Technology-Facilitated Scale-Up of Mathematics Instruction in High Needs Schools
A proposal from Old Dominion University's Center for Educational Partnerships is the highest ranked finalist in the scale-up category of the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) Grants competition, and is expected to receive the largest single award of nearly $25 million dollars. The project, "A Technology-facilitated Scale-up of a Proven Model of Mathematics Instruction in High Needs Schools," focuses on providing students in high-need middle schools with increased access to rigorous and engaging coursework in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) via scaled-up implementation of a proven cooperative learning model in mathematics instruction, called STAD-Math. The project also incorporates an innovative, high-quality, multi-tiered approach to professional development that employs school-based math coaching, an online platform, and teacher-made videos of their own practices. The use of technology will play a key role in providing professional development to mathematics teachers in rural and urban areas across the nation in a highly cost-effective way, linking them together in a professional learning community that will enhance sustainability. Expected outcomes are statistically significant improvements in math achievement among students by the third year of implementation, including closing achievement gaps for limited English proficient students, and students with disabilities. The project is designed serve 135,000 students in 185 high need middle schools across the U.S. over 5 years.
Middle school has been identified as a critical period for math learning, a period when students must develop mathematical understandings that lay the intellectual foundations for advanced study in STEM areas if they are to continue in these fields. At the same time, data show that participation and achievement in STEM subjects falls off in middle school, particularly among traditionally under-represented groups such as African-Americans, females, students of low socio-economic status, students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency. The interventions to be implemented in this project are designed to help schools turn this trend around, boost student achievement in STEM subjects, increase access for all students to rigorous STEM curricula, and increase overall participation in advanced STEM learning.
The awards are contingent upon the applicants obtaining matching funds from the private sector equal to at least 5 percent of the grant award. The Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University will need to secure $1.25 million in private commitments by Dec. 9; actual expenditures from this funding would be spread out over a five-year period.