EdCal EdCalv47.26

Education California | The official newspaper of the Association of California School Administrators Volume 47 | Number 26 | April 24, 2017 Concerns on teacher supply addressed McKinley School in Pasadena USD has a very sought after math academy program. Here, seventh grad- ers are challenging themselves with advanced calculus problems. Competition fuels math academy program students David Gieselman, a student at McKinley School in Pasadena Unified School District, seems like a typical seventh grader. He has long hair. He’s into Mixed Martial Arts. And he does his homework after school like many of his classmates. “I’m just a regular kid and I have a really good balance between school and outside activities,” he said. But his math skills may pave the way for a career in space robotics or aeronau- tical engineering. Gieselman is one of a handful of students participating in the PUSD math academy. Each day he and his classmates, armed with white board markers and a sense of competition and collaboration, tackle advanced calculus and trigonometry problems that most adults would find challenging. “My parents stopped being able to help me with my math several years ago,” he said. “Math makes sense to me and I’m good at it.” Jason Roberts is spearheading the math academy program at McKinley. He calls the program radical accel- eration with curriculum that challenges kids who are up to be challenged. “We’ve got kids reading at high levels so why can’t we have kids solving math at high levels,” Roberts said. “These kids can learn math at a much faster pace, maybe three to four times faster than students in traditional math classes.” The classroom setup isn’t tradi- tional at the McKinley math academy. Students are on their feet and on the white boards, quickly writing and solv- ing high-level math problems dissemi- nated verbally by Roberts. It’s a compe- tition to see who can answer first most often, and who can answer correctly. “It’s cool getting pushed for the first time,” Gieselman said. “So now I’m get- ting pushed and to me, it almost seems normal and regular classes seem weird.” This is the type of program superin- tendent and former math teacher Brian McDonald wanted when it came to challenging students in the classroom. “We were struggling as a district to find programs that take advantage of the skills these students bring to the class- room,” he said. “Then you have an idea and you grow it and now you can see what these students are accomplishing. It’s an absolute eye opener.” On the other side of the district, Hiren Maharaj is teaching similar cur- riculum to sixth graders at Sierra Madre Middle School. Maharaj is a former Clemson University mathematics pro- fessor and is the backbone of the math academy program. His classroom is more traditional but similarly challeng- ing for students. “We’re trying to create a deeper bridge to life after high school,” he said. “If these students are working at a higher level, they are better suited for real world advancement.” Maharaj says some of his students are real standouts. Could they be rocket scientists? He says why not. “These students are incredibly moti- vated to grow and get stronger with their math skills,” he said. “They are so good that sometimes they’ll prove that I was See MATH, page 4 The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in April heard the latest data on the state’s teacher shortage. ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart said the data should be a major signal to the governor, Legislature, State Board of Education and the entire education com- munity that California has a serious short- age of teachers, now and for the immediate future. Overall, total teacher preparation enroll- ment declined by more than 12,000 can- didates between 2010-11 and 2014-15. During 2013-14 and 2014-15, about 2,000 new teacher candidates enrolled in the teacher preparation programs, indicating the decline in teacher preparation enroll- ment is increasing, not declining. “Students deserve to be taught by fully credentialed and trained teachers, yet the growing shortage of fully credentialed teachers results in an increase of teachers on some form of emergency or limited teach- ing authorization as indicated in the latest commission report on teacher shortage,” Gephart said. Significant findings include: • Intern programs increased 28.9 per- cent between 2014-15 and 2015-16. • Teaching permits, Provisional Intern Permits increased by 153.8 percent. •  Short Term Staff Permits increased by See CTC, page 2 CTC work group needs more time Following eight days of concentrated work over four scheduled meetings, the Preliminary Education Specialist Work Group submitted its preliminary recom- mendations for California Commission on Teacher Credentialing review, with a sug- gestion that the work group reconvene for an additional session to refine their recom- mendations and attempt to reach consensus on final recommendations. ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart reports the work group reached consen- sus on draft standards, with the under- standing that the fieldwork component needs to include specific criteria on how to include low and high incidence experi- ences. Education Specialist candidates need to demonstrate competency with respect to both the general education and the Education Specialist Teacher Performance Expectations organized around the same six domains upon which both the general edu- ESSA webinar. With the launch of California’s new state accountability system, local communities have an opportunity to use multiple measures while focusing on continuous improve- ment efforts to improve student out- comes and close the achievement gap. As part of the 30-day public comment period, ACSA is inviting educators to join this conversation on May 24, at 9 AM. 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