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Clark Awarded $1.1 Million Grant For Teaching of Math + Science

Monday, December 23, 2013


Pausing together for a photo after a press conference Dec. 19 at Clark University are, from left: Congressman James McGovern; Thomas Del Prete, director of the Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice (Clark); Melinda Boone, Worcester Public Schools Superintendent; Katerine Bielaczyc, director of the Hiatt Center for Urban Education (Clark); and Clark University President David Angel.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Clark University with a grant totaling $1.1 million to support an extensive new project to further teaching excellence in science and math.

The Clark Science-Math Teaching and Education Partnership (C-STEP) project, led by Clark University in partnership with the Worcester Public Schools, integrates the expertise of the University’s mathematics and science faculty and urban-teacher educators, and teachers.

“This federal grant goes a long way to supporting the innovative collaborative work being done by Clark University and the Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice in conjunction with the Worcester Public Schools,” said Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), during a press conference. “I am a strong believer that our students today need the best education possible in the sciences. This program will ensure that passionate STEM teachers-in-training get the support they need.”

The C-STEP project, which is a Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship effort, will provide 20 Clark University students with scholarships or stipends to set them on the path to becoming exemplary middle and high school teachers. Teacher candidates will be drawn from Clark graduate students who enter the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program having already earned a baccalaureate degree or served as a professional in a mathematics, scientific or engineering field, as well as undergraduates majoring in biology, chemistry, physics, or mathematics who enter Clark’s five-year Bachelor of Arts/MAT program.

The C-STEP uniquely leverages a neighborhood-based community of practice—comprising university faculty and math and science educators from Worcester’s Main South—to ensure personalized mentoring and group support for the process of recruiting, preparing, and retaining highly capable teachers in high-need schools.

“The C-STEP effort capitalizes on Clark’s long record of community partnership and our interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to liberal education and effective practice, fostering the development and assessment of powerful curriculum and teaching practice,” said Clark President David Angel. “Five academic departments are engaged in the program, which links undergraduate and graduate education while crossing traditional school, university, and neighborhood boundaries.”
“To have a focused initiative of this kind can have a transformative impact on our schools,” Angel continued. “This program is fundamentally about two things that matter: teachers and schools. This is where change happens in a school system.”

Thomas Del Prete, director of the Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice, at Clark University, is Principal Investigator of the NSF award. Clark’s Hiatt Center for Urban Education, directed by Kate Bielaczyc, will coordinate the evaluation of the C-STEP program. Del Prete outlines the interwoven partnership strands of the C-STEP program:
 • A strong intra-institutional partnership between Clark’s departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics and the University's Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice and Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education:

 • A close partnership with a high-need school district (Worcester Public Schools), including collaboration with a neighborhood-based set of partner schools;
 • Teams of partner school mathematics and science teachers working together to develop strong practice and serving as a pool of mentors as well as an induction community;
 • An intensive one-year MAT program with a corresponding yearlong teaching internship;
 • A five-year BA/MAT teacher preparation pathway;
 • And a neighborhood-based college success academic program for low-income, prospective first generation college-goers.
Co-Principal Investigators of the C-STEP program are Professor Natalia Sternberg, chair of the Math/Computer Science Department; Professor Arshad Kudrolli, chair of the Physics Department; Associate Professor Deborah Robertson, of Biology; and Associate Professor Luis Smith, of Chemistry.
Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Melinda Boone praised the C-STEP initiative, as well as Clark’s longstanding role in supporting quality public education. “Clark has been at the forefront of this work, and they were there even before our major reform efforts were initiated in terms of developing our teachers who are in our schools and doing great things,” she said. “This grant will help close the opportunity gap for many of our students.”

The C-STEP program furthers the mission of the Adam Institute for Urban Teaching and School Practice at Clark University, which is supported by the Ruth and John Adam Education Fund. The fund was created from a gift of more than $14.2 million from the late Clark trustee and highly respected business leader and philanthropist John “Jack” Adam, made to enhance Clark’s nationally recognized model for urban secondary education and reform, teacher-training and community education partnerships.


