California State University, Long Beach has been named the recipient of a $450,000 grant from the Lucent Technologies Foundation's K-16 Grants Program, making it one of just eight U.S. universities to receive the funding.
Following a selection process that included proposals from institutions around the world, the three-year grant is in partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD).
Among the project's goals are to develop a K-8 Professional Development School that will focus on the need to more effectively prepare teachers for the realities of urban educational challenges, improve K-8 student academic standards performance and enrich and support the substantive dialogue between university professors and K-8 school teachers as they address emerging issues in the educational system.
"Cal State Long Beach has gained a national reputation for its commitment to teacher education and emphasis on collaboration with educational partners," said CSULB President Robert C. Maxson. "We are honored that the Lucent Technologies Foundation has recognized our accomplishments and, through this grant, will help to support our continuing efforts to more effectively prepare teachers for the challenges they face in today's classrooms."
CSULB faculty in the colleges of Education, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences and Mathematics will be involved in the joint effort with Bret Harte Elementary School in Long Beach.
"The professional development school model at Harte will be a flagship operation with the
full support of the school district through the Long Beach Education Partnership," said Carl Cohn, superintendent of LBUSD. "We look forward to our cooperative efforts to strengthen teacher quality and professional development for the ultimate goal of increased student achievement."
Lucent received 66 proposals to fund either new partnerships or ongoing efforts and awarded $3.6 million in educational grants to 11 university/public school partnerships focused on improving K-12 education.
"This grant enables several of our faculty to spend two days a week at Harte School providing professional development opportunities for its teachers such as co-teaching, guest lecturing and participating in in-service activities," noted Catherine DuCharme, project director and chair of CSULB's Teacher Education Department.
"The professional development school is significant," she added, "because it will bring together members of a long-standing partnership to collaboratively address two of the most fundamental challenges for educators today: preparing an adequate number of quality teachers for highly diverse urban schools and helping all students to achieve academically."
About 20 post-baccalaureate students from an eligible pool of 1,000 will be selected to participate in the on-site preparation program at Harte Elementary School. They will spend the entire year at Harte, taking on-site teacher preparation courses taught by CSULB and Harte faculty. Each year, a new cohort of 20 will be selected for this experience. Over three years, 60 teacher preparation students and 1,300 children at Harte will be directly affected by the professional development school.
"As a part of a technology industry that is rapidly changing the way people work, live and
play, Lucent is aware that young people need to be equipped to meet the challenges and changes
that await them," said David Ford, president of the Lucent Technologies Foundation. "Education is the key to success and this program gives us the opportunity to be a force in enhancing many of their lives."
The Lucent Technologies Foundation is the charitable arm of Lucent Technologies. In Lucent's 2000 fiscal year, the foundation will contribute about $50 million internationally toward youth development projects.
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