Closing the Achievement Gap through Professional Development Partnerships
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Closing the Achievement Gap through Professional Development Partnerships. Nadine Bezuk, San Diego State University. NCTM Kansas City Regional October 2007. Southern California Fires. 300,000+ acres burned 1,250 homes destroyed or damaged 500,000+ people evacuated.

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Closing the Achievement Gap through Professional Development Partnerships

Nadine Bezuk, San Diego State University

NCTM Kansas City Regional October 2007

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300,000+ acres burned Partnerships

1,250 homes destroyed or damaged

500,000+ people evacuated

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Overview of Today’s Session Partnerships

  • Welcome and introductions

  • Overview of our work

  • Description of our partnerships

  • Factors in developing successful partnerships

  • Impact of our work on student achievement and teacher practice

  • Questions and discussion

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Overview of Our Work Partnerships

  • Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics (ISAM) is funded by a gift to SDSU from Qualcomm Inc since 2000.

  • ISAM’s goal is to improve students’ mathematics achievement by providing professional development to K-12 teachers.

  • We provide professional development through partnerships with local school districts and by offering the Mathematics Specialist Certificate Program.

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What our Professional Development is Like Partnerships

Our professional development blends mathematics content and pedagogy.

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Effective Professional Development Partnerships

  • Is driven by a well-defined image of effective classroom learning and teaching;

  • Provides opportunities for teachers to build their content and PCK and examine practice;

  • Is research-based and engages teachers as adult learners in the learning approaches they will use with their students; (cont.)

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Effective Professional Development (continued) Partnerships

  • Provides opportunities for teachers to collaborate with colleagues and others to improve their practice;

  • Supports teachers to serve in leadership roles;

  • Links with other parts of the education system; and

  • Is designed based on student learning data and is continuously evaluated and improved.

    Loucks-Horsley et al. (2003), p. 44

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Characteristics of Our Professional Development Partnerships

  • Blends content and pedagogy

  • Accountable for teacher growth and increased student achievement

  • Links to classroom practice

  • Embeds equity

  • Sustained over time

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Forming Partnerships Partnerships

  • What are the district’s needs related to mathematics?

  • Collaboratively plan:

    • Goals

    • Nature of the PD

    • Delivery model

    • Calendar

    • Teacher participation

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Examine the District’s Needs Partnerships

  • Improve student achievement (as measured by CST, CAHSEE)

  • Improve student success in algebra

  • Increase student participation in higher-level mathematics courses

  • Increase teacher effectiveness

  • Help teachers meet NCLB requirements

  • Establish a culture of mathematics

  • Enhance math vocabulary, basic facts

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Mission of the SUHSD/SDSU Math Professional Development Partnership

To improve students’ understanding of and achievement in algebra in order for students to pass the CAHSEE and successfully complete algebra requirements for graduation, with special populations experiencing similar success.

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ISAM Partnerships Partnership

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Teacher Participation Partnership

  • Voluntary or mandatory

  • Specific grade ranges (e.g., grades 4 - 6) or specific content (e.g., algebra)

  • Working in a district with an intact group of teachers or a mixed group from several schools/districts

  • We conduct informational sessions prior to the start of sessions.

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A Variety of Delivery Models Partnership

  • One year, two years, more

  • After school

  • Release days with sub coverage

  • Saturday sessions

  • Weekly sessions

  • One day a month

  • Four days a year

  • Face-to-face/online (blended)

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Challenges Partnership

  • How to maximize teacher participation

    • Year-round calendars result in short summer breaks for teachers

  • Money--for stipends, subs, materials

  • Communication

  • Melding professional development and coursework/earning university credit for professional development

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How We Measure Impact Partnership

  • Teacher growth: Content and pedagogy

    • Quantitative and anecdotal data

  • Student achievement

    • Gains on CST

    • Matched-pairs analysis

      • Students of participating teachers vs. non-participating teachers

    • Success on High School Exit Exam

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Impact on Teachers’ Instructional Practices Partnership

Teachers report that they now:

  • Try new strategies in their classrooms;

  • Select among many tools including the textbook, the pacing guide, and CGI principles; and

  • Recognize good mathematical problems from the text that will help students meet the standards.

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Partnership Results Partnership

  • San Diego Unified School District

    • Upper-elementary students taught mathematics by a teacher who completed our program scored significantly higher on the California Standards Test (CST) than students whose teachers did not participate in our program.

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Partnership Results Partnership

  • Sweetwater Union High School District

    • More tenth-graders passed the mathematics portion of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) than ever before in the district.

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Partnership Results Partnership

  • Ramona Unified School District

    • Teachers’ math content knowledge increased.

    • Students’ scores on the CST increased.

    • Incoming seventh-graders were better prepared for algebra.

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Partnership Results Partnership

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Other Effects of Our Work Partnership

Balboa Elementary School was named as the 2007 Intel School of Distinction in Elementary School Mathematics, the only elementary school in the nation to receive this recognition.

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Comments from Participants Partnership

“Our . . . partnership has been extraordinary. The administration and professors have provided on-target leadership, adjusted program details according to our needs, and provided excellent professional development--exactly in the manner in which we co-designed it. Early evidence indicates that our teachers are becoming more effective in their math instruction and that kids are experiencing greater mathematical success.” --Bob Graeff, Asst. Superintendent, Ramona USD

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Reference Partnership

  • Loucks-Horsley, S., et al. (2003). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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Contact Information Partnership

Nadine Bezuk

[email protected]

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