COMET • Vol. 7, No. 31 – 11 November 2006


(1) Curriculum Commission Recommends Appointment of the First Cohort of IMAP and CRP Members to the State Board of Education

Source: California State Board of Education

At the State Board of Education’s meeting last Thursday, “the California Department of Education recommend[ed] that the [Board] approve appointment of Instructional Materials Advisory Panel (IMAP) members [for the 2007 mathematics primary adoption] and Content Review Panel (CRP) experts as recommended by the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission (Curriculum Commission).” The agenda item included the following information (boldfacing included as in the original document):


In March 2006, a recruitment letter from State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell, was sent to district and county superintendents, curriculum coordinators in mathematics, and other interested individuals and organizations, to recruit mathematics educators to serve as IMAP members and CRP experts. Recruitment letters were also sent to college and university departments of mathematics, and to a number of professional associations related to mathematics. The application forms for the IMAP and CRP have been on the CDE Web site since February 2006.

The CDE received a total of 83 IMAP applications and 8 CRP applications.

On September 29, 2006, the Curriculum Commission approved to move forward to the SBE 85 applicants for appointment to the IMAP, conditioned upon legal counsel review of any potential conflicts of interest.

The 85 applicants for IMAP appointment include three CRP applicants, originally #502, #505, and #507, that are being recommended for appointment to the IMAP because they do not have a doctorate degree in mathematics or a related field. These three applicants are being forwarded to the SBE as IMAP applicants #85, #86, and #87. Applicants #85 and #87 have accepted the recommended appointment to the IMAP; however, applicant #86 has declined the appointment to the IMAP and is only willing to serve if appointed as a CRP.

In addition, the Curriculum Commission approved to move forward to the SBE the remaining five applicants for appointment to the CRP, conditioned upon legal counsel review of any potential conflicts of interest.

In total, the Curriculum Commission approved to move forward to the SBE 85 applicants for appointment to the IMAP and 5 applicants for appointment to the CRP. The Curriculum Commission also decided to hold one IMAP application (#5) until the Curriculum Commission’s November 2006 meeting to allow CDE staff time to contact the applicant and obtain additional background information before making a recommendation for appointment.

Profile of Applicants

The role of the IMAP is to review submitted programs to determine their alignment with the content standards and the evaluation criteria adopted by the SBE. The CRP members serve as mathematics content experts, and confirm that the instructional materials are mathematically accurate and based on current and confirmed research.

A majority of the IMAP applicants are classroom teachers, as required by the California Code of Regulations (Title 5, Article 2.1, Section 9516), but also include curriculum specialists, program coordinators, and consultants. All of the CRP applicants have an advanced degree in mathematics.

Of the total applications submitted, 12 of the IMAP applicants and 4 of the CRP applicants are male; 72 IMAP applicants and 1 CRP applicant are female; 1 IMAP applicant declined to state gender. Thirty-four IMAP applicants and 2 CRP applicants are from northern California; 51 IMAP applicants and 3 CRP applicants are from southern California.

Estimated Number of Panels

Approximately 40 publishers have expressed an interest in participating in the 2007 Mathematics Primary Adoption, though we may have fewer or more actual submissions following the Invitation to Submit meeting with publishers on January 9, 2007. Based on this number of publishers, we anticipate needing approximately 20 panels of reviewers; each panel will have five-to-seven IMAP members and one CRP expert. To reach this review level and to account for attrition, we will continue to recruit additional IMAP and CRP applicants. The Curriculum Commission approved an indefinite extension of the IMAP and CRP application deadline.

Additional applicants (which will be identified as Cohort 2) will be brought to the SBE for approval in January 2007 following the next Curriculum Commission meeting on November 30, 2006. We anticipate needing approximately 100-140 IMAPs and 20-25 CRPs.

[For information on those recommended by CDE to serve on an IMAP, visit The PDF file for the CRP members is not currently included in the online SBE agenda.]

(2) Free “How to Get to College” Posters

Source: California State University Office of the Chancellor

The California State University (CSU) system offers a free “How to Get to College” poster that “we want to see in the room of every middle and high school student in the state,” says Joan Bissell from the CSU Chancellor’s Office.  The posters are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. With support from the Boeing Corporation, half a million posters have already been sent out to middle and high school teachers.

Posters can be downloaded from or can be ordered from the Chancellor’s Office at

(3) Schools Chief Jack O’Connell Comments
 on Year 7 Independent Evaluation of 
California High School Exit Exam

Source: CDE – 3 November 2006

On November 3, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell commented on the seventh annual independent evaluation of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). The evaluation for the school year 2005-06 was conducted by the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) and is the first independent evaluation released since the CAHSEE became a graduation requirement, starting with the Class of 2006.

