Funded under the guidelines for Local Systemic Change (LSC) through Teacher Enhancement in Mathematics, the four-year Realizing Achievement in Mathematics Performance (RAMP) project supports all 980 teachers of mathematics, grades K-12, in the Durham Public Schools for professional development, implementation of standards-based instructional materials in mathematics, and the systemic support to sustain the implementation. Durham Public Schools (DPS) is the sixth largest public school district in North Carolina, with approximately 29,000 students in grades K-12.
Through participation in the NSF-funded Leadership for Urban Mathematics Reform project with the Education Development Center (EDC) from 1994-97 and with further district support for leadership development since that project ended, DPS has developed a corps of 34 teacher leaders in mathematics, who now constitute the project's Mathematics Professional Growth and Development (MPGD) Team.
EDC continues in Project RAMP as a provider of K-12 mathematics education leadership development for the school-based MPGD team members. Various types of professional development in RAMP (e.g., courses on mathematical content and pedagogy, curricular implementation workshops, school-based study groups, demonstration teaching and individual coaching) are led by mathematicians and mathematics educators from the Durham area, consultants from the publishers of the DPS-adopted mathematics instructional materials, the school-based teacher leaders, and twelve, full-time, district-wide resource teachers.
Elementary schools are implementing Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. Middle Schools are implementing Mathscape. The high schools are offering a new integrated mathematics course sequence alongside a traditional sequence, with NSF-supported Contemporary Mathematics in Context (Core Plus) materials in the integrated courses.
In addition to the required LSC core evaluation, RAMP plans an extensive evaluation component around student achievement. Because the district already has an extensive database of achievement test results, Project RAMP will be able to conduct trend analyses, using the implementation date of the new materials as a "break-point."
Cost sharing and commitments on behalf of the purchase of new instructional materials approximate 75% of the NSF request. Cost sharing is derived from DPS local and state monies.