Monthly Archives: February 2012

February 17th Podcast – Centralization of State Aid During an Era of Unpredictable Revenues: What Policymakers Can Learn from School District Responses

Recent news headlines have drawn attention to budget cuts that districts pursue in response to the state’s revenue shortfalls. But policymakers and state agencies need to consider more than episodic revenue declines or relative rankings of districts. Instead, policymakers need to consider how state fiscal conditions are changing a given district’s performance over time. The state’s volatile tax base and centralization of school finance are associated with long-term unpredictability in state aid in California. Such unpredictability hamstrings district efforts to sustain large-scale policy reforms, retain teachers, and ultimately improve student achievement. This seminar reviews evidence from a 2010-11 survey that provides a snapshot of district responses to unpredictable state aid. The speaker suggests ways that policymakers can account for the revenue instability a district has faced when evaluating district fiscal and academic performance.

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Middle Grades Math: Why Algebra Matters & How Technology Can Help – Conference Wrap Up

Wrap Up – Muhammed Chaudhry and David Plank

Middle Grades Math: Why Algebra Matters & How Technology Can Help – Policy Panel

John Fensterwald, Journalist at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and Editor and Co-writer of “Thoughts on Public Education in California.”

Dr. Michael Kirst, President, California State Board of Education
Dr. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining Stanford in 1969, Dr. Kirst was the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty, and Director of Program Planning for the Elementary and Secondary Education of the U.S. Office of Education. He is president of the California State Board of Education.

Dr. Rick Miller, Superintendent, Riverside Unified School District
Dr. Miller is the Superintendent of the Riverside Unified School District and has been an educator for over 40 years. In addition to serving as superintendent for 23 years, he also teaches as an adjunct instructor at the university level. Dr. Miller has been a teacher and principal at the elementary and secondary levels. His career focus has been on school reform and improved student achievement in diverse settings. Dr. Miller co-founded a collaborative assistance program, building more collaborative structures within our school organizations.

Pat Sabo, Teacher and California Teachers Association State Council Member
at is an eighth grade algebra teacher and Math Department Chair at Healdsburg Junior High School. She has been teaching for 34 years and is a member of the CTA Teacher Evaluation work group. She is also a delegate of the NEA Representative and has served on the Committee for Adoption of the National Common Core Standards. Pat is listed as a member of the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”

Gerry Shelton, Vice President of Education Policy, School Innovations and Advocacy

Middle Grades Math: Why Algebra Matters & How Technology Can Help – Jeremy Roschelle

Keynote Address – Dr. Jeremy Roschelle, Director of the Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International
Dr. Roschelle is the Director of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. His research examines the design and classroom use of innovations that enhance learning of complex and conceptually difficult ideas in mathematics and science. Through cognitive science-based research on the “Envisioning Machine” and later “SimCalc,” he has explored how technology-based representations can make fundamental ideas in Algebra and Physics accessible to more students. Two running themes in his work are the study of collaboration in learning and the appropriate use of advanced or emerging technologies (such as component software and wireless handhelds) in education. More recently, Dr. Roschelle has been addressing large-scale use of innovative technologies in education, both through consulting to companies with a large impact in the market such as Texas Instruments, Pearson and Scholastic, and through implementation research on scaling up SimCalc to a wide variety of teachers and classrooms. His research includes one of the few large scale randomized experiments to find evidence for the effectiveness of technology in middle school mathematics education.

Middle Grades Math: Why Algebra Matters & How Technology Can Help – Presentations of Digital Tools

Mike Cassidy, Columnist, San Jose Mercury News (Moderator)
Mike Cassidy is a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. His column looks at the entrepreneurship, diversity and risk-taking that make the valley a place like few others in the world. He has regularly written about the intersection of technology and education.

Agile Mind (Presentation)
Agile Mind uses technology to help transform engagement, achieve-ment and persistence in mathematics among adolescent learners and to build teacher effectiveness and satisfaction, by integrating professional development, curriculum, formative assessment, test prep, assignments, and data analytics and reporting into one cohesive online system.

ALEKS (Presentation)
ALEKS is a web-based mathematics program that provides personalized assessment and learning for grades 3-12. Using artificial intelligence and adaptive questioning, ALEKS assesses a student’s knowledge and delivers instruction on the exact topics the student is most ready to learn.

CFY (Presentation)
As a national nonprofit, CFY helps low-income students, together with their teachers and families, harness the power of digital learning to improve educational outcomes. CFY pursues this mission through the combination of!its K-12 learning platform,, and!its direct service initiative, the CFY Digital Learning Program.

CK-12 Foundation (Presentation)
s a non-profit organization, the CK-12 Foundation’s mission is to produce free and open source K-12 materials aligned to state curriculum standards and customized to meet student and teacher needs. Current offerings include FlexBooks® digital textbooks, an SAT prep site, and an interactive Algebra I curriculum.

Edmodo (Presentation)
Offered as a free and ssecure social slearning network fffor teachers, students and schools, Edmodo provides classrooms a safe and easy way to connect and collaborate, offering a real-time platform to exchange ideas, share content and access home-work, grades and school notices.

Key Curriculum Press (,
Key Curriculum Press strives to engage students with effective mathematics software and curriculum, support teachers with high quality professional development and advocate for excellence and equity in education. The dynamic environments of Sketchpad and TinkerPlots enable students to visualize and explore mathematical relationships and data.

