Based on the teaching model of the Bay Area Writing Project developed at University of California, Berkeley, the California Subject Matter Project (CSMP) was launched in 1988 as a network of nine state-authorized projects with the goal of deepening teachers’ understanding of K-12 content areas and supporting instruction that promotes student access to a college- and career-ready curriculum. CSMP continues to ground its programming in the latest research on professional development, content, pedagogy and collaboration in order to increase success for all students, especially English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with low-literacy.
Over time, the network has grown considerably in breadth and depth; educators now attend programs sponsored by nearly 90 regional sites housed at campuses of the University of California, California State University, and independent colleges and universities.
CSMP is an asset to California’s education system, providing a professional development infrastructure for educators that can respond quickly and flexibly as needs change. With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), new Career Technical Education (CTE) and English Language Development (ELD) standards, in addition to the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments, CSMP provides ongoing support to educators as they build on their content knowledge and instructional strategies to support students in meeting these rigorous academic standards. Expert teacher leaders and professional development providers are well-suited to facilitate the school-level transition to new standards and assessments, as well as the instructional strategies that teachers must employ to address them.