**ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS) **

**(1)****
Bill to Attract More Math, Science, Special Education Teachers Signed
into Law**

**Source: **California** **Senator
Gloria Romero

**URL: **http://tinyurl.com/3kh49

**URL** (S.B. 1660): http://tinyurl.com/3rpxsz

Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero (D-East Los Angeles)
recently announced that the governor signed into law her Senate Bill
1660 to address a critical shortage of math, science, and special
education teachers in the lowest-performing (API Deciles 1-3) schools.

The measure will enable school districts to attract and retain
highly-qualified teachers by providing compensation for incentives such
as extra pay, additional time for class preparation, and extra time
for professional development.

"The overwhelming majority of students in the lowest-performing
schools come from poverty and are also predominantly Latino and African
American," Romero said. "Students in these schools have less access
than students in other schools to qualified math, science and special
education teachers. I believe that the effort to achieve quality
education for poor and disadvantaged students is *the* civil
rights issue of our time. Senate Bill 1660 is a step forward.
California cannot lead the nation in renewable energy, a viable green
economy, or in health care if we do not address the shortage and
inequitable distribution of math and science teachers now."

Students in the lowest performing schools are four times more
likely to have teachers less qualified to teach math and science than
students in better performing schools. Of the nearly one million
students in these schools, 67.2% are Latino and 11.1% are African
American. More than 40% are English learners, and most of them are
poor.

Educators fear students in the lowest-performing schools will
fall further behind in math when the State Board of Education requires
testing of all eighth grade students on Algebra I in three years.

SB 1660 will allow school districts to use the professional
development block grant funds they currently have for alternative ways
to compensate teachers only if the teachers' bargaining units agree to
it.

________________________

**(2) ****Presidential
Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching -- Call for
Nominations**

**Source:** Sandie Gilliam, CMC PAEMST
Coordinator - sandie.gilliam@comcast.net
(Note: James J. Miller, California Department of Education, is the
PAEMST Coordinator for Science: jimiller@cde.ca.gov)

**URL**: __http://www.paemst.org
__

The California Mathematics Council (CMC) Awards Committee is
hoping that you will nominate exceptional, experienced teachers for the
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
(PAEMST). The 2008-2009 applicants must teach mathematics or science in
grades 7-12. Next year, teachers in grades K-6 will be eligible to
apply.

The following article appeared in the September issue of CMC's*
ComMuniCator*:

**Reward Good Teaching**

There are over 150,000 teachers in California teaching math, and
yet each year we're getting fewer than 15 applications for the
Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching.

If you know an exemplary SECONDARY mathematics teacher who:

-- Gets students excited about math,

-- Skillfully uses a variety of teaching techniques,

-- Engages students in meaningful mathematics,

-- Regularly reflects on lessons and seeks professional
development, and

-- Is actively involved in mathematics education at the local,
state, and/or national levels, then nominate them and assist them in
applying!

Although mentors are available to help, personal encouragement
and collegial guidance have been important to the success of previous
applicants.

For more information and a nomination form which is NOW
AVAILABLE, you can go the website at __http://www.paemst.org __

Mentoring sessions for the application will be held at the CMC
conferences in Palm Springs (November 7-8) and Asilomar (December 4-7).
[See http://www.cmc-math.org/conferences]
Application deadline: May 31, 2009.

_____________________________

**(3) "****Using
Partnerships to Strengthen Elementary Mathematics Teacher
Education"-MSRI Conference**

**Source:** Mathematical Sciences Research
Institute (MSRI)

**URL:**** **http://www.msri.org/calendar/workshops/WorkshopInfo/490/show_workshop

"Using Partnerships to Strengthen Elementary Mathematics Teacher
Education" is a workshop scheduled to be held on December 11-12, 2008.
The workshop, which is sponsored by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley,
CA, is being organized by Deborah Ball (University of Michigan), James
Lewis (University of Nebraska), and William McCallum (University of
Arizona). The workshop will explore the challenges to and benefits of a
collaborative approach to the mathematical education of elementary
teachers.

