TO REGISTER FOR THE NOVEMBER 19, 2015, Seminar with Dr. Mark Ellis:


The STEM Education, Economics, and Equity (SEEE) Seminar Series presents the Fall, 2015, Seminar, How Smarter and How Balanced are the New Assessments in Mathematics? An Examination of the Pitfalls and Possibilities of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), on Thursday, November 19, 4:00-6:30 PM, at the University of San Diego, Mother Rosalie Hill Hall Warren Auditorium--see Maps/Directions.  Check in with attendant at parking kiosk for free parking.

Attendance is free--A voluntary donation of $10 to offset expenses is welcomed at the door.

DESCRIPTION:   This interactive session will examine the new assessments of mathematics used in public schools in California and elsewhere.  Consideration will be given to the potential impact on how students are identified as proficient in mathematics and on the ways teachers, students, and parents think about what it means to be proficient in mathematics.


4:00 pm Reception and Exhibits from Leading K-12 Educators from around San Diego County

4:50 pm Welcome and Introductions

5:00 pm Speaker: Dr. Mark EllisProfessor of Secondary Education at CSU Fullerton, and Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative Director

5:50 pm Moderated Discussion and Q&A, Dr. Randy Philipp, Moderator and Director of SDSU's Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE)

6:30 pm Adjournment

 PLEASE REGISTER EACH ATTENDEE separately at  Thank you and see you soon!

More information about our Speaker:  Mark is a Professor of Secondary Education at California State University, Fullerton where he directs the Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative and is Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI for four externally-funded projects involving innovative approaches to teacher preparation and teacher development. He served on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Board of Directors from 2011-2014 and contributed to the development of NCTM’s Principles to Action: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. Among the over 40 articles Mark has published is a critique of No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on standardized assessment titled, “Leaving No Child Behind Yet Allowing None Too Far Ahead,” which appeared in Teachers College Record.  In 2015 he received NCTM’s Linking Research to Practice award as co-author of the Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School article, “Multidimensional Mathematics Teaching.” Mark serves on the technical advisory committee for the i-Ready Adaptive Diagnostic program by Curriculum Associates and on the planning team for the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-P). Prior to entering higher education, Mark taught mathematics in grades 6-12 in northern California public schools for six years, earning National Board certification in early adolescence mathematics in 1999.  All of his work is driven by a belief that every student has the potential to be successful in learning mathematics and a commitment to ensuring this potential is fulfilled in every classroom.


Carlsbad Unified School District

  • Brynn Sanderlin, Mathematics Teacher, Carlsbad High School

Del Mar Union School District

  • Dinah Brown, Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Veronica Jones, First Grade Teacher, Sycamore Ridge School
  • Monica Tech, First Grade Teacher, Ocean Air School
  • Andrea Sleet, Fifth Grade Teacher, Carmel Del Mar School
  • Cinzia Fisher, Sixth Grade Teacher, Ocean Air School

Encinitas Union School District

  • Val Sax, Cristi Cunningham, LaDonna Coles, Second/Third Grade Teachers, El Camino Creek Elementary School

High Tech High International Charter School, Point Loma

  • Francesca Henderson, Dean of Students

Oceanside Unified School District

  • Gregory Guayante, Mathematics Teacher, El Camino High School

San Diego Unified School District

  • Genevieve Esmende, Mathematics Department Chair and Teacher, Waggenheim Middle School

Vista Unified School District

  • Yekaterina Milvidskaia, 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher, Vista Magnet Middle School


STEM Education, Economics, and Equity (SEEE): A Leadership Education Initiative

This initiative offers a series of seminars centered on presentations by economists, political scientists, educators, and leading thinkers who are experts on some of the "big questions" about how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education relates to economics and social  equity.  Each seminar includes a talk and a subsequent discussion held by a panel of local leaders who will raise questions and reactions to the presenters’ ideas.  Transcriptions of these talks and discussions will be posted in this website hosting an online forum which will gather ongoing contributions from diverse participants, links to other resources, and accompanying materials.  We anticipate two seminars per year for a period of five years.  The initiative is led by an editorial committee, including members from different constituencies such as universities, school districts, and businesses.  This editorial committee looks for funds to support the initiative while preserving total autonomy in decision making, such as in deciding on speakers to invite and on the structure of the website.

Many parents, educators, administrators, politicians, and businessmen worry about the state of STEM education and strive to support programs and policies to improve its quality and broaden access.   Over the years numerous debates have spread across the nation on which programs and policies are more likely to foster students' quality preparation and interest in mathematics, science, and engineering.   Many of these efforts take the form of exposing leaders and stakeholders to selected programs, innovations, and evaluations in an effort to ascertain which ones are the most deserving of support.  These types of activities are useful because they help familiarize leaders with an array of ongoing initiatives taking place in formal and informal education.  However, they rarely elicit discussions about the "big questions" that ultimately must orient educational reform, such as:

  • Economics.  How does economic development at local, regional, and national levels relate to the state of STEM education?  How does a nation's investment in STEM education translate into economic and cultural benefits for its population? In what ways does formal education impact the availability of an educated workforce in a certain geographical region? 
  • Equity.  How do changes in demography and cultural roots of the population affect and are affected by STEM education?  What does the educational and economic history of the country tell us about these matters? What makes STEM education more or less relevant to the life of culturally diverse students?  How does testing affect the educational trajectory of students across cultural and economic differences?
  • Educational Policy.  What are the trade-offs between centralized and local control on education?  What are major differences between liberal and conservative "agendas" regarding STEM education?  In what ways do educational policies facilitate or impede the contributions of informal institutions (e.g. after school programs, museums, community centers) to STEM education?  How do teacher constituencies position regarding policy initiatives proposed at national and state levels?

While we will pursue broad attendance and participation in the seminars, the main desired impact of the initiative is not necessarily media attention but educational leadership.   We hope that over the years this initiative will offer support for political, economic, and educational leaders in Southern California to become better educated on the different viewpoints at the intersections between STEM education, economics, and culture.  Furthermore, we expect that this richer and deeper understanding will help catalyze other initiatives striving to influence educational policies in Sacramento and Washington, as well as local innovations benefiting students and families in the San Diego area.


The Editorial Committee is formed by:

  1. Penny Adler, Education Committee, League of Women Voters - San Diego
  2. Mike ChapinRetired CEO, Geocon, Inc.
  3. Luke Duesbery, Director, San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Teaching Critical Thinking & Creativity (CTCTC)
  4. Barbara Edwards, Director, Math for America San Diego
  5. Jacque Nevels, Education Committee, League of Women Voters - San Diego
  6. Ellen Peneski, Executive Director, San Diego Science Alliance
  7. Randy Philipp, Director, SDSU Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE)
  8. Chris Rasmussen, Interim Associate Director, SDSU CRMSE
  9. Joi Spencer, University of San Diego (USD) School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES)


We welcome any support you can give the SEEE Seminar Series.

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