COMET • Vol. 4, No. 19 – 3 June 2003


This is the last issue of COMET for the 2002-2003 academic year. COMET will resume publication after the summer recess.

For your convenience, all 132 issues of COMET (2000-2003) are archived at /cmp/comet/  You can search the COMET archives at /cmp/comet/search.html

Best wishes for a wonderful summer!

~ Carol Fry Bohlin


(1) California’s New NCLB Web Page

Source: California Department of Education

URL (Announcement):

URL (NCLB Web page):

URL (CDE Links to California’s State Application Documents)

The California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State Board of Education (SBE) have launched a new No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Web page. This page organizes all the information related to California’s implementation of NCLB.

The left side of the page contains links to state information, including programs and contacts, NCLB Liaison Team meetings, key NCLB correspondence, funding opportunities, and NCLB Updates. Below the state section are links to federal information and other resources.

The center section contains links to the key components of California’s NCLB Implementation Plan, including the timeline for submission of required information to the U.S. Department of Education, NCLB Consolidated State Application submissions, and California’s Reading First Application. Portions of the plan that are under development will be posted as they become available.

On the right side, the “What’s New” section includes late-breaking announcements, upcoming technical assistance opportunities, and other pertinent information. “Items of Interest” include NCLB press releases and the posting of public notices and meeting agendas for public policy meetings.

If you have questions or feedback about the Web page, contact either Phil Garcia at or Donald Kairott at


Editor’s Note 1: Also see the “Background Information” page for California’s NCLB Web page:

Editor’s Note 2: State Accountability Plans under the Consolidated Application Process are available at

(2) State Board of Education Meeting Agenda for June 11-12, 2003


The agenda for the June meeting of the California State Board of Education includes the following items (Codes: I = Information item; A = Action item):

Public Session – AGENDA

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

ITEM 3 – Seminar Session on the National Assessment of Educational Progress

(NAEP)  (I)

ITEM 4 – No Child Left Behind (I/A)

ITEM 5 – Approval of Supplemental Educational Service Providers required by

Section 1116(e) of No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 (I/A)

ITEM 6 – No Child Left Behind: Teacher requirements (“Highly Qualified

Teacher”) and measurable objectives (I/A)

ITEM 7 – No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title III Achievement Objectives and

Accountability Requirements (I/A)

ITEM 8 – Paraprofessional Requirements (No Child Left Behind) (I/A)

ITEM 9 – The California Mathematics and Science Partnership (CaMSP)

Program authorized by Title II, Part B, No Child Left Behind Act (I)

ITEM 10 – Reading First Evaluation Contractor (I/A)

ITEM 11 – Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR): Update on the Plan for

Releasing California Standards Test (CST) Items (I/A)

ITEM 12 – Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program: Approving an

Amendment to the 2002-2004 STAR Contract with Educational

Testing Services (ETS) (I/A)

ITEM 13 – Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program: Including, but

not limited to, Proposal for Revision of the STAR Parent Report (I/A)

ITEM 14 – California English Language Development Test (CELDT): Including,

but not limited to, CELDT Program Update (I/A)

ITEM 15 – California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE): Including, but not limited to, Discussion of the Report Required by AB 1609 (I/A)

ITEM 16 – 2003 Academic Performance Index (API) Modifications: Integrating

Results from California’s Standards-Based Tests in Science into the API; and Similar Schools and the API Growth Report (I/A)

ITEM 22 – Mathematics and Reading Professional Development Program (AB

466) – Interim Report to the Legislature (A)


Editor’s Note 1: Check for an agenda supplement concerning Item 6 that us currently being prepared.

Editor’s Note 2: The minutes of the June SBE meeting will be posted at  Meeting highlights are usually posted online before the minutes are available and can be viewed at  Archived Webcasts of SBE meetings are available at (The broadcast schedule for the California Channel is available at

(3) AB 356 – Pupil Testing Bill


Assembly Bill 356 was included in the second reading file today (June 3) and goes to third reading tomorrow for debate and vote (may be addressed as late as midnight on Friday). The bill was introduced by Assembly Member Loni Hancock on February 11, 2003. A portion of the bill’s text follows:

AB 356, as amended, Hancock. Education: pupil testing.

(1) Existing law establishes the Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999, which consists of the Academic Performance Index, the Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program, and the Governor’s High Achieving/Improving Schools Program. Under the existing act, schools receive awards for high achievement and improvement and sanctions for continued low performance.

This bill would delete the rewards provisions from the act and would make conforming changes.

(2) Existing law, the Standardized Testing and Reporting [STAR] Program, requires that each school district, charter school, and county office of education administer to each of its pupils in grades 2 to 11, inclusive, a designated achievement test and a standards-based achievement test.

This bill would exclude pupils in grade 2 from this testing requirement and make conforming changes.