A core problem--perhaps the central problem--for improving
elementary school mathematics is the mathematical education of
elementary teachers. The historic isolation of elementary teachers'
study of mathematics from their pedagogical preparation is increasingly
seen to be both unnatural and ineffective. Indeed, the mathematical
education of elementary teachers is inherently interdisciplinary as
future teachers seek to gain the mathematical knowledge, the
pedagogical knowledge and the knowledge of young students that is needed
to become a successful mathematics teacher. Thus, it seems reasonable
that an integrative learning approach to mathematical education of
elementary teachers could yield substantial benefits.

In part supported by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation,
mathematicians and educators at the University of Michigan, the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Sonoma State University, and Mills
College have worked to form partnerships that meet the mathematical and
pedagogical needs of their students. Faculty from these institutions
who have participated in the Collaborative Teaching project will report
on their efforts and lessons learned about working together to educate
teachers of mathematics.

These questions guide the workshop design:

1. What mathematical and pedagogical knowledge is of central
importance to the preparation of elementary mathematics teachers?

2. How can courses and programs for elementary teachers be
designed and structured so as to increase teachers' mathematical
knowledge for teaching?

3. What are the barriers, challenges and benefits to approaching
the mathematical education of teachers as a partnership among
mathematicians, educators, and master teachers?

The audience for the workshop includes mathematicians,
mathematics educators, and classroom teachers who are concerned with
improving elementary teachers' opportunities to gain the mathematical
knowledge needed for teaching. Participants should attend the workshop
in teams of 2-4 that include at least one mathematician and one
educator, both of whom are interested in the education of elementary
teachers and in learning more about the benefits that can be derived
from a collaborative approach to the mathematical education of
elementary teachers.

____________________

**(4) ****Authorizations
to Teach Mathematics**

**Source**: California Commission on Teacher
Credentialing

**URL**: http://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/agendas/2008-10/2008-10-2D.pdf

At last week's meeting of the California Commission on Teacher
Credentialing, an item entitled, "Authorizations to Teach Mathematics"
was included on the agenda. The document accompanying this item is
available for download from the Web site above.

Included below is an excerpt:

**Introduction **

Mathematics, especially Algebra I, has been the focus of much
attention recently due to action of the State Board of Education (SBE)
in July 2008 to assess all 8th grade students in Algebra I by the
2010-11 school year. This action was taken as a condition of entering
into a compliance agreement with the U.S. Department of Education
(USDE). In light of this new state policy direction, it seems
appropriate to review and discuss the documents that authorize an
individual to teach mathematics, since a number of the Commission's
credentials and other documents authorize an individual to teach
mathematics in the public schools.

This agenda item describes current credential authorizations and
teacher preparation in mathematics in the context of student coursework
and related evidence of student proficiency [on the Algebra 1
California Standards Test]. The information presented in this item
addresses a number of topics related to the preparation of individuals
to teach mathematics including types of authorizations required for
different levels of mathematics instruction, K-12 student proficiency in
mathematics, number of mathematics credentials and other mathematics
authorizations awarded, subject matter preparation to teach
mathematics, including the number and passing rate of single subject
candidates who satisfy the subject matter requirement through the
California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET): Mathematics
Examination, and pedagogical preparation to teach mathematics.

At different points in the discussion, questions are posed about
the adequacy of the preparation of professional educators who provide
mathematics instruction. Finally, staff has posed a number of questions
for the Commission to consider regarding the preparation and
credentialing of individuals to teach mathematics and requests
Commission direction as to which, if any, of the questions should be
studied further...

