Google gives $1 million to local schools

Grant aimed at helping district's neediest students improve math skills

Google announced plans to give $1 million to local elementary and middle schools to fund math programs for struggling students.

"We are extremely grateful to Google for making it possible to embark on this new era of instruction and student achievement," said Craig Goldman, superintendent of the Mountain View Whisman School District.

A statement from the school district said the grant will be used to identify strategies for improving math instruction, train and support teachers, and provide ongoing oversight of programs developed using the Google money.

The grant is aimed specifically at those students in the district who need the most help in their math classrooms, according to Goldman and Heather Spain, manager of community affairs at Google.

"We are truly humbled by the company's generosity and sincere desire to help the district's neediest students," Goldman said.

The district's statement noted that math is a key indicator of future academic success and that the grant would go toward helping socio-economically disadvantaged students in Mountain View's primary and middle schools.

"We really want to help level the playing field in math and make sure that all the kids in the district are getting a strong foundation in math," Spain said.

The grant is part of a broader Google campaign geared toward improving science, technology, engineering and math education -- often referred to as "STEM."

"There are a lot of jobs in technology, (and) there are going to be a lot of jobs in the future in technology," Spain said, explaining the importance of STEM education. "Not only that, but we will also all be using technology. We all need those skills."

Goldman said that socio-economically disadvantaged students in his district are lagging behind state math standards by two years in some cases.

"That's simply unacceptable," he said.

The first step in improving the math abilities of the district's poorer population is to overhaul how the subject is taught, Goldman said. Teachers will be trained over the summer in an "intense professional development lab." In that workshop, Mountain View Whisman instructors will teach math to children while receiving instruction and coaching in what he called "explicit direct instruction."

When those teachers return to school in the 2011-12 school year, their results will be tracked and recorded in an effort to understand what is working and what isn't.

The grant money will also be used to explore new technologies that will support math learning, Goldman said. "We hope that we will be able to partner with some of our local tech companies, including Google, to aid in that process."

In the long run, according to Goldman, the efforts of his district to boost math scores for socio-economically disadvantaged students will prove beneficial for all students in the district.

"We're trying to improve the way instruction happens in the classroom," Goldman said. "We're looking at improving both lesson design and lesson delivery."

Goldman said students with stronger math skills are more likely to grow up to be engineers and computer scientists -- career paths Spain said Google is aiming to cultivate in "our own backyard."

Goldman supports that aim.

"We hope to be the kind of school district that delivers a qualified workforce," he said. "I think this is an important investment in making sure that local students are the type of students Google would one day want to hire."

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3 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

Wow. Just Wow. Thank you, Google!

3 people like this
Posted by Alice
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

This is a classic example of community involvement at its best. Kudos to you, Google.

3 people like this
Posted by Giants' Fan
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm

What a blessing that the educational needs are being addressed. If you don't have an education, you don't have a chance and now Google is supplying that chance.

3 people like this
Posted by Miss USA
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

This is awesome news! Keep it up Google. Raising the community around this company is socially responsible; Is also benefits the business by encouraging employees to live in Mountain View and send their kids to the local schools.

3 people like this
Posted by Judy
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Love Google even more! Such a wonderful part of our community. Thanks!!

3 people like this
Posted by Cynic
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

A great gesture, but I question the true value of one million divided by seven schools and then targeting the lowest performing students. How many of them will even make it to college to make a difference? And of course, it's a huge tax write off for Google.

3 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Cynic, you are not in tune with how kids benefit from this sort of program. This is fundamental to broader success. Enhanced math skills entail improved comprehension, problem-solving, concrete and abstract reasoning, and testing conclusions. Kids who get this boost early on have a much better shot at doing well in later education and as citizens in general. Kids from all sorts of socio-economic circumstances can have learning difficulties (in some cases they need a different learning approach)need in math and reading, and it is critical to their futures to work with them before and during middle school.

3 people like this
Posted by mvparent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm

This is fantastic news! Can we also get Google's involvement with Citizen Schools extended into the Mtn View middle schools? They are doing wonderful things in Redwood City. Any reason our district doesn't have a partnership with Citizen Schools & Google?
Web Link

3 people like this
Posted by Cynic2
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I wonder how they define "neediest students". My daugher is a student in the MVWSD who struggles with math. I really hope she benefits from this grant. But, my gut tells me she won't because she is part of a white middle class family, and English is NOT our second language.