(3) Existing law requires, commencing with the 2003-04 school year, that a pupil completing grade 12 successfully pass a high school exit examination as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation or a condition of graduation from high school.

This bill would postpone the beginning of the exit examination requirement to the 2005-06 school year, would authorize school districts to decide how to use the results of the high school exit examination as part of their local graduation requirements until the 2005-06 school year, and would make conforming changes.

(4) Existing law establishes the Certificated Staff Performance Incentive Program for the purpose of awarding performance awards to teachers and other certificated staff in underachieving schools, if the academic performance of pupils significantly improves, as specified.

This bill would repeal that program…


Editor’s Note: A useful diagram, “The Life Cycle of Legislation–From Idea into Law,” is available at

(4) Opportunity to Score Teacher Performance Assessments

Source: Mistry Sato ( via Susie Hakansson – 2 June 2003

Help score an innovative teaching assessment!

The Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) consortium is developing the Teaching Event, a capstone assessment of Multiple and Single Subject teaching credential candidates in California.  (For more information about PACT and the Teaching Event, go to  PACT will be scoring Teaching Events in June, and is looking for exemplary teachers familiar with beginning teaching to help score the subject-specific assessments. [Especially needed are teachers of social studies, mathematics, and science.]

Qualifications to be a scorer for PACT:

*  At least three years experience in the teaching credential area that you score

*  Experience providing feedback on the work of emergency permit, pre-intern, intern, student, or beginning teachers

*  Ability to analyze subject-specific teaching and student learning

*  Availability for the entire four-day scoring session

Scoring sites, dates, and credential areas include:

*  June 9-12:  UCLA (multiple subject, English-language arts, history-social science, and science)

*  June 9-12:  San Jose State (multiple subject only)

*  June 17-20:  UC-San Diego (multiple subject, English-language arts, history-social science, mathematics, and science)

*  June 17-20:  Stanford University (single subject only–English-language arts, history-social science, mathematics, and science)

*  June 25-28:  UC-Irvine (multiple subject, English-language arts, and mathematics)

Benefits to you:

*  A peek at an innovative approach to assessing teaching based on the work of the Interstate New Teacher Support and Assessment Consortium (INTASC) and the Connecticut State Department of Education, which are designed to be congruent with National Board Certification assessments

*  Collegial dialogue about teaching and learning

*  Continuing Education Units issued by the host institution (with payment of a fee)

Unfortunately, in this era of cutbacks, we cannot offer a stipend, but we will provide breakfast and lunch at the scoring site.

If you are interested or want more information, contact: Kendyll Stansbury (650) 724-9262 OR Peter Youngs (650) 724-2626


(1) AAAS Launches Public Outreach Initiative Focused on Science Literacy

Source: “Fine Print”–National Science Teachers Association – 2 June 2003

“Science. It’s Everywhere” is the message of a new public outreach initiative announced earlier this month by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Designed to help parents and families play a more active role in their children’s science education, the Partnership for Science Literacy initiative includes television, radio, magazine, and newspaper advertising endorsed by the Advertising Council and a web site to help motivate parents and families to take action in helping their children learn science. The initiative focuses special attention on minority and Hispanic audiences and will feature Spanish language versions of the web site and other materials.

Funded by the National Science Foundation through a grant to AAAS’s science education initiative, Project 2061, the Partnership for Science Literacy is a collaborative effort involving AAAS and many other organizations. NSTA supports the effort and is helping to spread the news about the campaign. The initiative’s web site is hosted by and offers great information for parents and others, including a brochure, “Family Guide to Science.” Visit the web site at

(2)  ENC: Digital Dozen: June 2003


Every month, ENC Online highlights twelve exemplary math and science web sites. Through this message and at, you can connect directly to the web sites or go to ENC’s catalog records with complete descriptions and links. ENC Online also has a search engine for locating additional web sites and other teaching materials.

Digital Dozen is available in two formats, HTML and text-only. If you  would like to switch formats, click the link at the bottom of the  message and follow the instructions.

A month full of family classic Digital Dozen award winners! The kids are getting out of school and some families are heading off on trips while others are looking for educational fun. Use these 12 web sites to engage in summer learning with kids of all ages. [A synopsis of each Web site can be found at]

1. Alien Empire (Gr. 2-12)


2. Brookfield Zoo (Gr. 7-12)


3. Count On (Gr K-12)


4. Creative Java Puzzles (Gr. 6-12)


5. Earth science picture of the day (Gr. K-C)


6. Figure This! (Gr. 5-8)


7. (Gr. K-4)


