26 Aug Partnerships Share $1.9 Mil to Improve Math and Science Instruction (WI)

August 26, 2010

By: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Source: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Funding that will help teachers deepen their content knowledge in mathematics and science and strengthen their classroom instruction of these subjects will go to four new partnerships in Wisconsin, benefitting 20 schools and nearly 200 teachers.

The new grants, through the federal Mathematics and Science Partnership program, will fund two mathematics partnerships, one science partnership, and one STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) project. The $1.9 million Mathematics and Science Partnership grant allocation to Wisconsin also will fund a third year for three partnership projects that were approved in 2009. Those projects are in 19 public schools and two nonprofit organizations, involving about 150 teachers.

Educators involved in the partnerships may take college or university classes, participate in peer coaching and mentoring sessions, or meet with colleagues to develop lessons or evaluation techniques that will actively engage students. All participating teachers attend an institute that directly relates to mathematics and science curricula and have follow-up contact throughout the project to support their own academic content learning and classroom practice.

“Sustained staff development that helps teachers become better at teaching math, science, and other STEM subjects will improve student interest and success in these classes,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “These grants are based on the direct connection between teachers’ knowledge and skills and student academic achievement.”

To be eligible for the competitive grants, partnerships must be comprised of at least one high-needs school district and one college or university and cannot have an active Mathematics and Science Partnership grant in the same content area. A high-needs district has mathematics or science proficiency levels that are below 65 percent based on statewide test results. Additionally, the district mu st have: at least 10 percent of its students from families with income below federal poverty guidelines; have a Rural Education Achievement Program or meet local census codes for rural communities (6, 7, or 8); or have missed adequate yearly progress in mathematics based on 2008-09 state test score data. Partnerships also may include state education agencies; other public schools, including charter schools; businesses; and nonprofit or for-profit organizations concerned with mathematics or science education.

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