Superintendent’s Memo #256-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

September 14, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  The Virginia Mathematics and Science Teacher Education Reform Initiative

The Virginia Department of Education is currently accepting proposals from Virginia colleges and universities interested in implementing reform in their secondary mathematics and science teacher preparation programs. The goal of the pilot program, the Virginia Mathematics and Science Teacher Education Reform Initiative, is to increase the number and quality of mathematics and science teachers prepared in the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities.  Governor McDonnell proposed and the 2012 Virginia General Assembly provided state funding for this pilot program to improve how mathematics and science teachers are attracted, motivated, prepared, rewarded, and retained. 

Proposals will be accepted from regionally accredited, four-year, public and private institutions of higher education that currently have approved teacher-education programs that lead to eligibility for teacher licensure with endorsements in secondary mathematics and at least three of the four secondary science disciplines: biology, Earth science, chemistry, and physics.  The requirements for the competitive grant program are generally patterned after the University of Texas – Austin UTeach program; however, Virginia’s initiative is not an affiliate of the UTeach state network.  Virginia colleges and universities have flexibility in creating a substantive and long-term reform in mathematics and science teacher preparation while building on the successful elements of their current programs.

One proposal will be awarded funding on a competitive basis for a period of two years.  The first year will be a planning year, with the option of working in collaboration with the UTeach Institute.  The total award over two years will not exceed $700,000.  The first year of the award, up to $300,000, will provide funds for planning, course development, training for program staff, and other needs justified as necessary for implementing the requirements of the program.  The second year of the award, up to $400,000, will provide funds for additional planning and full program implementation.

The Request for Proposals is attached.  Completed proposals must be received by the Virginia Department of Education no later than 4 p.m. on December 3, 2012.  The deadline for receipt of the Intent to Submit Form is October 9, 2012.  A pre-proposal conference will be conducted at the James Monroe Building in Richmond on October 17, 2012.  For additional information, please contact Jim Firebaugh, science and mathematics specialist, Office of Science and Health Education, by e-mail at, or by telephone at (804) 225-3688.



  1. Mathematics and Science Teacher Education Reform Initiative (Word)