8. Kids’ Corner (Gr. PreK-5)


9. Math Cats (Gr. 1-8)


10. Sport Science @ the Exploratorium (Gr. 9-12)


11. StudyWorks! Online (Gr. K-12)


12. The Space Place (Gr. 3-8)



Note:  “Digital Dozens” from previous months are archived at

(3)  Study on the Effect of Classroom Practices

Source:  Duarte Silva ( via Susie Hakansson – 30 May 2003


Excerpt:  This study, authored by Harold Wenglinsky of the Educational Testing Service, looked at three aspects of teacher quality: classroom practice, professional development, and background characteristics of teachers (such as educational attainment). Wenglinsky used data from the eighth grade mathematics portion of the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress to determine how these three characteristics of teacher quality influenced student achievement…  After controlling for SES and class size, Wenglinsky found that five aspects of teacher quality affect student achievement: a teacher’s major, professional development in higher-order thinking skills, diversity training, use of hands-on learning in classrooms, and focusing on higher-order thinking skills. Within these findings, the strongest effects were related to classroom practice, with an effect size of .56. Effect sizes for professional development totaled .33, and teacher characteristics had the least influence on student achievement, with an effect size of .09. All three aspects of teacher quality (effect size of .98) had a stronger effect on student outcomes than SES did (effect size of .76)…

Excerpt from Wenlinsky’s report (  and first reported in COMET last year: /cmp/comet/2002/02_19_2002.html#A3 ): In sum, this study finds that schools matter because they provide a platform for active, as opposed to passive, teachers. Passive teachers are those who leave students to perform as well as their own resources will allow; active teachers press all students to grow regardless of their backgrounds. Passive teaching involves reducing eighth-grade mathematics to its simplest components. All lessons are at a similar level of abstraction; problems are solved in a single step and admit of a single solution; and all students are treated as if they had entered the class with the same level of preparation and the same learning styles. In contrast, active teaching does justice to the complexities of eighth-grade mathematics. Lessons work at multiple levels of abstraction, from the most mundane problem to the most general theorem; problems involve multiple steps and allow multiple paths to their solution; and teachers tailor their methods to the knowledge and experience of each individual student. Schools that lack a critical mass of active teachers may indeed not matter much; their students will be no less or more able to meet high academic standards than their talents and home resources will allow. But schools that do have a critical mass of active teachers can actually provide a value-added; they can help their students reach higher levels of academic performance than those students otherwise would reach. Through their teachers, then, schools can be the key mechanism for helping students meet high standards.

(4)  Travel Grants Available for ICME-10

Source: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


Applications for travel grants are now available to attend the Tenth International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-10), which will be held July 4-11, 2004 in Copenhagen, Denmark ( The National Science Foundation grants are available only to U.S. citizens and will support travel expenses to ICME-10, which occurs every 4 years, for K-12 mathematics teachers, mathematicians, and mathematics teacher educators from the United States.

Grants can be used for hotel accommodations, meal costs, and conference registration. They also can be used toward air transportation, but only on American carriers…

Grants provide a unique opportunity for mathematics educators from the United States to discuss issues related to mathematics education with their international peers, including mathematics educators from developed and developing countries. Participants will be able to listen to world-renowned scholars in mathematics and mathematics education and to take part in small, focused discussion groups on a wide range of topics, including a special emphasis on the relationship between research and practice in mathematics education; reasoning, proof, and proving in mathematics education; the professional development of mathematics teachers; the shaping of mathematics education through testing, and information and communication technology in mathematics education.

A selection committee will review applications and award the grants for ICME-10 travel. The committee will include representatives from NCTM, the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, the American Mathematical Society, and the U. S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction.

Elementary, middle, and high school teachers are strongly encouraged to apply. The travel grant application and selection criteria are available from Gail Burrill, 116 North Kedzie, Division of Science and Mathematics Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; telephone (517) 432-2152, ext. 133; fax (517) 432-5653, e-mail The application deadline is September 30, 2003. Notifications will be made by November 15, 2003.

(5)  Grant And Funding Information

Source: Public Education Network ( – 29 May 2003


The PEN Weekly NewsBlast is a free e-mail newsletter featuring school reform and school fundraising resources. The PEN NewsBlast is the property of the Public Education Network, a national association of 78 local education funds working to improve public school quality in low-income communities nationwide. [Each week’s issue contains information on grants and funding opportunities.]

“Fundsnet Online Services”

A comprehensive website dedicated to providing nonprofit organizations, colleges, and Universities with information on financial resources available on the Internet.


“Department of Education Forecast of Funding”

This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards for FY 2003 and provides actual or estimated deadline dates for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts — organized according to the Department’s principal program offices — and include programs and competitions the Department has previously announced, as well as those it plans to announce at a later date.  Note: This document is advisory only and is not an official application notice of the Department of Education.


“eSchool News School Funding Center”

      Information on up-to-the-minute grant programs, funding sources, and technology funding.


“Philanthropy News Digest-K-12 Funding Opportunities”

K-12 Funding opportunities with links to grant-seeking for teachers, learning technology, and more.


“School Grants”

A collection of resources and tips to help K-12 educators apply for and obtain special grants for a variety of projects.