The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $1 million to seventeen school districts and nonprofit organizations working to help close the achievement gap in math.
The grants will support professional development opportunities for more than five hundred and twenty middle school math teachers in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Research has found that effective teachers are the most important factor in closing the achievement gap between socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students of color and their white and Asian counterparts. Research also has found that students who master algebra by eighth grade are more likely to attend and succeed in college.
To that end, the foundation awarded $111,275 to the Bayshore, Belmont, and Brisbane school districts for implementation of the ACCESS (Algebra, Collaborative for Creative Equitable Student Success) program; $99,967 to San Jose State University's Silicon Valley Math Initiative to provide a comprehensive program of professional development to teachers and their coaches; and $40,000 to the San Jose Unified School District to redesign teacher-learning communities in its middle schools and research best practices to implement computer/classroom blended learning environments. The majority of the grantees are receiving funding for the fourth year in a row, while only two are first-time SVCF grant recipients.
"Our educational system has not kept pace with the needs of our students or with the requirements they will face when they join the workforce," said SVCF education program officer Gina Dalma. "We are simply failing to prepare them adequately for postsecondary education. We need to provide our teachers opportunities to learn the very best techniques in mathematics instruction."
For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Web site.