SVEF commits to increasing the number of eighth grade students who are proficient in Algebra 1 in Silicon Valley by expanding to more school districts and increasing the number of classrooms in each district during the summer and Saturday support sessions during the year so more students can be successful in Algebra 1. Leveraging the strength of SVEF's existing STEM Programs Team, over the next three years SVEF will serve an additional 7,000 students and train 200 teachers how to use the SUTA program and transform the way they teach in the school year.
Furthermore, SVEF's STEM Programs Team commits to enabling more regions to benefit from SUTA through developing partnerships with other non-profit organizations and county offices of education in other regions. SVEF will do this by capturing the content of the program and developing a STEM toolkit that can be easily distributed nationally, which will enable others to replicate the program. The toolkit is available on the SVEF website and shared through presentations at education conferences. Additionally, SVEF will hire one individual to oversee the scaling of the program and work with new partners in this effort. SVEF also shares its model of partnership engagement to enable other regions to improve STEM outcomes in their geographic areas.
Key implementation steps for this project include having the SVEF STEM Programs Team:
1) Engage a broader set of non-profit partners and stakeholders such as county offices of education and the business community in improving student access to high-quality STEM teaching and learning. SVEF is recruiting new districts and partners to support the program and expand the number of students and teachers served locally;
2) Engage with three other regions to share best practices to enable replication of SUTA on an ongoing basis across California. SVEF works with small or medium enterprises and provide consulting to help them get the programs off the ground
3) Share SVEF's model of partner engagement with other regions to support their development and ability to improve STEM outcomes in their geographic area on an ongoing basis; and
4) Recruiting and serving 1,500 students in 2013, 2,500 students in 2014, and 3,000 students in 2015 in California.
5) Recruit, hire, and train 43 teachers in 2013, 71 teachers in 2014, and 86 teachers in 2015 on a contractual basis to learn and teach with blended learning and incorporate instructional strategies for math and follow up with them during the school year on how they are progressing. These teachers will receive 40 hours of professional development upfront, followed by 75 hours of teaching practice with continuous feedback during the summer, 30 hours during the academic year with teaching on Saturdays and professional learning communities.
Since 2008, Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) has been preparing middle school students in Santa Clara County for Algebra I in eighth grade. SVEF has been aided in this effort by having a strong Board of Directors, STEM Advisory Committee and staff, all of whom contribute to its success. The Board of Directors includes key leaders in education, and the STEM Advisory Committee is a blend of business professionals from top local technology companies. This blend of powerful leaders from many sectors has helped increase SVEF's ability to have a significant impact on student achievement in Algebra in Santa Clara County and beyond.
According to the 2012 California Standards Test, only about 46% of eighth grade students were proficient in Algebra 1. Algebra 1 is a gateway course to Algebra 2, which research has indicated is a predictor of college success. Increasing the number of students who are proficient in Algebra 1 increases the likelihood that these students will graduate from high school ready for college.
To date, SVEF has served over 4,000 students in its Stepping Up To Algebra (SUTA) program in 20 school districts. In 2012, SVEF expanded its program to place more emphasis on teacher professional development to impact math education for broader, systemic change. SVEF's vision is to scale SUTA so it can be implemented more broadly in Santa Clara County and throughout the surrounding region.
SUTA is a four week, 75-hour summer intervention program for incoming eighth grade students followed by Saturday support sessions during the year led by a credentialed math teacher. The program targets students who are performing at the 'basic' level on the seventh grade standards test and provides them the skills and practice needed to be successful. The program uses a blended learning model and focuses on integrating science, technology, and engineering into the math with a rigorous and real-world relevance approach to encourage more students to be engaged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and pursue STEM careers.
In addition, the program is also a professional development lab for math teachers who to learn and practice new skills and instructional strategies during the summer. Through increased professional development for math teachers SVEF seeks to transform the way math is taught in a systemic way.