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Discussion: Middle school curriculum reform: What is your growing edge?

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posted by: Bob Box on May 3, 1999 at 6:09PM
subject: Hi from MSI
Hi, my name is Bob Box, Project Director for the Mesa Systemic Initiative.

The MSI is a teacher enhancement project dedicated to the improvement of
science and mathematics instructional skills of Mesa Public Schools
teachers (K - 8) through site based learning communities and cross district
support. This includes effective use of technology to support of math and
science instruction. We have 73,000 students, 48 elementary schools, 12
junior high schools and over 2,000 science, math and elementary teachers in
the project.

We're in our fourth year as an LSC and very proud of the successes to date.
These have included over 350 teacher-leaders as liaisons, mentors, trainers
and "synergy teams" in math, science and technology, Principals' Science
Roundtables, and science/math "Special Presenters" who create professional
development release time. We have also played a major role in changing the
structure of professional development in our school district including
significant use of non-traditional models. You can visit us at our web site
< >

Like most LSC projects, progress in grades seven and eight have not been as
smooth as the gains with our elementary population. We have, however, found
some good vehicles for effecting change and learned to let go of others that
may have worked in an elementary setting but not JHS.

My questions are these:

1.) How can schools come to accept the need for structural reform necessary
to "de-compartmentalize" the curriculum?

2.) How do we retain JHS teacher-leaders after the project is gone?

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
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