*Mathematics Instruction in the Self-Contained Classroom *

The multiple subject teaching credential authorization allows its
holder to teach in self-contained classrooms, usually at the
kindergarten through 5th or 6th grade levels. In addition,
individuals with multiple subject credentials are often assigned to 7th
or 8th grade core assignments. Multiple subject credential holders
are currently authorized to teach Algebra I if the class is taught in a
core configuration. However, this assignment conflicts with
California's NCLB Highly Qualified Teacher requirements which are
discussed below. The multiple subject credential does not authorize
its holder to teach Algebra I in a departmentalized setting. More
specifically, the multiple subject teaching authorization statement
reads:

This credential authorizes the holder to teach all subjects in a
self-contained class and, as a self-contained classroom teacher, to
team teach or to regroup students across classrooms, in grades twelve
and below, including preschool, and in classes organized primarily for
adults. In addition, this credential authorizes the holder to teach
core classes consisting of two or more subjects to the same group of
students in grades five through eight, and to teach any of the core
subjects he or she is teaching to a single group of students in the
same grade level as the core for less than fifty percent of his or her
work day.

*Mathematics Authorizations for the Secondary Level *

* The single subject credential in mathematics authorizes an
individual to teach every level of mathematics from grades K-12. More
specifically, the single subject mathematics authorization statement
reads:

This document authorizes the holder to teach the subject area(s)
listed above in grades twelve and below, including preschool, and in
classes organized primarily for adults.

Individuals who hold a single subject teaching credential in
mathematics are authorized to teach mathematics in grades seven through
12 including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry, Probability
and Statistics, Introductory Analysis, and Calculus courses.

* The single subject Foundational-Level Mathematics (FLM)
authorization statement reads:

This document authorizes the holder to teach the content areas in
general mathematics, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, and
consumer mathematics in grades twelve and below, including preschool,
and in classes organized primarily for adults.** **

The FLM credential authorizes an individual to teach mathematics
in grades seven through 12 including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II,
and Probability and Statistics. Individuals who hold a FLM credential
are not authorized to teach Trigonometry, Introductory Analysis, or
Calculus courses. The FLM credential, which was approved as an
authorization by the Commission in 2002, was developed to increase the
number of individuals authorized to teach Algebra I, Geometry, and
Algebra II.

* In addition to holding one of the credentials listed above, a
multiple subject or single subject teacher may add either a *Supplementary
Authorization in Introductory Mathematics* or a *Subject
Matter Authorization in Mathematics*. The Supplementary
Authorization in Introductory Mathematics has been an option for
teachers for over 25 years, while the Subject Matter Authorization is a
more recent option developed in response to NCLB. Both the *Supplementary
Authorization in Introductory Mathematics *and the* Subject
Matter Authorization in Mathematics *read:

This credential authorizes the holder to teach only the subject
matter content typically included for the introductory subject or
subjects listed above, in curriculum guidelines and textbooks approved
for study in grades 9 and below [(i.e., Algebra I and Geometry)] to
students in preschool, kindergarten, grades 1-12, or in classes
organized primarily for adults....

An individual with the Supplementary Authorization...has a minimum
of 20 semester units of mathematics content knowledge [(or 10
upper-division math units)]. However, after NCLB highly qualified
teacher requirements became federal law, California defined a highly
qualified teacher as an individual who has completed 32 semester units
in the subject area, in this case mathematics. The *Supplementary
Authorization* did not satisfy California's definition of highly
qualified teacher. Therefore, the Commission developed the *Subject
Matter Authorization* that requires 32 semester units in
mathematics and allows teachers holding this authorization to be
considered "highly qualified" for the purpose of NCLB. Both these
documents authorize the individual to teach mathematics up through 9th
grade content...

In addition, veteran teachers can utilize the High Objective
Uniform State Standard Evaluation (HOUSSE) process administered at the
local level to become highly qualified. Districts are motivated to
assign only highly qualified teachers to their academic subject courses
because to do otherwise risks being sanctioned by the State Board of
Education and the California Department of Education...

