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Strengths, Challenges, and Sustainability of a K-12 Math Initiative

Abstract

This paper addresses the following claim(s):

"What follows are sample findings to date. The session will highlight areas of promise as well as persistent challenges across a wide array of indicators.


  1. Instructional practice across all grade levels K-12 has improved over a 6-year period as measured by external evaluation researchers using the Horizon Classroom Observation Protocol. Instructional practice has become consistently strong at elementary grades. The current status is more mixed at secondary levels.


  2. A group of 46 Rapid City teachers volunteered to take a test of their content and pedagogical content knowledge two years into the project and then again two years later, using parallel forms of "Learning Mathematics for Teaching" measures (LMT). The average number of hours of professional development completed by each of these teachers over the two years was 80. This group showed significant growth on the LMT over the two years with an effect size of 1.0.


  3. Student achievement has improved as measured by South Dakota's accountability measure for mathematics, the Dakota STEP (DSTEP), and using a more performance-oriented test developed by the Mathematics Assessment Resource Service.


  4. Achievement gaps between American Indian and non-American Indian students have decreased as measured by the DSTEP over the duration of the project.


  5. Different components of the project have had different levels of impact on teachers, depending on where teachers are within the change process as measured by a "Stages of Concern" survey. Teachers farther along in teaching standards-based mathematics, for example, perceive more value in classroom coaching provided by teacher leaders than do teachers who are less advanced in teaching standards-based mathematics."


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