Mathalicious (Presentation)
Mathalicious provides teachers with materials that allow them to teach math using real-world topics. Lessons are aligned to Common Core standards and explore everything from the NBA to the iPad to the odds of finding life on other planets.

Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE) (Presentation)
As a non-profit organization, the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education is committed to improving access to education through research, collaborative development and online distribution of media-rich, curricular digital resources. MITE’s cornerstone projects are the!National Repository of Online Courses, and Algebra 1—An Open Course.

Motion Math (Presentation)
Motion Math creates fun learning games that let kids play with numbers. We turn screen time into learning time. !We’re creating mobile math game suites that are rigorously educational, stylish and awesomely fun. Our latest application is Motion Math: Hungry Fish.

World Wide Workshop (World Wide Workshop Foundation, Students Excel as Teachers, Understanding Mathematics)
World Wide Workshop develops applications for learning with technology that combine game mechanics and social networking to empower youth to be inventors and leaders in the global knowledge economy. Globaloria is a rigorous turn-key instructional solution for STEM learning, teaching students how to create educational webgames and interactive simulations. Our programs transform education by connecting youth to learning, community engagement and economic development through game production.

Middle Grades Math: Why Algebra Matters & How Technology Can Help – Tarkan Maner

Keynote Address – Tarkan Maner, President & CEO, Wyse Technology
Mr. Maner is President and CEO of Wyse Technology, the global leader in cloud client computing. He is one of the leading IT visionaries evangelizing the economic, social and technology benefits of social media, IT mobility and cloud computing. His leadership in technology innovation, customer and partner intimacy/advocacy and operational excellence has been crucial to the company’s growth, profitability and industry leadership. Mr. Maner joined Wyse in 2005 as chief marketing officer and served as president of worldwide field operations. !Previously, he led marketing, product management, business development and strategic alliance initiatives at Computer Associates and IBM. Mr. Maner received a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey, earned an MBA from Midwestern State University and participated in the AMP program at Harvard Business School.! He serves on the board of several innovative IT startups, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and TechAmerica Foundation’s State and Local Government Cloud Commission.

Middle Grades Math: Why Algebra Matters & How Technology Can Help – Access/Equity Panel

Dr. Tony Monreal, Porterville Unified School District (Moderator)
Tony serves as an Assistant Superintendent for the Porterville Unified School District. Previously, he was the Deputy Superintendent for the CA Department of Education under Jack O’Connell. Throughout his career as an educator, Tony has served as a counselor, teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent for various districts in the public, private and charter environments.

Manny Barbara, Silicon Valley Education Foundation
Manny is Vice President of Advocacy and Thought Leadership at Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Previously, he served for ten years as Superintendent of the Oak Grove School District. Manny has an M.S. in Applied Psychology from San Jose State University and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Educational Leadership at that university.

Courtney Cadwell, Teacher, Los Altos School District
Over the past 17 years in education, Courtney has worked as a classroom teacher, curriculum writer, teaching mentor and currently serves as a Math Coach at the Los Altos School District. Courtney earned degrees from the University of Texas, Dallas Theological Seminary and Vanderbilt University.

John Danner, Rocketship Education
John!is the CEO/co-founder of Rocketship Education, the leading public school system for low-income elementary students. John’s prior experience includes Chairman of the Charter School Resource Center in TN, founding director of KIPP Academy Nashville, co-founder of San Jose’s Sacred Heart Nativity School and co-founder/CEO NetGravity.

Dr. Matt Rosin, EdSource
As Senior Research Associate at EdSource, much of Matt’s recent work has focused on the middle grades through community college, with regular attention to mathematics. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University.

Middle Grades Math: Why Algebra Matters & How Technology Can Help – Math Panel

Dr. Charles Weis, Superintendent, Santa Clara County Office of Education (Moderator)
Dr. Weis has served as Superintendent of Santa Clara County Schools since July 2008. Previously, he held a similar position in Ventura County. He holds several degrees from California’s state universities, including a doctorate in Educational Policy and Organizational Studies from UC Santa Barbara. He is a past president of the Association of California School Administrators(ACSA), with which he’s been associated since 1980.

Phil Daro, Senior Fellow, Mathematics of America’s Choice and Co-Director of Tools for Change, University of California at Berkeley
Phil is a Senior Fellow for Mathematics for America’s Choice where he focuses on programs for students who are behind in mathematics. He directs the Strategic Education Research Partnership between the University of California and Stanford with the San Francisco Unified School District to focus on math and science learning among students learning English. Phil chaired the Common Core Standards Mathematics Workgroup that is drafting common College and Career Readiness Standards and was a member of the writing team for the K-12 Common Core State Standards.

Dr. Neal Finkelstein, Senior Research Scientist, WestEd
Dr. Finkelstein is an education researcher at WestEd who designs and implements rigorous field-based program evaluations and impact studies. His current research areas and interests include: high school completion patterns and the transition to postsecondary education, middle school mathematics teaching and learning, diagnostic uses of school-based data systems, school governance systems and educational productivity. Prior to joining WestEd, Dr. Finkelstein served as Director of Educational Outreach Research and Evaluation for the University of California Office of the President.

Dan Meyer, Math Teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator
Dan taught high school math for six years to students who did not like math. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Stanford University in mathematics education. He speaks internationally and consults with publishers on their digital curricula. He was named one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future and is an Apple Distinguished Educator.