 2002

California is revising its definitions of a qualified teacher, after a draft submitted to the U.S. Department of Education was shot down.

The situation provides an early indicator of states’ responses to the new teacher-quality mandates in the “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001–and of how a state that has had chronic problems finding qualified teachers for its toughest classrooms might meet them.

California, where thousands teachers are either working with emergency licenses or teaching outside their fields of expertise, has set up a network of alternative-certification programs in its drive to train more teachers.

The state wants teachers enrolled in such programs, called pre-interns, to be counted as meeting the federal law’s standard of “highly qualified.” Those candidates must complete 18 credit hours of coursework in the subjects they are teaching and pass state tests in order to be certified in secondary education.

State officials proposed their definition as an appendix to California’s application for federal Title I aid last month. The definition was not requested or required by the federal Education Department, but officials there let the state know that its definitions wouldn’t pass the test.

Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat and a chief architect of the law, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, said officials of his state were trying to cover up its high numbers of uncertified teachers and circumvent the law’s intent of ensuring that the neediest students have well-qualified teachers.

“This is an audacious and reckless action that suggests a lack of regard for students, parents, and taxpayers,” Mr. Miller, the ranking Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, wrote in an Aug. 1 letter to members of the state board of education.

But Kerry Mazzoni, California’s secretary of education, says the state’s proposed definition of “qualified” is above what the law requires, because the pre-intern teachers already have work experience in the subjects they are teaching. She’s worried that federal officials will not be flexible enough to accept the state’s efforts.

“These simplistic definitions don’t always work in the field,” she said in an interview last month. “We are absolutely practicing and implementing the intent of the law, but we feel our standards are very high for teachers…and we are concerned we’ll be penalized for that.”

On Aug. 23, the state Senate held a hearing on the proposal, during which state officials said they were working with federal officials to revise their draft document.

The No Child Left Behind Act requires every secondary school teacher in a program supported by Title I funds hired after the first day of this school year to have a bachelor’s degree in the same field, or a closely related one, as the subject he or she is teaching. As an alternative, those teachers can pass a state test of their knowledge and skills. All newly hired teachers also must be state-certified. By the 2005-06 school year, all new and currently employed teachers must meet those requirements.

Previously, like many other states, California only required secondary teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, with no match between their degrees and the subjects they were teaching.

In California, 27 percent of secondary school teachers do not have either a major or a minor in the subjects they’re teaching, according to the Education Trust, a research and advocacy group based in Washington.

About 32,000 California teachers, out of more than 300,000, are uncertified, according to the state. And the state estimates it will need another 260,000 to 300,000 new teachers in the next 10 years because of enrollment growth and faculty attrition.

Right now, hundreds of fully certified, veteran teachers may not meet the federal definitions of a highly qualified teacher, because they are teaching as they seek certification in additional subject fields, said Linda G. Bond, the director of government relations for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She is concerned that those teachers might quit if they are told they are not qualified and have to take further courses or tests.

“If 60,000 to 70,000 teachers are taken out of the mix because of a technical definition, that’s absolutely devastating,” Ms. Bond said.

California’s problems arose because the proposed definitions did not mention the state’s plans for teacher licensure, and the pre-interns’ qualifications were not in line with the law’s intentions for a highly qualified teacher, said Cheri Yecke, the director of teacher quality for the federal Education Department.

“It’s a work in progress,” Ms. Yecke said. “It’s all very new, and states are putting forth their best efforts.”

Early next year, California officials will resubmit a revised document.


(1) Candidates Announced for NCTM 2002 Election

Source: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

The Nominations and Elections Committee [of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics] is pleased to present its nominations for the offices to be filled in the 2002 election. This year, you will elect a president-elect and four members to the Board of Directors…You are asked to vote for a president-elect, one middle school candidate, and three candidates in the At-Large voting category. The ballot, a preaddressed postcard, is to be returned to the independent ballot-counting agency. To be counted, ballots must be in the ballot-counting office by October 31, 2002”. If you do not receive your Election Ballot by the end of September, please contact Customer Service at (800) 235-7566. [Ballots were to have been mailed to U.S. addresses today.

