Partnerships for (Systemic) Reform to Improve Mathematics Education
Annual Report: January 1 - December 31, 1998
Partnerships for (Systemic) Reform to Improve Mathematics Education (PRIME) is an innovative systemic change project designed to involve all segments of the Oxnard school community (teachers, students, parents, and administrators) in a K-8 district where 86% of the students are students of color, and 49% are limited English proficient. The Oxnard School District (OSD), with the assistance and support of the Tri-County Mathematics Project (TCMP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, are collaborating to implement the PRIME project with 600 teachers K-8 who teach mathematics in these 17 schools.
In order to achieve the goal of a sustainable process of systemic change that will result in classrooms where all students are engaged in meaningful mathematical work and are mathematically powerful, a program of professional development for teachers, teacher leaders (Site Facilitators), and administrators is being implemented over the four years of the project. The professional development program supports the improvement of mathematics teaching and learning through: increasing mathematics knowledge, changing mathematics pedagogy and assessment methods, understanding of equity issues and acting on these understandings, and developing partnerships with families. Administrators are also learning how to support teachers in the change effort and are learning new ways of evaluating classroom teaching.
The PRIME project includes the following components:
Preparation and Continuing Leadership Development of 31 Teacher Leaders and Two District Project Leaders;
Site-Based Professional Development for All K-8 Teachers of Mathematics;
Professional Development for 21 Site and District Administrators;
Development of School/Family Partnerships through a series of Family Math Partnership Evenings offered at each school;
Development of Parent Leadership through a series of parent leadership seminars for two parent leaders from each school;
Program Coordination by three university-based and two district mathematics educators who coordinate program planning and a leadership team which includes these educators, the OSD Acting Superintendent and the OSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum that meets regularly to coordinate efforts related to policy and budgeting;
On-going Evaluation by a university researcher and research assistant who meet with project leaders quarterly and submit an annual written report.
Major Accomplishments during the second year of our Local Systemic Change Project include:
Expansion of the leadership component by adding a second site facilitator at each elementary school. This enabled PRIME to provide more support for teachers.
Development of school teams (comprised of the site facilitators and principal) that worked collaboratively, with the support of project leaders, to assess school needs and develop programs of professional development tailored to those particular needs.
Design and implementation of 5-Day Institutes which provided sustained, in-depth professional development for teachers in their focus (intensive) year.
Development of a system for meeting the particular professional development needs of an unusually large number of new teachers on a multi-track year-round schedule.
Contributing to students' access to quality curriculum by weaving use of the new curriculum materials into professional development.
Increased focus on developing mathematics content knowledge of project leaders, site facilitators and teachers under the guidance of the UCSB Mathematics Professor (Dr. Jacob) who serves as the PRIME Senior Mathematics Consultant.
Successful implementation of a series of Parent Leadership Seminars that are designed to develop a cadre of parent leaders at each school site in support of mathematics reform.
Teachers, administrators and project leaders supporting and implementing the Family Math Partnership component that develops parent support for mathematics education reform and assists parents to support their children's mathematics learning.
A higher percentage of schools during year two had met the projected numbers of hours and days for professional development than in year one. This ensures that almost all of the teachers are receiving extensive professional development in mathematics education as planned.