*Subject Matter Preparation to Teach Mathematics *

The preparation for an individual to teach any subject includes
both an understanding of the subject matter and an understanding of how
to teach that subject to K-12 students. Subject Matter Requirements
(SMRs) are developed for each content area, and then Program Standards
are adopted by the Commission. The same SMRs are used when an
examination is developed. The current SMRs for mathematics are aligned
to the adopted student content standards... An individual earning an
initial authorization to teach mathematics has two options for
demonstrating mastery of the content of mathematics: 1) completion of
an approved subject matter preparation program offered by a college or
university (an option for a single subject credential) that provides
instruction in subject matter content and an introduction to
subject-specific pedagogy, or 2) passage of an examination (required
for a multiple subject credential, an option for a single subject
credential). Completion of university coursework is required when an
individual adds either a Supplementary Authorization (20 units) or a
Subject Matter Authorization (32 units) to his or her existing single
subject or multiple subject credential...

In general, 40% of candidates demonstrated subject matter
competency in mathematics through coursework, while 60% demonstrated
competency through passage of the examination. This is not the case
with respect to the FLM credential, of which nearly all, or 99% of
candidates, take the examination The percent of candidates using the
examination route has more than doubled from 2002-03 to 2006-07, due in
large part to the FLM credential...

Candidates for the FLM credential are required to pass Subtests 1
and 2 of the CSET: Mathematics Examination, which address Domains 1-4
(see below). The complete content specifications for the CSET:
Mathematics examination can be found on the CSET web page: http://www.cset.nesinc.com/PDFs/CS_mathematics_SMR.pdf

Domain 1: Algebra

- Algebraic Structures

- Polynomial Equations and Inequalities

- Functions

- Linear Algebra

Domain 2: Geometry

- Parallelism

- Plane Euclidean Geometry

- Three-Dimensional Geometry

- Transformational Geometry

Domain 3: Number Theory

- Natural Numbers

Domain 4: Probability and Statistics

- Probability

- Statistics

Domain 5: Calculus [on Subtest 3]

- Trigonometry

- Limits and Continuity

- Derivatives and Applications

- Integrals and Applications

- Sequences and Series

Domain 6: History of Mathematics [on Subtest 3]

- Chronological and Topical Development of Mathematics...

One final consideration relevant to this topic is that the
Commission has the authority to award Specialist credentials. The
program standards for the Mathematics Specialist Programs were
developed in 1985 and revised slightly in 1992. But at this time, there
are no approved programs that meet the standards and fewer than twenty
Mathematics Specialist credentials have been granted. The
authorization for the mathematics specialist reads:

The Mathematics Specialist Instruction Credential authorizes the
holder to teach mathematics in grades twelve and below, including
preschool, and in classes organized primarily for adults. This
credential also authorizes the holder to develop and coordinate
curriculum, develop programs and deliver staff development for
mathematics education programs coordinated by school districts and
county offices of education.

Currently, the role of Reading Specialist Credential holders is an
important one for schools in that they usually work with students in
the primary grades who are having trouble learning to read in addition
to providing staff development and developing and coordinating
curriculum. Although the Mathematics Specialist Credential exists, it
can be argued that it has been an underutilized tool for addressing
needs in the area of mathematics. Examining ways to expand these
programs and credential holders as well as maximize their role may be
one way to address the needs of students in upper elementary, middle,
or high schools who are not making adequate progress in their
understanding of mathematics...

** **

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

**ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS) **

**Lost in America:
Top Math Talent**

**Source: **EurekAlert - 10 October 2008

**URL**: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/ams-lia100108.php

**URL (Article):** http://www.ams.org/staff/jackson/fea-gallian.pdf

...The study, "Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students with
Exceptional Talent in Mathematical Problem Solving," appearing in the
November 2008 issue of the *Notices of the American Mathematical
Society*, brings together decades of data from several extremely
high-level mathematics competitions for young people. These data show
that there exist many females with profound intrinsic ability in
mathematics. What is more, whether this ability is identified and
nurtured is highly dependent on socio-cultural, educational, or other
environmental factors. In the United States, these factors keep many
boys as well as most girls from developing their mathematical talents
to the fullest.