= Candidates for President-Elect” [*Links are provided to the candidates’ bios and statements.]

Miriam A. Leiva — University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte

Cathy L. Seeley — Cedar Park, Texas

= Candidates for Director, Middle School Classroom Teacher (one will be elected)

Cynthia G. Bryant — South Central Regional Professional Development Center (Mo.)

Karen Dee Michalowicz –Langley School (Va.)

= Candidates for Director At-Large (three will be elected)

Gilbert J. Cuevas — University of Miami (Fla.)

Carol A. Edwards — Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Ariz.)

M. Kathleen Heid — Penn State University (PSU)

Mari Muri — Connecticut Department of Education

Lew Romagnano — The Metropolitan State College of Denver (Colo.)

Anthony A. Scott — Chicago Public Schools (Ill.)

(2) Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Program Update

Source: Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), National Science Foundation – 19 September 2002
” ‘

** FY’02 Competition **

Proposals submitted to the FY’02 MSP competition are undergoing merit review. The results of this competition will be announced on or about September 30, 2002, when merit review materials will be provided to all proposers.

** FY’03 Competition Planning **

FY’03 SOLICITATION: The FY’03 MSP Solicitation for comprehensive and targeted proposals is being prepared and will be released shortly. Proposals will be due in January 2003.

WORKSHOPS: Although the new solicitation is not yet available, partnerships planning to submit a comprehensive or targeted proposal to the FY’03 competition may wish to attend regional technical assistance workshops now being offered. Please visit the workshops website ( for more information.

Comprehensive and targeted proposals submitted to the FY’03 competition must be submitted on behalf of partnerships that include one or more school districts AND one or more higher education institutions. Mathematics, science and/or engineering faculty from higher education partners MUST play a major role in partnership activities. Partnership organizations may also include, for example, state educational agencies, private sector organizations, local informal science centers and other community-based organizations. The participation of mathematicians, scientists and/or engineers from such organizations is strongly encouraged.

Partnerships should begin preliminary proposal planning by:

(a) identifying challenges/opportunities to be addressed that are supported by available student achievement and teacher workforce data;

(b) developing innovative strategies to address these challenges/opportunities that demonstrate the essential roles and responsibilities of the school district, higher education and other key partners in the partnership; and

(c) identifying commitments from the partner organizations to undergo institutional change necessary to ensure sustainability of the efforts.


NSF and the US Department of Education launched the new Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program in fiscal year 2002, making $172.5 million available for the FY’02 competition. The MSP is part of the President’s initiative–No Child Left Behind… The MSP offers the mathematics and science community an opportunity to build on its decade-long dedication to educational reform by increasing the capacity of K-12 educational systems and institutions of higher education to provide the requisites for learning to high standards in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while being attuned to reducing gaps in achievement among student populations.

A defining feature of the MSP program is the development and implementation of productive partnerships among major stakeholders in K-12 mathematics and science education, with each partnership requiring commitments from one or more school districts and one or more higher education entities. Partnerships also are encouraged to include other partners, such as state or tribal governmental agencies, science centers, museums, businesses, and community organizations that bring additional assets to K-12 teaching and learning…

(3) Senate Committee Moves Department of Education Math and Science Partnerships to the National Science Foundation

Source: ”NSTA Legislative Update – 12 September 2002

Late last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to approve S. 2817, a bill which reauthorizes the National Science Foundation. Language in the bill repeals the Dept. of Education Math and Science Partnerships (Title II Part B of No Child Left Behind) and moves the entire program to the National Science Foundation. Beginning in October 2003, NSF would administer a national competitive Math Science Partnership (MSP) grant program for a period of three years. In 2006, the program would then revert to a formula grant program to the State Education Agencies (SEAs), administered by NSF. Monies appropriated for FY 2006 and FY 2007 would fund the continuing NSF MSPs, and additional funds would go to the SEAs for competitive grants to partnerships in their state.