3 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Rather than send money, how about Google send over some high-priced engineers and mathematicians to teach for a year to the high learners at the middle schools? If not, I fear this is more good money being thrown after bad.

3 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm

What is really needed is to educate the parents of these "neediest students" that they are the biggest factor in their kid's educational success or failure. No amount of math instruction strategies or teacher training will improve a kid's math skills if they don't put the work in to studying it at home. I say this from the experience of helping in the classrooms and from my childhood as an English-learner in a low-income family. My parents only had elementary school and HS degrees, but they made sure that we all knew that education came before all else and my siblings and I all went on to earn master degrees in the sciences.

3 people like this
Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Kudos, Google!

3 people like this
Posted by Graham P
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Thanks Google...

...But we still have a math problem in our town I can't solve and that a one time handout doesn't address:

High Incomes + High Property Values + 100 Billion dollar companies = Not enough money for education?

That doesn't compute.

We are 46th nationally in per pupil spending.
I just came from my 2nd graders music performance, but we only have music because parents raise and donate money.
No acting, no place to eat indoors.
But our City has Google, Intuit, KPMG, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Mozilla, Symantec, Synopsys, VeriSign, etc.
Average income is 90k state wide about 60k.
We SHOULD have enough money so our children can have a school lunch room and a school play.

Our City, State, County and Fedral Government are not collecting and dispursing funds adequitely.

We don't get as much from Google as we would a Walmart because they don't pay taxes on what they sell! And I think those making over 90k (me included) could pay a little more in taxes to keep the next generation educated.

The answer is simple tax those who can pay more.

3 people like this
Posted by mr. pc
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Graham - Thanks for shedding some light -
I am proud of the global oriented businesses here.

Google uses double irish tax evasion (as reported on NPR last week) - so i'm not sure where their (google) commitment to Mtn. View is?
Are they paying property taxes?

I was just musing the other day - what does google do for us other than raising rents/costs - as well as the other strong corps? We should have beyond great schools - including high schools...

All you corps could help? I would like to see a list of earnings vs. taxes paid.

3 people like this
Posted by eye wide open
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

It is absolutely wonderful that Google recognizes the educational funding needs in public schools. My children went through the MVWSD K through 12 and all schools had wonderful teachers, AND they moved on to higher education.

My concern is that with state budget cuts to public schools, and the government EXPECTING private funding (via grants, more parental funding), is it possible for the education system to crash such that public schools deteriorate to the point the best education will be through privatization?

If that happens, our children will no longer be our future because with no good public (FREE) education, how can those children lead and be mentors to future generations?

Thank you Google for the temporary fix to public education. If the tax break helps Google and gives funding to public schools to help, I cannot complain. It is a win-win temporary fix. However, I only hope this government does not rely on corporations to continue to bail out public schools.

3 people like this
Posted by Big Al
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I'm just glad Ghysels isn't here to take all the credit for it...

3 people like this
Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Rossta is a registered user.

Our schools are already focused on bringing up the neediest kids. I don't mean neediest economics - I mean the schools focus on bringing up the poorest performers. But the neglect is on helping the talented kids achieve their potential. If Google wants a base of educated population to hire from, then they would be wise to help all students achieve their potential.

3 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 6, 2011 at 6:27 am

You hit the nail on the head Rossta. I totally agree.

3 people like this
Posted by MV Mama
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

Rossta, I agree. The district already spends a disproportionate amount on those students who need extra help and services. The average students and the advanced students don't get that same benefit. I have one child who is right in the middle of the pack, but could really benefit from some of the extra reading programs.

In any case, kudos to Google. I hope this is just the start of a long relationship with MVWSD. They have the potential to do so much good in our district.

