Annual Report Overviews
Annual Report Overview
Local Systemic Change
PI Annual Progress Report
(Reporting Period: April - November, 1997)
Part I. Annual Overview
The Indiana Mathematics Initiative (IMI) is a collaborative project of the Indiana University Center for Mathematics Education, the Indiana Education Network, and twelve urban school districts in Indiana. This curriculum-based professional development project is aimed at improving mathematics instruction and student learning in the middle grades (6-8) classrooms of all twelve IMI districts and in selected high schools in four districts. IMI is driven by the following twin goals:
Assist all IMI school districts, during the 1997-98 state-mandated textbook adoption year, to select from a limited number of standards-based reform mathematics curricula for the targeted grades; and
During the reporting period (and before) IMI project activities and accomplishments have been driven by the following objectives:
To facilitate district adoption of reform curricula;
To regionalize the projectfs service area and identify appropriate staff support;
Project Activities and Accomplishments. In the spring the project established a working partnership with the developers and publishers of the reform curricula upon which IMI is based. This partnership allowed the project to design and deliver two reform curricula showcases: in Indianapolis (April 24-25); and in Gary (November 22). To develop ways to minimize participant travel and make project events more accessible the delivery of project activities for all participants were regionalized into four areas: Northwest (Indiana's 'Region' near Chicago); Northeast (centered in Fort Wayne); Central (centered in Indianapolis); and Southern (centered in Terre Haute). To better serve the project in the Northwest region Drs. Erna Yackel, Chris Rasmussen, and Marcela Perlwitz of Purdue University-Calumet were added to the project staff.
During the period May-June project staff visited each of the twelve IMI districts to meet with the superintendent, district coordinator, and other district-level administrators. The purpose of these meetings were to review project goals, reaffirm district commitment, develop strategies to influence the district's textbook adoption decision, and obtain approvals for the projectfs core evaluation activities. During the July-August period two one-week residential workshops for project teachers were held on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. In addition, introductory seminars were offered in each of the projectfs four regions in October and November. Critical to the success of this project is the development of an IMI leadership team of lead teachers and district coordinators. In August IMI lead teachers and district coordinators attended a four-day institute in Greencastle, Indiana, designed and delivered by the Education Development Center. Every other month (beginning in October) during the academic year, all IMI district coordinators and lead teachers join the project staff in Indianapolis to continue leadership training. During this reporting period a leadership team meeting was held in October.
A major project accomplishment during this reporting period was successfully establishing the infrastructure necessary to complete the activities comprising the core evaluation designed and monitored by the Horizon Research.
The IMI project is so large and so complicated-with so many sites and leaders located at great distances from one another-that it is no surprise that size and scope present a major challenge. Diversity is another major challenge for the IMI project. The challenge of offering appropriate inservice work and support for teachers at so many levels of awareness about and involvement in reform is tremendous. Timing is another concern for the IMI project. Because 1997-98 is Indiana's textbook adoption year, there is incredible pressure to get reform ideas disseminated and understood this year. If new textbooks are not adopted this year, it will be another seven years before texts are changed again. Finally, as a way of dealing with this consequence of Indiana's textbook adoption cycle the project should explore ways of convincing districts not prepared to adopt reform materials at the high school level to postpone this decision. Informing IMI districts by early spring 1998 that IMI will provide it the resources for making an informed adoption of high school curricula and comprehensive professional development to support that adoption may be a sufficient inducement.