From The Sentinel

UCSC helps PV teachers implement new state reading and writing standards

Source – Sentinel staff report
Posted:   10/22/2011 01:30:26 AM PDT

WATSONVILLE — English teachers from Pajaro Valley, Watsonville and Aptos high schools, preparing to teach new and more rigorous state standards for reading and writing, are getting some help from UC Santa Cruz.

The Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics are part of California’s effort within the national “Race to the Top” education initiative.

Researchers at UC Santa Cruz, in partnership with local education agencies, won a $250,000 state grant to implement the yearlong preparation program, which kicked off with sessions Friday and today.

“We are really grateful for the grant because it will help our English teachers move away from the standards we have now to the Common Core Standards,” said Murry Schekman, assistant superintendent for secondary education in the Pajaro Valley.

Judith Scott, associate professor of education at UCSC, said the program will include regular opportunities for teachers to meet and discuss effective instructional strategies. Intensive Saturday institutes have been developed by the UCSC Central California Writing Project, the UCSC Writing Program and Education Department, Pajaro Valley Unified School District, and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

“Teaching is hard,” Scott said. “It can be isolating.” This program will enable teachers to not only share techniques and best practices, but also provide them with coaching to explore student writing in depth.

The grant is one of 14, totaling $3.5 million, provided by the California Postsecondary Education Commission’s Improving Teacher Quality Program.


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