Third Year of NSF's Math and Science Partnerships to Focus on Teachers

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Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 11:15:54 -0400
From: NSF_News@xxxxxxx
Subject: Third Year of NSF's Math and Science Partnerships to Focus on=
To: "NSF News" <nsfnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

This is an automated e-mail. Please do not respond to this message.
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230
"Where Discoveries Begin"

For Immediate Release:
October 19, 2004

Media contact:  Bill Noxon, NSF, (703) 292-7750, wnoxon@xxxxxxx

Grants made for new teacher institutes, large targeted partnerships and=20

Nicholas Salvatore (left), a Spring, Tex. high school teacher, Cheryl Myers=
(center), middle school teacher from Texas=92 McAllen Independent School=20
District and Remy Poon (right), a Seattle elementary school teacher, share=
views on a problem presented to their group from "The Art and Craft of=20
Combinatorial Proofs," a course offered at the prototype MSP mathematics=20
institute at the Park City, Utah, Institute for Advanced Study. Middle- and=
high-school teachers are trained over three summer sessions to become=20
disciplinary leaders when they return to their school districts.
Credit: Ben Ditto

Arlington, Va.=97Many teachers in K-12 will be able to experience a more=20
intense learning and leadership environment as the National Science=20
Foundation (NSF) embarks on a major effort to improve the mathematics and=20
science education of the nation's youth.

NSF has announced that seven new Institute Partnerships: Teacher Institutes=
for the 21st Century will be formed as a result of five-year grants made to=
universities in the third year of competition for NSF's Math and Science=20
Partnership (MSP) program. The new institutes represent an investment of=20
more than $31 million over five years for NSF's newest MSP program=

The awards for teacher institutes will be directed to disciplinary faculty=
of higher learning institutions to work with experienced teachers of=20
mathematics and the sciences. This relationship is expected to deepen=20
teachers' knowledge of content and instructional skills so they may become=
school-based intellectual leaders in their fields. A prototype institute is=
already underway at the Institute for Advanced Study at Park City, Utah.

New institute awards have been made to the University of Nebraska, Oregon=20
State University, Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania --=20
each receiving $5 million over five years. Math and science teachers will=20
study during summers or during the academic year at the new institutes=20
being formed at these campuses. U-Penn (grades 5-12) and Tufts (grades K-8)=
institutes will specialize in science. At U-Nebraska (grades 5-8) and=20
Oregon State University (grades K-12) institutes will be for math teachers.

Three more institute awards have been made to Rice University (Houston),=20
Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond) and Florida Atlantic University=
(Boca Raton), and will focus on mathematics teaching. The Rice institute=20
($3.8 million) will focus on grades 9-12, Florida Atlantic will specialize=
at grades 5-8. And VCU will develop math specialists at K-5 levels.

"The new institute partnerships address a national need for a new=20
generation of experienced teacher-leaders at a time when many teachers of=20
similar stature are retiring" says Joyce Evans, MSP program director.=20
"These multi-year programs will provide courses and experiences that enable=
teachers to deepen and update their content knowledge, become more=20
effective in the classroom, contribute to the development of more=20
challenging or advanced courses, and become leaders and catalysts for=20
reforming the mathematics and science programs in their schools."

Institute participants, Evans explains further, should be able to assume=20
increased responsibilities in their schools after successfully completing=20
an institute program. To make that a reality, schools and districts are=20
expected to provide the time, administrative support, resources and the=20
recognition and rewards commensurate with this increased responsibility.

Meanwhile, NSF also announced five large Targeted Partnerships with grants=
amounting to a combined $60 million over five years, aimed at improving=20
math and science performance in nationwide classrooms. Some 224,000=20
students will be reached through these partnerships that will unite 13=20
institutions of higher education with 21 local school districts to improve=
student achievement in specific disciplines or grade ranges.

Arizona State University and City College of New York (CUNY) are each=20
expected to receive $12.5 million over the next five years to target=20
science and mathematics learning at grades 9-12 by testing a model of=20
graduate courses to deepen teachers' understanding of fundamental concepts=
in mathematics and science. The project will also support teachers in=20
several Arizona school districts (Chandler, Mesa, Tempe and Tolleson)=20
through learning communities with higher education faculty. The CUNY=20
project will create hub high schools as "clinics" for teacher training and=
education excellence that will address shortages and retention rates among=
teachers in New York City schools, and create school cultures that=20
emphasize research-driven classroom practices. The project also seeks to=20
improve student performance beyond 8th grade.

Meanwhile, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, is receiving $12.5=20
million over five years to improve student achievement in science at grades=
6-12 in Boston=92s public schools by enhancing teacher content knowledge and=
instructional skill. The partnership includes Northeastern University,=20
Harvard University and the College Board.

The other new targeted partnerships will focus on grades 6-8. The=20
University of Colorado, Denver, along with several nearby college and=20
university partners will lead a $12.5 million project to improve student=20
achievement through a combination of high quality coursework in math and=20
science and a push to reduce the achievement gap between minority and=20
non-minority middle school students =96 a program project leaders call "15=
months to HQ (high quality)." One facet of this project includes an on-line=
delivery of teacher coursework that will engage teachers in the more rural=
regions of Colorado. Another $10 million grant to Birmingham Southern=20
College in Alabama aims to improve middle school mathematics for students=20
while boosting the professional development of high school math teachers.=20
The college is working with the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the=20
eight Greater Birmingham Alabama school districts, and will incorporate=20
engineering modules into classrooms to help answer the age-old question,=20
"Why do I need to know this?" Research from this project will also focus on=
engaging parents to be better informed about, and advocates for, high=20
quality mathematics in schools.

NSF's newly announced MSP awards bring to 48 the total number of=20
comprehensive, targeted and teacher institute projects underway across the=

NSF also announced other MSP awards for capacity building - including=20
research, evaluation and technical assistance. The largest, $4.6 million to=
Horizon Research, Inc., will involve comprehensive "knowledge management=20
and dissemination" for the overall MSP program. Northwestern University has=
received $2.3 million for a program to study, define and understand teacher=
leaders and the roles they play. Westat, Inc. received $900,000 to study=20
over time the effects of university disciplinary faculty engagement with=20
the MSP process. This is considered an important facet of MSP and the newly=
forged relationships that are occurring between disciplinary faculty with=20
K-12 teachers.


NSF-PR 04-143

Program contact:  Diane Spresser, NSF, (703) 292-5118, dspresse@xxxxxxx

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that=
supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science=20
and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds=20
reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and=20
institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for=
funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards=20
over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Receive official NSF news electronically through the e-mail delivery=20
system, NSFnews. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to=20
join-nsfnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx In the body of the message, type "subscribe=20
nsfnews" and then type your name. (Ex.: "subscribe nsfnews John Smith")


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