The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has announced twenty-six grants totaling $1.9 million to help close the achievement gap in middle school mathematics in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
The foundation awarded thirteen grants totaling $1 million to help school districts and nonprofit organizations provide mathematics-related professional development opportunities to approximately two hundred teachers in the region. Another thirteen districts and nonprofits will receive a total of $840,406 to provide mathematics instruction in afterschool or summer programs to about two thousand low-performing students, including $90,525 to the Jefferson Elementary School District in northern San Mateo County, where the percentage of English language learners has more than doubled since 2004, for a comprehensive teacher development program in partnership with UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, and $100,000 each to ALearn and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation to create a two-year summer support system designed to raise the performance of middle school students in Santa Clara County.
Research indicates that students who master algebra are more likely to succeed in college, and the foundation noted that the two key factors in helping to close the gap between students of color and socioeconomically disadvantaged students and their white and Asian peers in this area are additional instruction and great teachers.
"With sharp cuts to education funding, more and more schools are struggling to provide additional instruction for students who need help and opportunities for teachers to improve their skills," said SVCF president and CEO Emmett D. Carson. "Without these investments, this persistent achievement gap will get worse. We cannot afford to let that happen."
For a complete list of grantees, visit the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Web site.