Non-Profits to Help 1800 Students Conquer Algebra and Get on College Path
Valley’s most successful summer math program doubles enrollment
reaching 14 school districts
For Immediate Release: May 5, 2011
SAN JOSE, CA.– Silicon Valley’s most successful summer math program will help 1,800 middle school students conquer math phobia and get on the path to college when it launches its 4th year in June.
This summer’s program will double enrollment from 850 last year and expand from 9 to 14 school districts, including South County newcomers Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
The “Stepping Up to Algebra/Math Acceleration Program (SUTA/MAP),” offered by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, ALearn and Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, is a critical summer support program for Santa Clara County schools that are struggling with fewer resources because of the elimination of virtually all summer school programs.
The program exposes students to four weeks of intensive pre-Algebra and Algebra instruction, and gets underway June 20.
“Algebra is a gateway subject that opens the door to college prep coursework, and college, and eventually careers that keep Silicon Valley and California competitive in the global marketplace,” said Muhammed Chaudhry, President & CEO of Silicon Valley Education Foundation. “We have to get kids prepared to become our future engineers, scientists and leaders.”
The Stepping Up to Algebra/Math Acceleration Program is part of the non-profits’ initiative to improve education for struggling students and help close the achievement gap – the learning disparity among different racial groups.
“Besides teaching math, we change students’ mindset about their ability to do math and succeed in school. The program helps prepare middle school students to get on the path to college by showing them what college can do for them,” said Kathryn Hanson, CEO of ALearn.
Highlights of the program are a field trip to local universities, and a parent information night to educate families about college prospects for their children. Many of these students would be the first in their families to attend college. The program is free and targets students who score below grade level in math and need intervention before high school.
While representing 36% of Santa Clara County’s student population, Hispanic students as a group pose the greatest opportunity to narrow the student achievement gap and increase the number of students properly prepared for college. According to countywide statistics, only 18% of Hispanic students are scoring at the proficient level in Algebra I in 8th grade. This compares with 54% of white students and 73% of Asian students.
“Closing the Latino student achievement gap in math is our number one priority,” said Ron Gonzales, President & CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. “The SUTA/MAP program is the best investment of our resources to accomplish that priority and give Latino students a chance for a successful college education.”
“We saw the success this program has had in other school districts and we wanted our students to be a part of that success,” said Dr. Deborah Flores, superintendent of the Gilroy Unified School District, the newest district to join the program. “We want to help our students develop the skills and motivation to go on to college prep math courses in high school and reach for college.”
As a key metric of its success, students in the Stepping Up to Algebra/Math Acceleration Program have for the last three summers posted 20-25% gains in math proficiency, according to post-tests after completing the 4-week program.
Expansion of the SUTA/MAP program this year was made possible by grants from Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Agilent, Applied Materials, AT&T, Bank of America, Flextronics, JDS Uniphase, Juniper Networks, Lantern League, Leslie Family Foundation, Macy’s Foundation, Mentor Graphics, Medtronic, Myra Reinhard Family Foundation, Microsoft,100 Women Charitable Foundation, Pacific Service Credit Union, Plexus, SanDisk, SAP, Shortino Foundation, Symantec, Synopsis, Target, Tellabs Foundation, Verizon, Walmart, Wells Fargo, Western Digital and Yahoo.
Participating school districts include Alum Rock, Berryessa, Campbell, Evergreen, Franklin-McKinley, Gilroy Unified, Milpitas Unified, Morgan Hill Unified, Mount Pleasant, Oak Grove, Orchard, San Jose Unified, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara Unified.
Silicon Valley Education focuses on raising student performance in the critical areas of math and science across Santa Clara County’s 32 school districts. Our goal is to be the leading advocate for public education in our region. We are known for our focus on achieving results, partnering, and emphasizing creativity and innovation. For more information about SVEF programs, visit www.svefoundation.org.
ALearn is a non-profit organization committed to helping under-represented students get to and succeed in college. Our programs enhance the opportunities, access and advancement to college for students who will be the first in their family to go to college. For more information about ALearn, visit www.alearn.org.
The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley is a public foundation dedicated to inspiring community philanthropy and engaging people to invest in the education excellence, healthy aging, leadership development, research, and convening and engaging the Latino community.
Jill Winkelstein, Silicon Valley Education Foundation
Julie Cates, ALearn
Ron Gonzales, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley