Press Releases

Mills College and Education Partners Receive State
Grant for Teacher Professional Development

Mills and its partners are part of projects across the state
to prepare teachers for new core standards

Oakland, CA–October 24, 2011 Mills College and its partners, the Oakland Unified School District and the Alameda County Office of Education, have been awarded nearly $250,000 by the California Postsecondary Education Commission to prepare Oakland teachers for new Common Core State Standards.

The grant awarded to the Mills project is part of an effort across the state by the commission to bring together high-need school districts and college schools of education to prepare teachers for the new standards, which are required beginning this academic year.

For the Mills College project, 50 Oakland Unified teachers in English-language arts, history-social studies, and humanities, or core teachers in the 6th through 11th grades, will come together for day-long and after-school meetings during the school year and week-long institutes during the summer. The sessions will introduce teachers across grade levels and subject areas to teaching argumentative writing.

“Mills College is pleased to partner with the Oakland Unified School District and Alameda County Office of Education on this collaborative project. Our School of Education faculty is tightly connected to the practice of teaching and learning in schools, and we are excited to work with Oakland teachers to prepare them for these new standards and to help them maximize student learning,” said Mills School of Education Dean Katherine Schultz.

According to Schultz, the project is unique in that it brings together English-language arts and social studies teachers to study the new standards and is using lesson study—a form of professional development focused on collaborative teacher inquiry that is a particular strength Mills brings to the project.

The Mills College Lesson Study Group, which has major grants from the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education, has conducted research since 1999 on the use of lesson study—a process in which teachers collaboratively plan, observe, analyze, and refine classroom lessons—in the US.

The team at Mills College is led by Schultz, the principal investigator of the grant, and includes co-director Cynthia Scheinberg, dean of the Graduate Literary Studies program, Rebecca Perry, a research associate in the School of Education, and David Donahue, a School of Education professor.

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 950 undergraduate women and more than 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 376 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country. For more information, visit

Last Updated: 10/24/11