How the California Community Foundation is Helping Teachers Get Better at Math

Math certainly wasn't every teacher's best subject in school. However, many educators are required to teach math classes as part of a balanced curriculum. To beef up teachers' math skills so they can be effective in the classroom, the California Community Foundation is funding a number of continuing education grants.

The California Community Foundation (CCF) recently presented a $155,000 check to the school district of Culver City, located ten miles west of Los Angeles. The bulk of this two-year grant will be going to the school's Art of Teaching program, which will provide professional development training in mathematics for nine teachers and create two mentor teachers in two Culver City schools. (Read California Community Foundation: Los Angeles Grants).

Under this continuing education program, these teachers will receive 130 hours of mathematics training to develop their pedagogical repertoire. The teachers will also become a part of the Mathematics Leadership Corps (MLC), which is a collaboration between the school district, the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching, Loyola Marymount University, the Leonetti/O'Connell Family Foundation, Louis L. Borick Foundation, and California Community Foundation. The Art of Teaching program is designed for elementary school teachers, while other MLC programs are targeted at math, science, and technology teaching in secondary schools.

A small portion of CCF's grant ($30,000) will be going toward two independent audits of the program and enable it to license and implement a donor-tracking database. The school district and leadership collaboration hopes that this will pave the way for additional funding in the years ahead.

CCF's education grantmaking program is four-fold, and this school district program matches two of the foundation's giving priorities: improving teacher quality and providing impact data of programs. CCF’s education goal is to address disparities in student achievement by increasing performance in math and literacy for low-income, minority and English learner students, from preK-5th grade, across Los Angeles County. To learn more about CCF's education program, which has three letter of inquiry deadlines throughout the year, contact Senior Program Officer, Peter Rivera at privera@calfund.org or 213-413-4130 ext. 262.