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Annual Report Overviews


Partnership for (Systemic) Reform Annual Overview

submitter: Partnerships for (Systemic) Reform to Improve Mathematics Education
published: 03/21/2000
posted to site: 03/24/2000
Partnerships for (Systemic) Reform to Improve Mathematics Education (PRIME)
Annual Overview: January 1 - December 31, 1999

Partnerships for (Systemic) Reform to Improve Mathematics Education (PRIME) is a 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. OSD is on a year-around, multi-track schedule. 1999 was the third year of this four-year project.

The goal of PRIME is to promote systemic change that will result in classrooms where all students are engaged in meaningful mathematical work and are mathematically powerful. The project includes the following components:

  • Leadership development of 31 teacher leaders (Site Facilitators) and two district-based 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;

  • Development of parent leadership through a series of Parent Leadership Seminars;

  • Program coordination of three university-based and two district mathematics educators who coordinate program planning and a leadership team which includes these educators, the OSD Superintendent, the OSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, and the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 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 and annual written report.

The major activities and accomplishments for the third year of this project include:

  • Professional development through four- and five-day institutes that offer teachers sustained, in-depth learning and reflection about mathematical content and pedagogy, and support for implementation of the recently adopted reform curriculum. In addition these institutes promote a climate of collegiality and support that facilitates teachers' readiness to address equity issues and fosters confidence in undertaking the challenge of reforming mathematics teaching.

  • Increased leadership development opportunities for the Site Facilitators who worked in teams to plan and present the four- and five-day institutes with the support of the project Co-Directors and a university mathematician.

  • The Parent Leadership and Family Math Partnership components became firmly established in most schools in the district and are seen by administrators, teachers and parents as significant supports for the implementation of a reform mathematics curriculum. The parent leadership was so successful that parents at one school have established their own group named S.U.M. (Supporting Understanding in Mathematics) and are actively collaborating with teachers in their school to support full implementation of the new curriculum.

  • Twice a year, half-day meetings for the schools' PRIME leadership teams (composed of parents, site facilitators and principals) offered the opportunity to plan collaboratively for specific needs of individual schools, set goals, and review progress.

  • Professional development for teachers, Site Facilitators, administrators, and parents incorporated meaningful and challenging mathematics learning for adult learners and effective mathematics pedagogical strategies. Participating teachers consistently report deepening of their content knowledge and preparedness to teach mathematics.

  • In addition to the mathematics activities that serve as a focus for professional development activities, teachers had the opportunity to further deepen their mathematics knowledge through activities such as a four-week course in Algebraic Thinking for Teachers.

  • Classroom observations in both Years 2 and 3 and questionnaire results showed evidence of teachers' strength in utilizing investigative approaches to mathematics learning and incorporating strategies that support the learning needs of a diverse student population.

  • In its third year, Project PRIME is on target for completing the 132 planned hours of professional development for each teacher, having completed 95% of the days scheduled for the first three years of the project. They are also on target with instituting Family Math Partnership evenings, with 15 of 17 schools and approximately 1,650 parents participating.

  • A system for meeting the particular professional development needs of the unusually large number of new teachers is in place and includes five-day institutes in mathematics education for new teachers, designed and presented by the project Co-Directors.

  • A multiple measures approach to mathematics assessment that incorporates performance assessment activities drawn from the district-adopted reform curriculum is in place. All teachers have participated in professional development sessions designed to increase their understanding of the process and functions of performance assessment.