Superintendent's Memo #182-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

July 10, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Mathematics & Science Partnership Competitive Grant Program for 2009-2010

In January 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) became law. Title II, Part B, of this legislation authorizes a Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) competitive grant program. The intent of this program is to encourage institutions of higher education, school divisions, elementary schools, and secondary schools to participate in professional development activities that increase the subject matter knowledge and teaching skills of mathematics and science teachers.

The Virginia Department of Education is responsible for the administration of the MSP grant program. Each state sets priorities for the use of MSP funds based on statewide needs. For the 2009-2010 competition, approximately $3.2 million are available for MSP awards in Virginia. Proposals are being solicited from partnerships to develop regional Mathematics Professional Development Centers in support of Virginia's 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning. Professional development activities must be sustained, intensive, classroom focused, and aligned with the Mathematics Standards of Learning and Curriculum Framework. These activities must result in a demonstrable and measurable improvement in student academic achievement in mathematics.

For 2009-2010, a core partner in Virginia's grants must be the mathematics department from at least one higher education institution, including community colleges. Other departments may participate as outlined in the attached Request for Proposals. An institution and/or organization may participate in only one partnership per priority area. These partnerships must draw upon the strong disciplinary expertise of mathematicians from higher education institutions to develop professional development activities that will effect improvements in student outcomes by providing K-12 teachers with strong mathematics content knowledge. Additional partnerships with other higher education departments, businesses, and/or nonprofit organizations will help to provide an emphasis on the practical application of the mathematics content, particularly in the areas of science, technology, and engineering.

The professional development programs funded through this request are intended to ensure Virginia students are being taught by teachers who have strong mathematics skills across all grade levels. Strong teachers will help students gain the knowledge and skills required to pursue postsecondary and workplace options that include science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The Request for Proposals is attached to this memorandum. Completed proposals must be received by the Virginia Department of Education no later than 4 p.m. October 6, 2009. The deadline for submission of the Intent to Submit Form is August 7, 2009. A bidders' meeting will be conducted at the James Monroe Building in Richmond and via webinar on August 11, 2009. For additional information, please contact Paula Klonowski, science coordinator, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at, or by telephone at (804) 371-0249.

PIW / PK / ya


a. Mathematics & Science Partnership Competitive Grant Program Request for Proposals (Word)