COMET • Vol. 5, No. 22 – 24 September 2004


California Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (CAMTE)

Are you actively involved in the preparation and professional development of K-12 mathematics teachers? If so, you are invited to play a role in the formulation of the California Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (CAMTE), a proposed professional organization for California’s mathematics teacher educators. We hope that you will join us in Palm Springs during the California Mathematics Council-South (CMC-S) conference on November 5-7 as we convene to discuss the goals, vision, and constitution for what we anticipate will be the next state affiliate of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators ( If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague to serve as an officer in CAMTE, email Carol Fry Bohlin at or call 559-278-0237.

California State University (CSU) mathematics teacher educators have convened twice over the past 2 years ( and discussed establishing an organization for California’s mathematics teacher educators. At the CSU Mathematics Education Summit held in January 2004, it was decided that the target audience for an AMTE California affiliate should include (a) post-secondary (UC, CSU, and CC) educators involved in the preparation of K-12 mathematics teachers and (b) educators involved in the professional development of K-12 teachers. (A PowerPoint presentation available at provides additional background.)

The 2004 CMC-SS conference program includes a Teacher Educator strand. Visit for session dates, times, locations, speakers, and descriptions. Two sessions will be geared specifically to a discussion of CAMTE and related issues:

(a) CAMTE Organizational Meeting – November 6; 10:30 a.m.-noon; Hilton [Palm Springs] Horizon I – Session Convener: Carol Fry Bohlin

(b) Luncheon and Keynote Address – “Mathematics Teacher Educators: Who Are We and What is Our Role?” – November 6; noon-1:30 p.m.; Hilton Horizon II – Speaker: Judith E. Jacobs

To attend the luncheon session, you must register by October 22 by emailing your name, affiliation, address, and phone number to Judith Jacobs ( In addition, please mail a $30 check (made payable to CAMTE–Judith Jacobs) to Judith at 1603 Aspen Village Way, West Covina, CA 91791.


(1) Paige Delivers Annual Back-To-School Address Live from the National Press Club

Source: U.S. Department of Education


On Wednesday, September 24, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige delivered his annual back-to-school speech from the National Press Club. The speech, “No Child Left Behind: The Transformation of our Public Schools,” was webcast live and is now archived at

(2) “Education Levels Rising in OECD Countries but Low Attainment Still Hampers Some”

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; Paris, France) – 14 September 2004


URL (Education at a Glance):

More people around the world are completing university courses and other forms of tertiary education than ever before, according to the 2004 edition of Education at a Glance, the OECD’s annual compendium of education statistics. However, progress has been uneven across countries and some have significantly fallen behind, potentially compromising their future ability to keep up with economic and social progress.

On average across [the 30 OECD member] countries, half of today’s young adults now enter universities or other institutions offering similar qualifications at some stage during their life. An average of 32% complete a first university-level degree, but this ranges from less than 20% in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland to 45% in Australia and Finland.

Almost all OECD countries have seen a rise in the education levels of their citizens over the past decade, and in some countries the increase has been spectacular. Enrollment in tertiary education, which covers both university-level education and high-level vocational programs, increased between 1995 and 2002 by more than 50% in the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Korea and Poland, and still by more than 20% in Australia, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Austria, France and Germany are the only countries which did not see increases, mainly because rising enrollment rates could not make up for the demographic decline in these countries.

However, in eight OECD countries, 20% or more of 20-to-24-year olds have at most only lower secondary school qualifications and are not in education. Mexico is in the least favorable position, with 70% of people in this age group having lower secondary education or less, followed by Turkey (56%), Portugal (47%), Spain (32%), Iceland (29%), Italy (25%), the Netherlands (21%) and Luxembourg (20%).

The statistics in Education at a Glance provide a basis for policy debate and decisions in the world’s most developed countries. This year, the report highlights factors affecting the future supply of qualified people and the relationship between educational attainment and employment and earnings.

In general, people with tertiary qualifications command significantly higher salaries than those with only secondary education. In the U.S., earnings for tertiary graduates are 86% higher on average than those for people with only secondary education, and in Hungary they are more than double. At the other end of the scale, the difference is smallest in Denmark, where graduates earn on average 25% more than non-graduates, and Spain, where they earn 29% more…

Improved education also contributes to a country’s overall prosperity, helping to raise labor productivity and technological progress and thereby boosting economic growth. The long-run impact in the OECD area of one additional year of education is estimated to increase economic output by between 3% and 6%.

Tertiary education is rapidly becoming an international domain. In 2002, 1.9 million students were enrolled in the OECD area outside their country of origin, with nearly three quarters of them choosing Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States as their destination. On average, foreign enrolment increased by 34% between 1998 and 2002, and the share of foreign students from throughout the world as a percentage of all students increased in the Czech Republic, Iceland, Korea, New Zealand and Sweden by 60% or more. In contrast, in Austria, Ireland, Switzerland and the United States, increases in the share of foreign enrolment ranged between only 8% and 13%…

Significant progress has also been achieved in reducing the gender gap in educational qualifications. Younger women today are far more likely to have completed a tertiary qualification than women 30 years ago: in 19 of the 30 OECD countries, more than twice as many women aged 25 to 34 have completed tertiary education than women aged 55 to 64. In 21 of 27 OECD countries with comparable data, the number of women graduating from university-level programs is equal to or exceeds that of men. Last but not least, 15-year-old girls tend to show much higher expectations for their careers than boys of the same age.

What has remained broadly unchanged, though, is that women still earn less on average than men in all OECD countries, whatever their level of education. On average, women without upper secondary education obtain 60% of the earnings of men with the same level of education. Women with upper secondary and tertiary qualifications average 65% of equivalent male earnings.

