Press Release - March 31, 2015

SVCF Awards Nearly $1 Million For Teacher Development Around Common Core Standards In Mathematics

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

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to help teachers develop their skills in mathematics instruction, benefiting thousands of middle school students in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Thirteen school districts and nonprofit organizations will receive a total of $998,984 to provide professional development to about 964 middle school mathematics teachers in the two-county region.

“Supporting teachers under the new Common Core framework requires new, intensive and sustained approaches to professional learning,” said Gina Dalma, SVCF’s grantmaking director. “Students are also learning new skills like persevering to find solutions to complex problems, explaining their reasoning and using diverse tools. It is paramount that teachers be equipped to support the development of these skills.”

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. Adopted by California’s legislature in 2010, these standards 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.

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 grants, approved by SVCF’s board of directors at its first-quarter meeting, are part of SVCF’s “in-school” grantmaking strategy, which supports teacher effectiveness in the classroom. Most of the grants are providing seventh-year support to programs that have been successful at achieving their desired outcomes for teacher development. Grant amounts range from $50,000 to $100,000.

Among the grants:

  • A grant of $100,000 to Partners in School Innovation will help build the capacity of 85 teachers to close the achievement gap in middle school mathematics and create structures and systems to ensure continuous learning and improvement.
  • A grant of $75,000 to the Foothill-DeAnza Foundation/Krause Center for Innovation will provide support for FAME, a nine-month, Common Core-based professional development program for 40 math teachers in grades 6 through 9. The program is designed to increase student achievement in pre-algebra, algebra and geometry and promote the use of technology for math instruction.

The 13 grants just announced bring SVCF’s total investment in education to more than $12 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 through our donors we award more money to charities than any other community foundation in the United States. SVCF has $6.5 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