Related Slideshow: 10 Tips For Holiday Tipping

Here are ten tips to help you determine who to tip and how much this holiday season...

Prev Next

10. It's a gift

You are not obliged to tip at the holidays

While it may be customary, the “etiquette police” aren’t going to arrest you if you fail to give a tip or give less this year than last, because money is tight.

A holiday tip is intended to show appreciation for work and services provided throughout the year. In reality, a holiday tip is a gift, one that should leave you feeling the “joy of giving.” The most important aspect is being thoughtful of another person who you value.

Prev Next

9. Who should get a tip?

Two holiday tipping categories

There are two main categories to consider.

Those service providers that you normally tip for their services – such as hairdressers, manicurists, etc.

Those service providers that are not normally tipped but upon whom you rely throughout the year – such as a babysitter, housekeeper or the newspaper carrier.

In both categories, someone who has provided regular service to you or your family throughout the year is someone you would want to consider tipping, especially in recognition for the times when they have gone above and beyond to meet your needs.Photo: The Plunge Project

Prev Next

8. When tipping is not okay...

...and how to thank them anyway

In some situations, company or government policies may prohibit a service provider from accepting a tip in the form of money. For example, mail carriers working for the US Postal Service are prohibited from accepting cash or cash equivalents such as gift cards….but if you want to give a small box of chocolates, that might be very much appreciated (so long as the dollar value of the chocolates is under $20.)

Prev Next

7. How much to tip?

Easy holiday tipping math

An easy rule of thumb to remember is that the tip should be equal to the cost of “one service” provided. From that starting point, the amount might be adjusted upwards for an extraordinary level of service or downward to fit within one’s personal budget.

Prev Next

6. Home services tipping

They help your home run smoothly

Here are some specific tip ranges for those folks who provide services around your household:

* Housekeeper 1 week’s pay

* Nanny 1 week’s pay + a small gift from child

* Newspaper Carrier $15 to $30

* Package Carrier $15

* Home Caregiver 1 week’s pay

* Babysitter the equivalent of one evening’s pay

* Private Sanitation workers $5-$10 each

Prev Next

5. Personal services tipping

The folks who make you (and your pet!) look and feel good

Don't forget the men and women who provide personal services throughout the year. Here are some good ranges for holiday tipping:

* Fitness Trainer Cost of one session

* Pet groomer 50% to the full cost of one service

* Hairstylist 50% to the full cost of one service

* Manicurist $10 - $15

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4. Don't forget the garage!

Parkers, pay attention!

Do you take advantage of a private lot or garage at work every day? Consider thanking the parking garage attendants with a $20 tip. That's a great thank you for taking care of your vehicle, day in and day out, year-round.

Prev Next

3. Tipping on a budget (Part I)

Plan ahead

Money is tight, but you want to do the right thing.

Save a little each month. Perhaps the easiest to aspire too…but the hardest to actual follow through on, is to create a personal “Holiday Tip” fund and set aside some money each month toward end of the year tips. This approach lessens the sticker shock at the end of the year.

For this year, make a set-aside for the next 3 weeks and you'll feel the pinch less right before the holiday.

Prev Next

2. Tipping on a budget (Part II)

Give as a group

When appropriate, give as a group. When tipping some like daycare providers or teachers, for example, consider collecting donations from all of the families, and then giving the tip on behalf of the group, with a nice card signed by everyone.

Prev Next

1. Tipping on a budget (Part III)

Make it personal

If you do give less, include a note. Not of explanation of why you can’t be as generous, but rather a personal note, letting the service provider know how much you appreciate their efforts. It is always an option to include a small gift…but say no to the holiday junk…no one really wants a Santa Holiday Mug full of candy. Really.


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