In mathematics and computer science, gender differences in tertiary qualifications remain persistently high: the proportion of women among university graduates in mathematics and computer science is only 30%, on average, among OECD countries. In Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland, it is only between 9%and 25%.

Further information on Education at a Glance 2004 can be found at  as well as country chapters on France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

Related Article: 

(3) Request for Proposals: Mathematics and Science Education Research Grants

Source:  Institute of Education Sciences; U.S. Department of Education


The Institute of Education Sciences (Institute) invites applications for research projects that will contribute to its research program on Mathematics and Science Education… The application deadline is 28 October 2004.

The Institute intends for the research program on Mathematics and Science Education (Math/Science) to fulfill three goals: (a) to support the development of new interventions and approaches to mathematics and science education that will eventually result in improving mathematics and science achievement; (b) to establish the efficacy of existing interventions and approaches to mathematics and science education with small efficacy or replication trials; and (c) to provide evidence on the effectiveness of mathematics and science interventions taken to scale.  The long-term outcome of this program will be an array of tools and strategies (e.g., curricula, programs) that have been demonstrated to be effective for improving mathematics and science learning and achievement…

Over the past 20 years, cognitive and developmental researchers have described the growth of young children’s scientific knowledge and numeracy.  In mathematics, for example, researchers have described the development of children’s knowledge of number, quantity, and basic operations.  In the sciences, researchers have examined how knowledge develops in particular scientific domains and described the development of children’s naive theories in the domains of physics, biology, and psychology.  Cognitive scientists and cognitive developmental researchers have built bodies of research describing the development of general cognitive processes critical to scientific thinking, identifying basic principles of learning, and elaborating distinct differences in the ways that experts and novices organize scientific knowledge.  However, it is not evident that curricula in mathematics and the sciences and approaches to mathematics and science instruction have incorporated findings from this accumulation of research. In addition, little work has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mathematics and science curricula and instructional practice for improving student learning and achievement.  To address these needs, the Institute seeks to fund applications that address one of the three following goals…

Goal One addresses development of new interventions in mathematics or science education, with preliminary testing of effects. Goal Two is to establish the efficacy of existing mathematics or science education interventions with small-scale efficacy or replication trials. Goal Three targets evaluations of mathematics or science education interventions taken to scale.  The three goals can be seen as a progression from development (Goal 1), to efficacy (Goal 2), to effectiveness at scale (Goal 3).  Applicants must be clear in the application as to the goal under which they are applying because the requirements for the research vary by goal.  Applicants should indicate the goal under which they are applying in the abstract and on the application form…

Please note that the Institute intends research under the Math/Science program to address questions related to the effectiveness of mathematics and science curricula and instructional approaches–that is, what is being manipulated or varied is what students receive.  Applicants who are interested in conducting research on different approaches to professional development for those who teach mathematics or science should see the InstituteÍs research program on Teacher Quality (  Researchers who are interested in other questions related to mathematics and science learning are encouraged to consider the Institute’s Cognition and Student Learning research program (, research programs in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences ( and Directorate for Education and Human Resources (, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Program in Mathematics and Science Cognition and Learning — Development and Disorders (

(4) Request for Proposals: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)–Comprehensive Program

Source: U.S. Department of Education (via Susie Hakansson)



All public and private nonprofit institutions and organizations offering postsecondary education programs–including two- and four-year colleges and universities; graduate and professional schools; libraries; museums; student groups; community organizations; trade and technical schools; unions; consortia; state and local government agencies; non-profit corporations; and associations–are eligible to submit proposals. Proposals may be submitted by newly formed as well as established organizations. FIPSE grants may be in support of any academic discipline, program, or student support service.


The Comprehensive Program welcomes all innovative proposals addressing any and all topics of postsecondary improvement and reform. FIPSE grants provide the seed capital for experiments in educational reform as they are experienced in local settings, with the knowledge gained through those experiments intended to benefit postsecondary education from a national perspective.

The most unusual feature of FIPSE is its broad mandate, allowing a unique capacity to respond to postsecondary needs and problems as they arise. These needs are highlighted each year through the establishment of priority concerns in each Comprehensive competition. The FY 2005 program continues to be particularly interested in applications that meet one or more of the following invitational priorities:

— Improving PreK-12 Teaching

— Promoting Reform of Curriculum and Instruction

— Designing More Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Instruction and Operations

— Improving Access, Student Retention, and Program Completion

The FY 2005 FIPSE Comprehensive Program competition is expected to have available approximately $12.7M for an estimated 60 new awards. Awards may provide funding for up to three years of activities, depending on project design, and are expected to range from $150,000 to $600,000 or more over the project period. In 2005, the Department may also award a few larger grants making innovative use of new technologies that involve large scale, multiple partners, and wide geographic scope.

RESTRICTION: There is no mandated matching requirement. However, FIPSE expects the host institution and its partners to make a significant commitment to the project in the form of direct cost sharing if it intends to continue the programs or activities in the long-term after the initial FIPSE grant ends.

TO APPLY: The FY 2005 FIPSE Comprehensive Program information and application materials may be accessed on the Internet. This program has a two-stage application and review process. The two-stage application procedure allows ideas to be evaluated before an applicant prepares a full proposal. All applicants are required to submit five-page preproposals; after review, a select number of applicants will be invited by the sponsor to submit final applications…


November 3, 2004 – Mandatory Preliminary Proposals

March 22, 2005 – Invited Full Proposals


Levenia Ishmell

FIPSE-Comprehensive Program

U.S. Department of Education

Phone: (202) 502-7668  (Levenia Ishmell)

Phone: (202) 502-7500 (FIPSE Office)

FAX: (202) 245-6272 (Application Control Center)