If enacted, one major result of this legislation would be to eliminate the possibility of a state-based Math and Science Partnership program until the Fall of 2006. As you will recall, the Department of Education Math and Science Partnerships (Title II, Part B) were created to provide competitive grants to the states for state-based partnership activities, while the NSF MSPs were created to provide grants for larger, innovative, model programs.

Under the new Senate language, NSF must conduct the Math Science Partnership program in accordance with the requirements in NCLB, which means the NSF would award competitive MSP grants to eligible partners that would have to include a high-risk LEA and the State Education Agency. The language in NCLB which allows the program to revert from a national grant program to a state-based grant program when a certain funding level is reached ($100 million) would not apply. The new Senate language also specifies that NSF must provide partnerships and SEAs with technical assistance in developing the grant application and in developing activities to be funded.

This language in the new Senate bill to reauthorize the National Science Foundation would effectively eliminate all dedicated funding for math and science education at the Department of Education. The bill still must be approved by the entire Senate. Although there is similar companion legislation in the House to reauthorize NSF and the Math and Science Partnerships, there is no language in any House bill that would repeal the Title II Part B Math and Science Partnerships and move the program over to NSF. It is unclear at this time if this language will be accepted in the House, and if it will survive the conference process…

There are several other programs in the bill to reauthorize the NSF of interest…

NSF Doubling Act”: Language in the authorizing bill virtually doubles the NSF budget in five years by asking for 15 percent increases in each of the five years authorized, raising the NSF budget from $5.5 billion in FY 2003 to over $9.8 billion in FY 2007 (the NSF Education and Human Resources division would see an increase from just over $1 billion in FY 2003, to $1.7 billion in FY 2007.) Keep in mind that this is authorizing language, which approves programs and provides direction, and suggests levels of funding needed for these NSF programs; the Senate VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee will appropriate the actual level of funding.

Related article: National Science Foundation Doubling Act Approved by Senate Committee
Source: National Council for Science and the Environment – 11 September 2002

Robert C. Noyce Scholarship: S. 2817 authorizes multi-year awards to higher education institutions for $7,500 scholarships to students with less than two years of science and math, to be used for training toward teacher certification or alternative certification. The future science or math teacher must commit to teaching in a high poverty school for two years.

Science, Math, Engineering, and Tech Talent Expansion Program: NSF would establish a merit-based, multi year, competitive grant program to increase the number of students studying toward, and receiving, associate or bachelor degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology…

Research on Math and Science Learning and Education Improvement: Competitive grants would be awarded to conduct and evaluate research in the science of learning and the teaching of math and science, and develop ways in which this research can be applied or duplicated at low performing schools, to improve teaching, and increase student learning.

Update on FY 2003-04 Appropriations

In the Senate: As reported in the last Legislative Update, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to fund the Dept. of Education Math and Science Partnerships (Title II Part B, NCLB) at only $25 million for FY 2003. The Senate voted to fund Title II Part A, Teacher Quality State Grants at $3.1 billion, an increase of $250 million, and to increase funding for Title I by $1.5 billion and special education by $1 billion. The Senate’s education spending bill (S. 2766) exceeds the President’s budget request for education by $3.5 billion…

The NSF MSPs would receive $120 million in FY 2003, a decrease of $40 million from last year ($160 million). NSF intends to carry over $30 million from this year’s program, bringing the total funding for this program in FY 2003 to $150 million.

In the House: A spending bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education that matches the President’s request was introduced last week. (The President’s budget essentially freezes all domestic spending.) Many in Congress, including moderate Republicans, believe the President’s request is too low, so the future of this bill, as is, is uncertain. The Senate is expected to wait until the House Appropriations Committee votes on their spending bill before taking their education bill to the floor, so it is unlikely a final bill will be ready by the Oct. 4 recess date…