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Annual Report Overviews


MASP2 Annual Overview

submitter: Minneapolis and St. Paul Area Merging to Achieve Standards Project (MASP)2
published: 12/09/1999
posted to site: 12/10/1999
The Minneapolis and St. Paul Area Merging to Achieve Standards Project (MASP)2 is designed to train middle and high school teachers to implement a standards-based mathematics curriculum. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its Local Systemic Change (LSC) initiative. Each of the school districts in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that participates in the (MASP)2 Project -- the two urban districts (Minneapolis and St. Paul) and nineteen districts in the suburban metropolitan area -- chose a mathematics curriculum sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that has direct linkages to national mathematics curriculum and evaluation standards, to NCTM standards for teaching mathematics, and that reflects the new State of Minnesota graduation standards.

We have observed that the content and scope of the curriculum used by the participating mathematics teachers has expanded, that mathematics instruction is more focused on the development of understanding mathematics concepts, and that activities in the mathematics classroom include more real-world problems, inquiry and investigation, group activities, and student use of technology.

Teachers who participate in the project attend intensive summer professional development workshops based on the content and pedagogy related to the standards-based NSF curriculum that their district or school selected. During the succeeding school year, the math teachers attend follow-up workshops and receive individual support from a mentor experienced in the implementation of the curriculum.

A major goal of the (MASP)2 Project is to develop a replicable model for the implementation of mathematics curriculum reform. The model will include a long-term, purposeful professional development experience for each individual mathematics teacher and the development of skilled leadership teams in every school.

Baseline year 1996-97. At the time that the (MASP)2 Project received funding in the spring of 1997, the participating school districts, with more than 125 schools and one-thousand-plus mathematics teachers, were at many different stages in their readiness to make extensive changes in their mathematics curriculum. In April 1997 the (MASP)2 staff met with administrators and mathematics teachers from the districts to review the project goals and conditions for participation in the project, including the need to adopt one of the standards-based mathematics curricula approved by NSF. During the remainder of the 1996-97 school year and until the end of the baseline year (August, 1997), the project staff met with individual school districts to identify their mathematics curriculum needs, to determine their readiness for curriculum change, to review and select mathematics curricula, and to develop professional opportunities.

Three professional development workshops were conducted in August, 1997, each centered on an NSF-sponsored mathematics curriculum. Forty-six grade 6-8 math teachers attended a two-week workshop on the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) curriculum, twenty-seven high school math teachers attended a one-week session on the Interactive Mathematics Project (IMP), and nine middle school teachers participated in a two-week session on the Seeing and Thinking Mathematically (Mathscape) curriculum.

Middle year 1997-98. The first full year of the (MASP)2 Project was centered on:

  1. continued staff support to participating school districts as they made decisions about mathematics curriculum change and corresponding professional development plans,
  2. follow-up support for teachers who attended the 1997 summer workshops, and
  3. the development and implementation of fifteen summer 1998 workshops.

A total of 404 mathematics teachers attended one of the twelve two-week or three one-week workshops that were centered on a specific NSF curriculum.

ARISE Two two-week sessions 35 teachers
CMP A one-week follow-up for 1997 participants 33 teachers
CMP Four two-week sessions 114 teachers
Core-Plus Three two-week sessions 101 teachers
IMP 1 One two-week session 12 teachers
IMP 2-4 Two one-week sessions 41 teachers
STEM Two two-week sessions 68 teachers

Each workshop was facilitated by a lead instructor (usually a staff member at a higher education institution) and one or more teachers who had classroom experience with the NSF curriculum. Workshop participants were expected to become familiar with the NSF curriculum activities and materials, to increase their knowledge of the mathematics content addressed in the curriculum, to develop their understanding of effective instructional practices, and to understand how the curriculum prepares students to meet specific Minnesota graduation standards.

Year 1998-99: The (MASP)2 Project supported three major types of professional development during the1998-99 project year:

  1. Follow-up meetings during the school year for teachers who had participated in one of the fifteen workshops that were conducted during the summer of 1998. Each teacher was expected to participate for thirty hours in these follow-up activities.
  2. Mentoring for the 1998 summer workshop participants who were implementing an NSF-curriculum during the 1998-99 school year. Each teacher was expected to receive twenty hours of mentoring.
  3. Two-week workshops during the summer of 1999 for 256 mathematics teachers who would be using an NSF curriculum for the first time during the 1999-2000 school year.

The principal investigators of the (MASP)2 Project sought and received Higher Education Eisenhower funds to conduct additional follow-up training for teachers who had participated in the summer 1998 workshops to help them prepare for teaching the second year in the scope of the NSF curriucla. A total of 187 teachers attended one of nine four-day workshops that were held during the summer of 1999 (CMP, 61 teachers; STEM, 16; ARISE, 20; Core+, 68; IMP, 22).

As of September, 1999, there were 61,278 students participating in classes taught with NSF-sponsored materials by teachers receiving professional development through the MASP2 project.