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Improving Teacher Quality - 2007: Early Elementary Education - Grades K-2

The 2007 publication of California's Preschool Learning Foundations presented the Commission with a unique opportunity to link teachers of early elementary students (grades K-2) with preschool teachers so that curriculum and pedagogy might form a continuous educational pathway for their students. The resulting K-2 Initiative had two major goals: to enhance the professional development of California's K-2 teachers by building their subject matter and pedagogical content mastery, and to build on research showing that effective teaching in the early grades helps to close the achievement gap.

The eight awards focus mainly on mathematics and science, a commonality that helps the Commission realize a major goal of targeting its initiatives-creating a synergistic community of interest. Such communities have already paid dividends in both the professional development (e.g., sharing strategies for introducing specific subject matter content to K-2 teachers) and the research studies (e.g., sharing instrumentation in areas where standardized tests are inadequate or unavailable). During their first year of operation, these grants provided 360 teachers with 25,000 hours of professional development.

Although these project's research components are still in the early stages, the educational "marketplace" has already signaled some winners. For instance, the K-2 Teaching Learning Collaborative, a joint project between CSU Long Beach and the Montebello and Garvey school districts, was planned and funded for 42 teachers. However, the districts were so impressed by the early work that they provided funding to nearly double the number of teachers. In fact, half of these projects supported more teachers in their first year than planned for, demonstrating that K-2 teachers are eager for quality professional development that meets their needs.

  • 07-400 - ArtsCore K-2: The Teaching Artist Project
  • 07-401 - K-2 STARTS: Science and Technology Assistance for Rural Teachers and Small Districts
  • 07-404 - Math in the Early Grades (MEG)
  • 07-412 - Project SMART: Integrating Science, Mathematics, Reading and Technology in the Primary Grades
  • 07-413 - Strategic Alliance of Robla/UC-Davis/Sacramento County Office of Ed.
  • 07-415 - Mathematics and English Language Development (MELD)
  • 07-418 - Science and Math Impacting Learners of English (SMILE)
  • 07-420 - K-2 Teaching Learning Collaborative (TLC)
  • 07-424 - Mathematics Understanding Learning and Teaching (MULT) Project