The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded nearly $900,000 in grants to help close the achievement gap in middle school mathematics in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
Fourteen school districts and nonprofit organizations received grants to provide additional mathematics instruction in afterschool and summer programs that will serve more than three thousand lower-performing students in 2011. Grants included $100,000 to ALearn, which works to help underrepresented students get to and succeed in college; $100,000 to the Silicon Valley Education Foundation in support of its Stepping Up to Algebra Program, a 75-hour intensive mathematics skills improvement program; and $80,000 to Citizen Schools, which operates an award-winning national network of academically rigorous afterschool programs.
In addition, the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley was awarded $50,000 for its Algebra Review Project, which aims to provide an Algebra I intervention program to five hundred low-performing students entering eighth grade. Research indicates that students who master algebra are more likely to succeed in college. According to the foundation, the two key factors in helping to close the gap between students of color and socioeconomically disadvantaged students and their peers are additional instruction and excellent teachers.
"Our students are scoring far below other states and even other nations," said SVCF president and CEO Emmett D. Carson. "Moreover, the way our system is failing socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students of color is unconscionable. Without effective instruction, students will not be able to catch up. They will not be able to take the courses they need to get into college."
For a complete list of grantees, visit the community foundation's Web site.