Press Release - April 2, 2014

Community Foundation Awards More Than $700,000 For Teacher Development Around Common Core Standards

Programs will help close the mathematics achievement gap among middle-school students

View GranteesMOUNTAIN VIEW — Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded more than $700,000 to help teachers in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties continue to develop their skills in mathematics instruction, benefiting thousands of middle-school students.

Ten school districts and nonprofit organizations  will receive a total of $768,407 to provide professional development to nearly 400 middle school mathematics teachers in the two-county region.

The professional development provided to teachers by these grants will better prepare them to teach according to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics. The standards are scheduled to be implemented in California’s public schools in the 2014-15 school year. CCSS are designed to build students’ critical thinking and communication skills, spark their curiosity and make learning relevant in the real world. You can read more about SVCF’s Silicon Valley Common Core Initiative (SVCCI) to help school districts collaborate on CCSS here.

“Teacher effectiveness is the number one determinant of student success,” said Gina Dalma, senior program officer for education grantmaking at SVCF. “Over the past several years, we have invested in teacher professional development and in systems that support continuous improvement, and we know this is helping our region’s children be more successful academically.”

SVCF’s interest in CCSS is aligned with its overall education grantmaking strategy, which focuses on closing the middle school mathematics achievement gap between many students of color or low-income students and their peers.

The just-announced grants are part of SVCF’s “in-school” grantmaking program, which supports teacher effectiveness in the classroom. Grant amounts range from $50,000 to $100,000.

Among them:

  • A grant of $99,543, in partnership with Silicon Valley Math Initiative, to the Jefferson Elementary School District in Daly City to increase teachers’ effectiveness in the classroom and reduce the achievement disparity in mathematics of English Language Learners (ELL's) and other underserved student groups relative to their peers.
  • A grant of $87,500 will support Pivot Learning Partners’ 21st Century Math project, which, in partnership with Alum Rock School District, provides professional development to teachers and administrators and shares scalable knowledge and training.
  • The New Teacher Center received a grant of $100,000 for its Collaborating for Academic Success in Algebra (CASA) program, providing targeted professional development for new and veteran mathematics teachers in grades 6 through 8, and for their mentors and administrators.

The 10 grants just announced bring SVCF’s total investment in education to more than $10 million since the first round of grants was awarded in 2009.

You can view a full list of these grantees here.


About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems, and our donors award more money to charities than any other community foundation in the United States. SVCF has more than $4.7 billion in assets under management. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide thousands of individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at