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Annual Overview

submitter: Austin Collaborative for Mathematics Education
published: 12/17/1998
posted to site: 12/17/1998

Austin Independent School District

Division of Accountability

Office of Program Evaluation

Executive Summary:

Austin Collaborative for Mathematics Education,
1997-98 Annual Report

Author: Michelle L. Batchelder, Ph.D.


In the summer of 1997, the Austin I.S.D. launched the Austin Collaborative for Mathematics Education (ACME), a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve mathematics education districtwide. The initiative provides all K-8 mathematics teachers in the district with long-term professional development and campus-based support to implement current national standards for mathematics curriculum and instruction. Through the ACME professional development, district administrators intend to build a community of learners and to help teachers explore and acquire mathematics content, the philosophy of standards-based pedagogy, and classroom management for investigative mathematics instruction. In 5 years, over 2000 teachers, including general and special education, bilingual education, and English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers, will participate in the ACME project.

The purpose of this evaluation is to examine the teaching practices of educators before they participate in the ACME professional development and to describe district teachers’ and principals’ attitudes toward mathematics reforms, the quality of ACME professional development, and the supports in the district and community to implement the project in its first year.


Of a random sample of K-8 teachers, 248 mathematics and 39 special education teachers returned completed questionnaires on attitudes toward mathematics reforms, teaching practices, district support, mathematics content knowledge, and demographic characteristics. All 82 principals of the district’s elementary and middle schools completed questionnaires about school reforms, attitudes towards standards-based mathematics and science education, support for the ACME project, and school demographics. Ten randomly selected mathematics classrooms and 3 special education classrooms were observed and rated for the effectiveness of the instruction. Eight professional development sessions were observed and rated for quality and effectiveness. In addition, district and ACME project staff were interviewed about their experiences with the project and opinions about its progress.

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