For more information on CaMSP projects, please visit Public Work's website.

CaMSP February 2017 Newsletter

CaMSP Evaluation News

Evaluation News for February:

The February Newsletter features articles on a variety of topics that we hope are useful as you continue to share your work and plan for the future including an article on key aspects of professional development that have been supported by CaMSP in the transition to new standards. CaMSP Project highlights include innovative uses of technology and English Learner support in summer and after school programming based on successful implementation of hands-on science learning and cropped

The newsletter also provides information about the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP), which was jointly formed and supported by the CSU and UC systems in 1977. MDTP is in the process of updating assessments to align to Common Core math standards and to support districts in implementation of SB-359, the California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015 as one component of a math placement policy.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have an idea you would like to share in our next newsletter in April.

Calendars and timelines: Your lead local evaluator has been in contact regarding scheduling the final administration of the teacher content assessment, which will begin to occur in January and throughout April and May. For all cohorts, only one additional post-assessment will be conducted during this timeframe for use in 2017 fall reporting.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of Public Works regarding scheduling. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of ERC is coordinating administration of the LMT and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of ERC is preparing all materials for the TCAS.

We have also collected dates of the last intensives and classroom follow-ups so we can keep track as the projects wind down in the late spring.

March YTD’s and Local Evaluation Reporting: For all cohorts, the next set of reporting will occur for the March YTD due to the CDE STEM office by March 31, 2017. Public Works will prepare a Local Evaluation Report that projects will review prior to our submission to CDE STEM office. Your lead local evaluator will be in contact with next steps including the data to collect, analyze and report in March. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or your lead local evaluator if you have any questions regarding this process.

Cohorts 10 and 11 only. Curriculum Products: As a follow up to the initial samples and information that Public Works had previously collected, your lead local evaluator will be contacting you for an updated/finalized sample curriculum product of the lessons, units, PBL’s, tasks or other curriculum products your partnership proposed it would develop.

Please provide at least one sample product that is in its final or close to final form (or more) and if you have an existing Website or repository for the curriculum products that we could share or describe in your report. We would like to support your work in dissemination of these products and all the hard work of the teacher participants that went into them.

Public Works Attendance Database: Please continue to update your attendance and notify This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of any drops or changes in participants.

STEM Project Evaluation Provides Important Lens on How to Support Teachers Transitioning to New Science & Math Standards

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As California continues its transition to Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Math, teachers are under pressure to learn and understand these new curriculum standards and implement engaging ways to help their students learn. Many California County Offices of Education and over 200 school districts have provided professional development to their science and math teachers under federally funded California Mathematics and Science Partnership (CaMSP) Program grants.

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Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project

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With the transition to Common Core, a new statewide assessment, and new legislation requiring every district to have a high school math placement policy, the stakes are high on getting it “right”. The Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP), a joint venture of the UC/CSU system, has been creating and administering mathematics readiness exams in California for nearly 40 years. Is an MDTP exam right for your district?

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Instruments for Measuring the Performance of Professional Learning Communities

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a new guide that can help researchers and practitioners who are planning, implementing, and evaluating professional learning communities (PLCs). The guide, from Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic, compiles 49 valid, reliable, and tested measures of key performance indicators of teacher PLCs.

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Integrating NGSS Science Practices in Middle School Science Classrooms: Examining the Process of Two Lesson Study Teams

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The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) necessitate significant instructional shifts toward engaging diverse groups of students in science practices in support of content understanding (NRC, 2012, 2013). The theoretical and empirical foundations of the NGSS practices are well-documented (AAAS, 1993, 1996, NRC, 1996, 2012), but little is known about how teachers' are translating NGSS practices into their science instruction.

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2017 STEM for All Video Showcase: Research & Design for Impact, May 15th - 22nd

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You are invited to be a presenter and to showcase your NSF and other federally-funded project work that is aimed at improving STEM teaching and learning. This year’s theme is Research & Design for Impact. Create and share a 3-minute video that describes the need that inspired your project, your intervention, and your project’s impact to date.

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The Dementors Facing Teacher Leaders (and How to Defeat Them)

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Confession: I'm a Harry Potter fan. I may have welled up a bit this spring when I walked into Diagon Alley for the first time at Universal Studios. Harry is a young wizardling battling a lot of foes, with one of the scariest (for me!) being the Dementors. For those of you who weren't sucked into Hogwarts and the wizarding world like I was, let me sum up what Dementors are. They are ghoul-like creatures that feed on human happiness. And just like Harry and his friends had to battle the Dementors to survive, I find that many great teacher leaders are fighting the same battle. 

 Yes--we have our own Dementors as teachers. I plan to create a min-series on each, but I wante to start with a big, bad one. The first Dementor is Doubt.


Overview of the U.S. Department of Education Non-Regulatory Guidance: Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grants

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The U.S. Department of Education presented the webinar ESSA Overview of the Department of Education Non-Regulatory Guidance, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants on January 12th. The webinar highlighted areas from their Non-Regulatory Guidance Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants document. To listen and view the webinar click here. The links are at the bottom of the page.

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The Use of Technology in CaMSP Projects


Students of GreenSTEM teachers at Whittier School District show their mathematical thought processes through interacting with teacher-created videos using Educreations. Teachers are able to incorporate sentence stems to help them discuss the standards for mathematical practice. Students solving problems are asked to detail their thought process while at the app records their voice and their input; in other words, what they write down. Teachers can use these recordings to see where students might have gaps in knowledge. Not only do they see the student work, the student “talks” the teacher through their process, making it easier to highlight where a potential misunderstanding exists.

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After School EL Program a Success at Riverside USD!


“My EL students are super engaged! Even if they can’t speak about what we are doing in complete sentences or grammatically correct sentences, they can do it. I can tell they can understand from their drawings in their science notebooks and discussions,” explains a second grade Riverside Science Renaissance Project teacher.

Administrators and teachers began noticing that EL students, who are usually hesitant to speak up in the classroom, are much more engaged during science instruction based on inquiry and hands-on activities provided by project teachers. “Having students do investigations first with a lot of hands-on led to a marked and very observable difference in engagement,” notes Shannon Dadlez, Ph.D., Project Director.

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With More Exposure to Science, English Learner's Achievement Soared

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Integrating innovative science courses and English-language instruction can dramatically boost student achievement and test scores in the sciences, along with reading, and writing, according to a new study from the Oakland, Calif.-based Education Trust West.

The report, "Unlocking Learning: Science as a Lever for English Learner Equity," explored how six districts, ranging from rural to urban and all with sizable English-learner populations, taught science to the students.

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Supplementing Your Anchor Math Curriculum with Rich Tasks

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The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics have ushered in a new era in which additional emphasis has been placed on critical thinking and deep conceptual understanding. I’ve worked both as a teacher and now as a coach to support my school in implementing the Standards for Mathematical Practice, and one of these Practices in particular led me to realize the need to supplement my anchor math curriculum with rich mathematics tasks.

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