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Partners in Education

We have talked a lot about partners in the work we are doing here at the AIMS Center. Typically, we refer to our Head Start or school partners, but today I would like to broaden that description.

I was invited to join a statewide group known as the California Community of Practice around Mathematics, sponsored by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) and the Bechtel Foundation. Although most of the participants work in one of our 58 County Offices of Education (COEs), as a former state board member I am also included as part of a contingent from the California Mathematics Council.

This group meets three times per year, with a three-fold purpose:

  1. Professional learning of the group of statewide leaders;
  2. Networking and sharing of best practices from throughout the state;
  3. Regional action planning.

Attendance at these meetings is both inspiring and validating. Region 7 (Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare Counties) has been meeting as a regional group of COE and district folk called the Central Valley Mathematics Network (CVMN) for the past 20 years. We come together 5 times each year at the AIMS Center to discuss current issues and brainstorm solutions to barriers in student achievement. We, as a regional mathematics education support group, have always been collegial, supportive, and active. It is always an especially validating experience when you realize that our statewide colleagues have not always been so collaborative.

CVMN has offered an Administrators Conference focused on Mathematics every 18 months since the early 2000s. Look for one this next year focused on the work of this Community of Practice.

Being an integral part of our local/regional math and science education communities is important for the AIMS Center. Supporting this work is also a passion of mine. If you or a colleague would like to join us at the next CVMN meeting, please contact me. All are welcome!



On May 17, 2017, Diana Herrington, who taught at Clovis High School in the Clovis Unified School District for 30 years, tragically passed away. She was one of our most inspirational and influential mathematics teachers and math teacher educators, and her loss will be felt throughout the Central San Joaquin Valley, and the whole state… Continue Reading


In a prior post, I talked about our theme for the year here at the AIMS Center – BELIEVE.  Since that time, I have been given a book published by Compendium Incorporated simply entitled, Believe. Each week we post a new belief statement on our website, I write it on the window in my office,… Continue Reading

What is Mathematics?

That doggoned Cathy Carroll…I have still not stopped thinking about her colloquium and podcast which pushed us to redefine “fluency”.  So let’s take that even further!  What is “mathematics” anyway? If I were to ask a primary teacher, “What is mathematics?”  I would expect them to say something about learning to add and subtract.  Intermediate… Continue Reading

Defining Fluency

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting Cathy Carroll, a Senior Research Associate with WestEd and our state President-elect of the California Mathematics Council, as she facilitated a colloquium  to investigate “fluency” in mathematics.  She also followed up with a podcast to delve deeper into what it means to be fluent.  I have been… Continue Reading

Change is Hard!

Last September, the California governor signed Assembly Bill 1732 which adds an article to the Health and Safety Code relating to restrooms in a public building. This bill will, commencing March 1, 2017, require all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment to be identified as all-gender toilet facilities. Our facility at The AIMS Center… Continue Reading

Student Adaptive Pedagogy

When our Director of Research attended the Psychology of Mathematics Education – North American conference this year along with a couple of our Senior Researchers, they had the opportunity to meet Dr. Ron Tzur from the University of Colorado in Denver.  Like many others that we have now begun communicating with, Dr. Tzur studied with… Continue Reading


When Dr. Thiessen first discussed his ideas about launching the AIMS Center for Math and Science Education with me, he suggested that our motto should be:      “Know the Math; Know the Science; Know the Research.” And, he said, even more importantly, we can never forget that:      “We believe in children’s knowledge!” I have been working… Continue Reading