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Annual Report Overviews


Greater Philadelphia Annual Overview

submitter: Greater Philadelphia Secondary Mathematics Project
published: 12/30/1999
posted to site: 12/31/1999
Annual Overview

The Greater Philadelphia Secondary Mathematics Project is a five year effort to:

  1. Provide sustained high quality professional development to at least 600 middle and high school mathematics teachers in the use of NSF validated secondary math curricula, e.g, IMP, Core-Plus, CMP, MiC.

  2. Provide high quality professional development in A.P Statistics, Harvard Reform Calculus, The Geometer's Sketchpad, and graphing calculators which complement these reform curricula,

  3. Provide classroom follow-up mentoring to teachers-in-training,

  4. Provide logistical and public relations assistance to schools undergoing systemic change, and

  5. Contribute to a standards-based change culture in the Greater Philadelphia region at the school district and classroom level.

During the previous 18 months, the GPSMP provided total of 12,472 hours of professional development in 9 different courses to 186 different secondary mathematics teachers for an average of 67 hours per teacher.

These teachers are from 11 different GPSMP participating school districts involving 19 high schools and 16 middle schools. All of these schools are implementing, or are in the process of implementing, NSF reform mathematics curriculum in succesive stages by grade level. These curricula include: The Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP), CORE-Plus, Connected Mathematics Program (CMP) and Math-in-Context (MiC)

During this past year, a new group of fourteen (14) school districts have been recruited as likely 'Cohort 3' project participants. This will bring the total number participating school districts to 26; and the total number of high schools to 36. These 26 school districts, plus 3 private/charter schools, have a total of 652 secondary math teaching positions. But because of teacher turnover during the five years of this LSC, we anticipate having approximately 30% more teachers in our database by the end of our project, or about 850 math teachers.

In addition, during this past year, the GPSMP, through a partnership with the Philadelphia Urban Systemic Initiative, (PHUSI) sponsored an additional 5,720 hours of training for 70 non-GPSMP Philadelphia high school math teachers in the Interactive Math Program, AP Statistics and Harvard Reform Calculus.

The GPSMP has also received two NSF supplemental grants this year. The first is a $150,000 two-year America Counts tutoring grant. This is one of five awarded throughout the country to existing NSF projects to develop different models of how to effectively link college students with k-9 students needing math tutoring.

The GPSMP's America Counts grant, known as The Systemic Elementary Mathematics Team Tutoring Initiative, 'SEMTTI', is designed to link up to 54 undergraduate education majors with regular classrooms in three schools districts. There are three goals to SEMTTI: 1)to improve student performance and understanding of mathematics in the target schools districts; 2) to improve 54 preservice teachers' ability to teach standards-based mathematics to elementary students; and 3) to be a catalyst to enhance existing teachers' knowledge of reform mathematics content and instructional practices in the target schools.

A second NSF supplement granted to the GPSMP is a four-year $75,000 research project. This research focuses on investigating the interaction effects between a block schedule and the use of the IMP curricula compared to a non-block schedule and the use of a traditional math program on student mathematics achievement.

Two years of testing have been archived for expert grading using rubrics. A distinguished panel of eight current or former mathematics professors from area college and universities have been recruited to grade the tests over the next four years.