RIP> Riptides, December 2003, *Math and Science Partnerships*

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Date:         Fri, 5 Dec 2003 10:17:41 -0500
From: Debra Gingerich <gingerich@xxxxxxx>
Subject:      Riptides, December 2003, *Math and Science Partnerships*
To: RIPTIDES@xxxxxxxxxxxxx


Monthly mathematics and science education news
from Research for Better Schools

December 2003: Math and Science Partnerships

The goal of the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program of
the National Science Foundation (NSF) is to strengthen K-12
science and mathematics education. The program supports
partnerships that unite K-12 schools, institutions of higher
education, and other stakeholders in activities that help
improve the mathematics and science achievement of all children.
NSF recently announced the awards for this year's MSP grants.
This issue of "Riptides" lists the MSPs that have been funded in
our region.

~~~~~~Table of Contents~~~~~~

 > Comprehensive Partnerships
 > Targeted Partnerships
 > Institute Partnerships
 > Research, Evaluation, Technical Assistance Awards
 > Free from RBS: ENC Focus Review, October 2003

~~~~~~Comprehensive Partnerships~~~~~~

The MSP Comprehensive Partnerships implement change in
mathematics and/or science educational practices in both higher
education institutions and in schools and school districts that
support improved student achievement across the K-12 continuum.
A full listing of the Comprehensive Partnerships that have been
funded is available on NSF's Web page.

The Math and Science Partnership of Southwest Pennsylvania is a
collaborative linking broadly distributed suburban and rural
school districts with a collection of small to medium sized
colleges and universities in the region. The emphasis of this
partnership is on improving the quality of the mathematics and
science educator workforce. District and college level leadership
will work together to develop a Science Curriculum Framework to
be disseminated to schools along with an already developed
Mathematics Curriculum Framework. For both frameworks, the intent
is to present challenging courses, which focus on six to eight
big ideas for each grade, integrated in a coherent curriculum.

The New Jersey Math and Science Partnership (NJ-MSP) unites
Rutgers, Rowan, and Kean Universities with 12 school districts.
The 12 districts that come together within NJ-MSP are
characterized as small- and medium-sized urban districts with low
income and low achieving student populations.  The partners'
schools enroll over 75,000 students of whom 27 percent are
African American and 31 percent are Hispanic. The goals of NJ-MSP
are to: (1) increase achievement and reduce achievement gaps in
science and mathematics for all preK-12 students in partner
school districts; (2) increase and sustain the number, quality,
and diversity of preK-12 teachers of mathematics and science in
partner school districts; and (3) document the outcomes.

The SUPER (School-University Partnership for Excellence in
Research-based) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics) Project is a partnership between the Baltimore
County Public Schools (BCPS) and the University of Maryland
Baltimore County (UMBC). The project focuses on increasing
student achievement, especially that of low-performing students,
and targets low-performing schools. Located in the suburban
region around Baltimore, BCPS enrolled 107,322 students during
the 2001-02 academic year. SUPER STEM plans to: (1) establish
Visiting STEM Scholarships to attract talented scientists and
educators to accelerate the development and teaching of new
curricula; (2) provide weekend and summer accelerated academic
coursework for the lowest-performing students and schools; (3)
create STEM Academies in the lowest-performing schools; (4)
expand the UMBC Urban Education Principal, Teacher, and Intern
Scholarships to recruit and retain the most talented STEM
educators to lowest-performing schools; (5) provide over 100
hours of STEM training to roughly 1,800 teachers; and (6) conduct
ongoing student and teacher achievement analyses.

~~~~~~Targeted Partnerships~~~~~~

The MSP Targeted Partnerships focus on improving K-12
mathematics or science student achievement in a narrower grade
range or disciplinary focus than that of the MSP Comprehensive
Partnerships.  A full listing of the Targeted Partnerships that
have been funded is available on NSF's Web page.

The Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) along with its
partners, the Education Testing Service (ETS), Kean University,
and four urban school districts in New Jersey, will work together
to provide intensive and sustainable reform with the vision that
all middle school students can understand and be able to apply
key concepts in mathematics and science. Goals for the project
are to: (1) implement challenging instructional programs; (2)
build professional capacity in schools, the University, ETS, and
MISE; (3) develop leadership among teachers, administrators, and
university faculty; (4) develop a student-centered learning
climate in every classroom; and (5) build parent and community

The Mathematics and Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia
(MSPGP) focuses on improving secondary mathematics and science in
the densely populated greater metropolitan area of Philadelphia
that contains hundreds of school districts and dozens of
institutions of higher education. MSPGP brings together 46 school
districts and 13 institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania
and New Jersey in the region outside of Philadelphia. The MSPGP
model includes a "Core Connector" organizational structure that
provides a way to facilitate and grow partnerships between
teachers of grades six through twelve and administrators and
faculty from higher educational institutions.

The University System of Maryland, in partnership with the
Montgomery County Public Schools, will develop a sustainable K-16
professional development model for high school science teachers,
pre-service science teachers, and college faculty. The project
has two major aims: (1) to enrich science teacher knowledge in
order to improve high school science instruction to better enable
students to meet rigorous state science standards as measured on
the Maryland Science High School Assessments, and (2) to improve
the teaching skills of college science faculty in order to
improve the quality of undergraduate general education science

