A partnership between the Graduate School of Education (GSE), David Douglas School District (DDSD), Centennial School District (CSD), and the Multnomah Education Service District (MESD) has received a million dollar grant from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to improve preK-12 mathematics instruction. The East Metro Mathematics Leadership Project (EaMML) will focus on research-based instructional practices that support student mathematics learning while developing teacher leaders in two east Portland districts. The money is from ODE’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a federal fund that supports math and science partnerships in each state.
“This will be a huge opportunity for us,” says Principal Investigator Nicole Rigelman who teaches math methods in the Graduate Teacher Education Program and coordinates the Mathematics Instructional Leader program. “It will enable us to develop a cadre of leaders that can support and sustain teacher learning beyond the life of the grant.”
Dr. Rigelman will work with Co-Principal Investigators Amy McQueen (DDSD), Karen Prigodich (CSD), Roxanne Malter (MESD), Jackie Cooke (MESD), Paul Latiolais, (PSU Mathematics), and David Weaver (RMC Research Corporation) on the project.
School district leaders involved in the project are enthusiastic, noting that mathematics scores on statewide tests in their districts were not at the level they would like them to be. District teachers indicated a need for more professional development on instruction and assessment strategies to boost their competency in mathematics and continue to support career-long growth in the field.
The EaMML project is designed with three components:
- A mathematics leadership cadre (30 cadre participants) will develop leadership knowledge and skills/practices to support them in designing and presenting professional learning for colleagues
- A mathematics leadership team (68 members) to engage in ongoing learning about research-based math instructional practices through book study groups and lesson study cycles and that will select, adapt, and develop resources to support effective classroom instruction
- Mathematics professional learning courses (250 teachers) delivered by PSU and the MESD that will serve to deepen teacher leaders’ math content and pedagogical knowledge
“Effectiveness of the EaMML project will be measured by student achievement over the three-year life of the grant, along with teacher measures that include content and pedagogy assessments and instructional artifact analysis,” says Amy McQueen, the David Douglas District math specialist.
New and successful strategies will be shared at conferences and professional gatherings and made available to the public through a website so that the impact of the work will be broader than the initial participants and districts. The hope is to develop a model of professional learning that can be replicated by many others, and ultimately help preK-12 students to a deeper understanding of mathematics concepts so that they can be better prepared for STEM courses and careers in their future.