Annual Report Overviews
RAMP Annual Overview
Realizing Achievement in Mathematics Performance
I. Overview and Activities
The Durham Public Schools' vision for K-12 mathematics and of mathematics reform is that all teachers are providing quality mathematics instruction. We will know that this vision has been achieved when all students are successfully learning challenging mathematics content in inviting and exciting learning environments with appropriate materials. Furthermore, all administrators at both the district and school level will support the teaching and learning of mathematics with effective leadership, teacher recruitment and evaluation, necessary policies, and sufficient budgetary resources. Most importantly, there will exist an organizational culture that supports continuous improvement for teachers, students, and administrators and in which professional development is ongoing for everyone.
Through participation in the NSF-funded Leadership for Urban Mathematics Reform project with the Education Development Center (EDC) from 1994-97 and with further district support for leadership development since that project ended, DPS has developed a group of teacher leaders in mathematics. EDC continues in Project RAMP as a provider of K-12 mathematics education leadership development for the teacher leaders. Various types of professional development in RAMP (e.g., courses on mathematical content and pedagogy, curricular implementation workshops, school-based study groups, demonstration teaching and individual coaching) are led by mathematicians and mathematics educators from the Durham area, consultants from the publishers of the DPS-adopted mathematics instructional materials, the school-based teacher leaders, and six, full-time, district-wide Mathematics Specialists.
Elementary schools are implementing Investigations in Number, Data, and. Middle Schools are implementing Mathscape. The high schools are offering a new integrated mathematics course sequence alongside a traditional sequence, with NSF-supported instructional materials, Contemporary Math in Context (Core Plus), in the integrated courses.
In addition to the required LSC core evaluation, RAMP plans an extensive evaluation component around student achievement. Because the district already has an extensive database of achievement test results, Project RAMP will be able to conduct trend analyses, using the implementation date of the new materials as a "break-point."
The goals of project RAMP are:
Goal 1 Provide comprehensive staff development for all mathematics teachers in grades K-12 as they implement an instructional program and materials consistent with NCTM standards.
Goal 2 Create an infrastructure that supports ongoing, collegial professional development in mathematics education.
Goal 3 Build administrative and community support for continuous improvement in mathematics education.
B. Major Activities & Accomplishments for the initial grant period (5/1/99 to 8/31/99):
K-12 RAMP Leaders
b. July 12-13, 1999 (10 hours) Professional Development for 104 K-5 teachers that teach in year-round elementary schools. These sessions focused on the first two units of Investigations for each grade level.
b. August 2-3, 1999 (10 hours) Professional Development for 574 K-5 teachers that teach in traditional calendar elementary schools. These sessions focused on the first two units of Investigations for each grade level.
Middle School (6-8)
b. July 16, 1999 (7 hours) Professional development for the 12 RAMP Teacher Leaders for Mathscape. The EDC staff customized this day of professional development for the leaders with a focus on leading system-wide workshops and leading study groups.
c. August 2-3, 1999 (10 hours) Professional Development for 82 Middle School teachers. These sessions focused on the first unit of Mathscape for each grade level.
High School (9-12)
b. August 2-3, 1999 (10 hours) Professional Development for 78 high school teachers. Lee Stiff was the speaker for the initial session. The focus of Lee's remarks was standards based curriculum and the need to reach all students in mathematics. Subsequent sessions focused on inquiry in Core Plus, Algebra, and Geometry and Reaching LD Students in mathematics.