~~~~~~Institute Partnerships~~~~~~

The MSP Institute Partnerships focus on the development of
mathematics and science teachers as school- and district-based
intellectual leaders and master teachers.  At this time, only one
Institute Partnership award has been granted for this year.

The Institute for Advanced Study/Park City Mathematics Institute
(PCMI), located in Princeton, NJ, has a 12-year history of
preparing high-school teacher leaders to improve their own
practice and implement professional development for their peers.
While PCMI has traditionally worked with high school teachers,
this proposal broadens participation by including middle school
teachers.  PCMI will partner with three school districts
representing diverse student populations, located in Cincinnati,
OH; McAllen, TX; and Seattle, WA. The three-year plan includes
building a cadre of teacher leaders by their participation in at
least two PCMI summer sessions.  PCMI will work with a university
mathematics department in each district to provide local
resources to the mathematics teachers as well.

~~~~~~Research, Evaluation And Technical Assistance Projects~~~~~~

The MSP Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance (RETA)
projects are intended to build and enhance the research and
evaluation capacity for all MSP partnerships and provide them
with tools and assistance in the implementation and evaluation
of their work. A full listing of the RETA projects that have
been funded is available on NSF's Web page.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), located in
Washington, DC, has established a collaborative research team
involving the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and
American Institutes for Research to investigate how professional
development programs and activities in multiple sites can be
evaluated using a common set of research-based measures, and how
a survey methodology can be used to evaluate the effects of
professional development in improving instruction in mathematics
and science. The project will survey 640 middle school teachers
about what and how they teach.

The Center for Education of the National Academy of Sciences has
been awarded two RETA grants. The first is intended to develop a
program of workshops to help the MSP awardees and future
applicants improve K-16 STEM programs. The content of the
workshops builds on recent reports (e.g., How People Learn;
Adding It Up; Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science,
Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology; Knowing What Students
Know; or Learning and Understanding). Participants will have
opportunities to examine the research and implementation issues
identified in these reports in depth and apply them to their
project designs.

The second award will be used to convene a committee to conduct a
series of activities over the next two years that will: (1) provide
guidance to states on designing and developing quality
science assessments in light of requirements of the No Child Left
Behind legislation; and (2) foster communication and
collaboration between the committee and key stakeholders in
states and school districts so that the guidance provided is
practical and useable. The committee's report will be widely

~~~~~~FREE from RBS: ENC Focus Review, October 2003 ~~~~~~

This issue of "ENC Focus Review" is the first in ENC's revamp of
its publications. "ENC Focus Review" now offers a taste of the
articles ENC has available online. This issue includes articles
on bringing literature into the high school mathematics class,
using picture books in high school mathematics, and
collaborating with colleagues to improve student learning.

To request this and other free mathematics, science, and
education resources, visit the "Free Publications" page of the
RBS Web site at


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Writer: Debra Gingerich


Research for Better Schools is a nonprofit education
organization that has been providing services to teachers,
administrators, and policy makers in the Mid-Atlantic region of
Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania since 1966. Our mission is to help students achieve
high standards by supporting improvement efforts in schools and
other education environments.

The Mid-Atlantic Eisenhower Regional Consortium for Mathematics
and Science Education @ RBS is one of ten Regional Eisenhower
Consortia ( funded by the U.S.
Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary
Education. The Consortia are assisted and extended by the
Eisenhower National Clearinghouse at Ohio State University
( The content of this product does not
necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education or
any agency of the U.S. Government.

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Philadelphia, PA 19102-1510
Phone: 215 568-6150
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