“I am pleased that the findings of this evaluation indicate the Exit Exam is working as intended,” said O’Connell.  “This study found that students are focused on meeting the challenge of higher expectations by working harder in school, taking more courses, and getting the help they need to master the essential math and English skills measured by the Exam. Evaluators also found that, contrary to the fears and dire predictions, fewer students in tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades are dropping out of high school. I believe this is a direct result of the Exit Exam bringing attention and resources to those students struggling the most. I am also pleased to see that more high school students are reaching for the higher bar of college and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.”

The findings of the HumRRO evaluation include the following:

— Dropout rates from tenth through twelfth grades have declined in the years since the CAHSEE requirement was established.

— Most twelfth graders in the Class of 2006 who still needed to meet the CAHSEE requirement continued to work hard throughout their senior year.

— The percentage of eleventh and twelfth graders taking AP courses has risen from 13% to 21% between 2000 and 2005.

— Scores on college placement tests increased in 2005.

— High school principals indicated the CAHSEE has had a positive influence on instruction and that they are implementing new ways to identify students who need additional help.

For this report, HumRRO conducted additional analyses of Exit Exam results of English learners. The report shows that students who had been English learners but were reclassified as fluent in English passed both portions of the Exit Exam at higher rates than students overall. But, Exit Exam results have consistently shown that students still classified as English learners have had more difficulty than other subgroups in passing the Exam, even though more than half of those students have attended public school in the United States for 10 years or more.

“HumRRO’s evaluation highlighted aspects of the achievement gap about which I remain very concerned,” O’Connell said. “One in four students in California is learning the English language, and the pass rate among English learners is among the lowest of all demographic subgroups. The evaluation found that many students are still classified as English learners after as many as 10 years in our public education system. Clearly this is unacceptable. These results indicate that we are not teaching our students English quickly enough. We need to redouble our efforts and develop new strategies to help these students. We cannot retreat from our rigorous standards in English or any other subject, but we must raise our expectations and improve our approach to assisting these students so they will be ready to succeed in the challenging global economy of the 21st century.”

The HumRRO report included several recommendations for policymakers to consider regarding the CAHSEE.

“I fully embrace the policy recommendations included in this report, chiefly that we improve the preparation of students in middle school and that we continue to focus efforts on helping students who are struggling with the CAHSEE in their sophomore and junior years, as well as helping students in the Class of 2006 who did not graduate with their class continue with their education,” O’Connell said. “I also agree strongly with the recommendation that the California Department of Education gather more lessons from schools that have been successful in helping students achieve proficiency in English, a process that we have already begun. We will also work to share these best practices with schools that have high populations of students who have not successfully met the CAHSEE requirement. Improving the collection and sharing of best practices so we can serve as a broker of expertise is one of my primary goals for the Department of Education.”

The Year 7 Independent Evaluation of the CAHSEE can be found at


(1) Knowles Science Teaching Foundation2007 Teaching Fellowships for Mathematics and Science Majors

Contacts: Mathematics — Jennifer Mossgrove:
Science — Rachel Foster:

The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) is seeking applicants for its sixth cohort of Teaching Fellows–individuals who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in a physical science, engineering or mathematics within the past years and now want to teach science or mathematics in U.S. high schools. KSTF was established in 1999 to strengthen the quality of science and mathematics teaching in the United States. KSTF Teaching Fellowships support individuals professionally and financially for up to five years through a teacher preparation program to eligibility for tenure.

Award information:

Fellowships will be awarded to up to 15 individuals in the science program and up to 15 in the mathematics program.  During the time individuals are enrolled in a recognized teacher certification program, fellowship support includes tuition assistance and a monthly stipend as well as room, board, travel expenses and fees for summer professional development activities.  Once fellows have begun teaching full-time, they are eligible to apply for instructional materials grants and school-site mentor support.  Additionally, the award includes room, board and travel expenses to three Fellows’ Meetings per year and membership in a professional organization.

Application information:

Application instructions can be found online at  The deadline for applications is January 16, 2007.  Only online applications will be considered. For more information, please contact KSTF at

(2) The National Curve Bank

Source: Shirley Gray (
URL (with Flash intro): |
URL (without Flash intro):

The National Curve Bank is a resource designed for students of mathematics. We strive to provide features that a printed page cannot provide (e.g., animation, interaction, audio, and color).  We also include the geometrical, algebraic, and historical aspects of curves–the kinds of attributes that make the mathematics special and enrich classroom learning.

See for a list of topics and more information. For classroom teachers, we suggest the following examples for how the site may be used:

* In trigonometry, see

* For prime number theory and math in the news, see

* For a brief mathematician’s birthday “pop-down,” see

* For a special project idea, see

* For interactive fractals, see

The National Curve Bank welcomes your participation.  Please see “Submit Your Curve” on the Home Page for details:

(3) TinyURL–A Free Service that Reduces URL Size


TinyURL is a useful free service designed to make posting long URLs easier by creating a much shorter URL that can be used as a substitute. For example, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Web site includes an education blog where Alan Bersin, California’s Secretary of Education, has the following post: When this URL is run through TinyURL, it becomes  When you click on this link, you are automatically redirected to the original URL.