**Girl Math Whizzes Found in Cultures that Value Math**

The main part of the study examines participation in the
International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), a highly challenging,
nine-hour, six-problem essay style examination taken by some of the
most mathematically gifted pre-college students the world over. In
recent years, as many as 95 countries have sent 6-member teams to
compete in the IMO. The study found that there have been numerous girls
who have excelled in the IMO; however, the frequency with which girls
of medal-winning ability are identified varies greatly from country to
country.

Even some relatively small countries such as Bulgaria and
Romania can field highly successful IMO teams. "[W]hat most of these
countries [that excel in the IMO] have in common are rigorous national
mathematics curricula along with cultures and educational systems that
value, encourage, and support students who excel in mathematics," the
study says. Since 1974, the highly-ranked Bulgarian, East
German/German, and USSR/Russian IMO teams have included 9, 10, and 13
different girls, respectively. By contrast, during that same time
period, the U.S. teams included just 3 girls. While only a few students
per year typically achieve a perfect score of 42 points in this
extremely difficult exam, multiple girls have been among them,
including Evgenia Malinnikova of the USSR who missed by only one point
achieving a perfect 42 three years in a row.

One of the study's findings is that many of the students from
the United States who participate in the IMO are immigrants or children
of immigrants from countries where education in mathematics is valued
and mathematical talent is nurtured. A similar pattern holds for data
from other highly challenging math competitions, including the USA
Mathematical Olympiad and the Putnam Mathematical Competition for
undergraduate students, also analyzed in the study. In particular,
Asian-American and white girls who are immigrants from Eastern Europe
are well represented in proportion to their percentages of the U.S. and
Canadian populations among the very top students identified in these
math competitions. It is only U.S.- and Canadian-born white and
historically underrepresented minority girls who are
underrepresented--underrepresented by 50-fold or more relative to Asian
girls educated in the same school systems, the study concludes.

**U.S. Culture Discourages Girls--and Boys**

Study co-author Titu Andreescu of the University of Texas at
Dallas believes, "Innate math aptitude is probably fairly evenly
distributed throughout the world, regardless of race or gender. The
huge differences observed in achievement levels are most likely due to
socio-cultural attributes specific to each country." Some countries
routinely identify and nurture both boys and girls with profound
mathematical ability to become world-class mathematical problem solvers,
while others, including the USA, only rarely identify girls of this
caliber. In addition, social pressures conspire to discourage girls
from pursuing math. "[I]t is deemed uncool within the social context of
USA middle and high schools to do mathematics for fun; doing so can
lead to social ostracism," the report says.

"Consequently, gifted girls, even more so than boys, usually
camouflage their mathematical talent to fit in well with their peers."

The study also looks at the representation of women among the
faculty in five of the very top US research university mathematics
departments. Just 20% of the women in these elite departments were born
in the United States. Of the 80% born elsewhere, many are immigrants
from countries in which girls are frequently members of IMO teams. The
study found a similar race/ethnicity/birth country/gender profile among
U.S. participants in the IMO and its training camp as among the
faculties of these outstanding math departments. "Thus, we conclude
that the mathematics faculty being hired by these very highest-ranked
research universities reflects the pool of IMO medal-caliber students
of mathematics coming through the pipeline," the study says.

"The U.S. culture that is discouraging girls is also
discouraging boys," says Janet Mertz, a University of Wisconsin-Madison
professor of oncology and lead author of the study. "The situation is
becoming urgent. The data show that a majority of the top young
mathematicians in this country, male as well as female, were not born
here." Co-author Joseph A. Gallian, professor of mathematics at the
University of Minnesota Duluth, says, "Just as there is concern about
the U.S. relying on foreign countries for our oil and manufactured
goods, we should also be concerned about relying on others to fill our
needs for mathematicians, engineers, and scientists.