3 people like this
Posted by sandy
a resident of another community
on Apr 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm

This is just great that Google is doing something for the poor students. Our present education system does not always provide the challenges that (china and India offer to their students) can bring out the best from a student. Every American student has the capability to complete their school and hold postsecondary degrees. They have the expertise and talent; online tutoring services like helps to bring that out by providing them all essential helps at the most reasonable cost. Some of them offer online math scholarship program to help deserving underprivileged American students learning math at free of cost. There are many students in our country, who can’t continue with their studies due to lack of proper guidance and poor financial background. They can take advantage of online tutoring services.

3 people like this
Posted by FYI
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Google should learn from Facebook; they donated $100M to Newark NJ fir education. Now that's admirable ;)

3 people like this
Posted by Transparency
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm

The Mountain View Whisman School District must be grateful for receiving millions from Google, Property Shoreline Taxes,and Real Estate Agents. We are concern about how wisely they will use that money. We strongly recommend a money transparency publishing on the news paper. We already know that there is enough money for the education programs. Teachers and all employees of Mountain View Whisman are struggling with their unfair salaries living in a rich area.

3 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Totally awesome, now we just need to get MSFT, HP, and Facebook to match them! :)

I too would like to see Citizen Schools provide STEM after school programs in MVWSD.

3 people like this
Posted by Shawn
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I like Graham P.'s comment!

I wonder how many of Google's employees ever went to a MV public school, or a local community college, or a CSU.

I want Google to succeed in the cut-throat global market, but there has got to be jobs non-Ivy-League graduates can do.

Thank you, Google. Your donation is important and appreciated!

3 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm

How about google gives us slater back.

3 people like this
Posted by gcoladon
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm

gcoladon is a registered user.

I am grateful to Google for this charitable donation. I wonder if we have Larry Page in particular to thank for this, what with his having taken on the CEO role at Google on Monday.

Ideally, MVWSD would be able to demonstrate that these monies resulted in incremental improved achievement for the students targeted by the funds. This way, Google would know that it's gift was money well spent, and might continue to contribute funds to local public schools (as well as inspire similar donations to other districts and by other donors).

3 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 6, 2011 at 7:49 pm

You don't need Ivy League degree to work in the computer industry, and anyone from a Mountain View school should be able to develop the skills needed. There are so many resources online now, and more coming every day. Here are some of my favorites (I'm not connected with any of them). (they have a new math program for $35). (k-7 math program the school district uses, $135 is you're not enrolled thru your school). (very cool, free). (computer programming for all ages, free).

3 people like this
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Just tink how many more teachers and administrators we can hire. This is just like a raise..........

3 people like this
Posted by google4all
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Another thing I love about you Google is who you hire. I am so glad that smart, young people can count on you for jobs. I was shocked two years ago when my son graduated from Harvard & MIT (joint master's program) and many of his colleagues were having a heck of a time finding jobs. I know you can't hire them all, but you keep onboarding the brightest and the best and making this world a better place by doing so. I will always appreciate you. (My son is working somewhere else).

3 people like this
Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Apr 8, 2011 at 10:54 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

This post was removed from a duplicate thread, which has been closed:

Posted by aamir qureshi, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, 17 hours ago

However, this in no way makes up for Google dodging billions of dollars in taxes: the company only pays about 2.4% tax on its overseas profits that make about 40% of its $25 billion revenue.

3 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Article on hiring patterns, I expect experience programming java on Android and HTML5 are probably a good bet.

Web Link

3 people like this
Posted by another mom
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm

very nice google, but i agree with mom, we would rather have our neighborhood school, Slater, back open and serving our community, are ya done with it yet??

3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm

There is a lot of good content in this thread. The Google $ comes at an opportune time with the state funding crisis and the recent Shoreline temporary funds finalization. Good planning and PR at Google.
Sales and corporate taxes from Google have nothing to do with schools funding (though sales would help city). Google DOES pay property taxes like ever other property owner - but Shoreline still does divert 99% of those (20% is now going back to schools through the new temporary agreement).
Target Math - good idea. I hope some citizens start drilling down to what the school Board is actually going to implement new. SLATER (and Carnage Mellon math study). Too bad the math study at Slater was felled by closing. The district is using the Google rent to transform a capital resource into an Operations Fund. The Google donation goes directly to operations [BTW - our elementary students performance in HS math is one big reason the HS district is in "program improvement"]. Bet Barry Groves is also happy for this money.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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