(4) National Leadership Index for 2006

Source: Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

“Perhaps no form of government needs great leaders so much as democracy,” observed Lord Bryce early in the last century. If so, America is in trouble–or at least that’s what most Americans believe.

A year ago, in the first national study of confidence in leadership, two-thirds of people across the United States said that there is a leadership crisis in our country, and nearly three-quarters said that unless our leaders improve, the U.S. would decline as a nation. A year later, this second study finds, confidence in American leaders has deteriorated even further: now some 70% believe there is a leadership crisis in the United States today… Look at the National Leadership Index for 2006, a ranking of the public’s confidence in the leadership of the 11 major sectors of society. Americans say they have more than a moderate amount of confidence in only two of the 11 sectors: the military and medicine. All other sectors of leadership fail to win even a moderate amount of confidence. Moreover, in the 12 months that passed between the first survey in the early fall of 2005 and the second a year later, confidence fell in five of the sectors: education, religion, business, Congress, and the executive branch… More than 83% of Americans say that it is very important or extremely important for the U.S. to be a strong global leader–but overall, the pattern is one that would worry a Lord Bryce.

The research…grows out of a partnership between the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and U.S.News & World Report. The purpose of the partnership is to explore public attitudes about our leaders and to identify–through a national selection committee–the best of today’s leaders… Working together, the Center and U.S. News created a survey of public opinion with the market research firm, Yankelovich, Inc., which then conducted more than 1,600 interviews in September, 2006.

In addition to identifying significant trends in the public’s confidence in its leaders, this report highlights seven additional findings that should stimulate discussion among scholars and practitioners alike. In the next nine months, the Center for Public Leadership plans to publish a follow-on report devoted to a more targeted aspect of leadership. Both reports may be found on our Web site:

(5) “America’s Best Leaders”

Source: U.S. News & World Report

“America’s Best Leaders” is a collaboration between U.S.News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The honorees were selected by a committee of government, community, and private-sector leaders convened by the Center. U.S. News does not have a vote.

The panel accepted nominations from a wide range of sources and compiled research on each one. The committee defined a leader simply as a person who “motivates people to work collaboratively to accomplish great things.” It selected 20 winners, including some teams, from a field of more than 200. The panelists rated the nominees from to 1 to 5 based on how well they met the following criteria:

Sets Direction (25%)

By building a shared sense of purpose

By setting out to make a positive social impact

By implementing innovative strategies

Achieves Results (50%)

Of significant breadth or depth

That have a positive social impact

That are sustainable

That exceed expectations

Cultivates a Culture of Growth (25%)

By communicating and embodying positive core values

By inspiring others to lead

The panel decided that some of a nominee’s primary accomplishments should have occurred within the past 18 months, and that whenever possible, a nominee should still be in his or her position at the time of selection or have left it within the past six months.

The panel also felt that while a leader’s work can be global in scope, it should be based in America and that Americans should make up at least part of the leader’s audience.

Visit  to read profiles of the 20 individuals identified as this year’s best leaders.


Related article:

“Truly Authentic Leadership” by Bill George
Source: U.S. News and World Report – 22 October 2006

…The good news is that there is no shortage of people with the capacity to lead. There are leaders throughout organizations just waiting for the opportunity. In too many organizations, however, people don’t feel empowered to take charge, nor are they rewarded for doing so. Young & Rubicam Brand’s CEO, Ann Fudge, says, “All of us have the spark of leadership in us, whether it is in business, in government, or as a nonprofit volunteer. The challenge is to understand ourselves well enough to discover where we can use our leadership gifts to serve others.”

Greater purpose. The time is ripe to redefine leadership for the 21st century. The military-manufacturing model of leadership that worked so well 50 years ago doesn’t get the best out of people today. People are too well informed to adhere to a set of rules or to simply follow a leader over a distant hill. They want to be inspired by a greater purpose. As Fudge concludes, “We’re here for something. Life is about giving and living fully.”

What, then, is the 21st-century leader all about? It is being authentic, uniquely yourself, the genuine article. Authentic leaders know who they are. They are “good in their skin,” so good they don’t feel a need to impress or please others. They not only inspire those around them, they bring people together around a shared purpose and a common set of values and motivate them to create value for everyone involved.

“America’s Best Leaders” are the best of the new breed of authentic leaders. Reading about them, you will discern a dramatic shift in caliber and character. These men and women have stepped boldly into the nation’s leadership vacuum, with a passion to unite others in addressing the toughest problems we face. From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s thoughtful guidance of the Supreme Court to Eric Lander’s towering leadership in the scientific community to Don Berwick’s practical approaches to improving healthcare, these leaders have defied convention to lead in their authentic way. In so doing, they have set a new standard for the rest of us.