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U.S. Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program Annual State Coordinators Meeting Washington, DC June 21-22, 2007
Overview of Today’s Meeting • Executive Order • Membership • Meetings • Task Groups and Subcommittees • Research Questions • Progress to Date • Outreach • Questions for Discussion • Contact the NMP
President’s Executive Order • The Panel will advise the President and the Secretary of Education on the best use of scientifically-based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics, with a specific focus on preparation for and success in algebra. • The Panel issued the Preliminary Report on March 8, 2007. • The Final Report is due February 28, 2008.
President’s Executive Order • The Panel will address: • The critical skills and skill progressions needed to learn algebra and prepare for more advanced courses. • The proper role and design of standards and assessment in promoting student competence in math. • The processes by which students of various abilities or backgrounds learn math. • How the training, selection, placement and professional development of math teachers affect student achievement. • Instructional practices, programs and materials that have proven effective in improving math learning. • Research needs in support of math education.
Panel Members • Larry R. Faulkner (Chair), President of the Houston Endowment and President Emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin • Camilla Persson Benbow (Vice Chair), Dean of Education and Human Development, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University • Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Dean, School of Education and William H. Payne Professor, University of Michigan • A.Wade Boykin, Professor and Director of the Graduate Program, Department of Psychology, Howard University • Douglas Clements, Professor, Learning and Instruction, University at Buffalo, State University of New York (New Member – effective April 2007)
Panel Members, continued • Susan Embretson, Professor, School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology(New Member – effective April 2007) • Francis “Skip” Fennell, Professor of Education, McDaniel College; President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics • Bert Fristedt, Professor, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota (New Member – effective April 2007) • David C. Geary, Curators’ Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri at Columbia • Russell M. Gersten, Executive Director, Instructional Research Group; Professor Emeritus, College of Education, University of Oregon
Panel Members, continued • Tom Loveless, The Herman and George R. Brown Chair, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution • Liping Ma, Senior Scholar for the Advancement of Teaching, Carnegie Foundation • Valerie F. Reyna, Professor of Human Development and Professor of Psychology, Cornell University • Wilfried Schmid, Dwight Parker Robinson Professor of Mathematics, Harvard University • Robert S. Siegler, Teresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
Panel Members, continued • James H. Simons, President of Renaissance Technologies Corporation; former Chairman, Mathematics Department, State University of New York at Stony Brook • Sandra Stotsky, Independent researcher and consultant in education; member, Massachusetts State Board of Education; former Senior Associate Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Education • Vern Williams, Mathematics Teacher, Longfellow Middle School, Fairfax, Virginia • Hung-Hsi Wu, Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Berkeley
Ex Officio Panel Members • Irma Arispe, Assistant Director for Life Sciences and Acting Assistant Director for Social and Behavioral Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President • Daniel B. Berch, Associate Chief, Child Development and Behavior Branch, Director, Mathematics and Science Cognition and Learning Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health • Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Division Director, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, National Science Foundation (New Member – effective January 2007) • Ray Simon, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education • Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, Director, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
Task Group Membership Conceptual Knowledge and Skills • Francis “Skip” Fennell, Chair • Larry Faulkner • Liping Ma • Wilfried Schmid • Sandra Stotsky Learning Processes • David Geary, Chair • Wade Boykin • Susan Embretson • Valerie Reyna • Bob Siegler • Dan Berch, Ex Officio
Task Group Membership, continued Instructional Practices • Russell Gersten, Chair • Camilla Benbow • Douglas Clements • Bert Fristedt • Tom Loveless • Vern Williams • Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Ex Officio Teachers • Deborah Ball, Chair • Jim Simons • Hung-Hsi Wu • Ray Simon, Ex Officio • Russ Whitehurst, Ex Officio
Task Group Membership, continued Assessment • Camilla Benbow, Chair • Irma Arispe, Ex Officio • Susan Embretson • Francis “Skip” Fennell • Bert Fristedt • Tom Loveless • Wilfried Schmid • Sandra Stotsky
NMP Subcommittees Standards of Evidence • Subcommittee Members: Valerie Reyna, Chair, A. Wade Boykin, Camilla Benbow and Russ Whitehurst • Dr. Mark Lipsey providing consulting services through research contractor, Abt Associates National Survey of Algebra Teachers • Subcommittee Members: Tom Loveless, Chair, Deborah Ball, Francis “Skip” Fennell, and Vern Williams • Random sample of 1000 teachers from a cross-section of 300 schools will be surveyed • Conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago (National Opinion Research Center) • Results to be presented at the September 2007 meeting
NMP Meetings • The Panel has met seven times: • National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (May 22, 2006) • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (June 28-29, 2006) • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (September 13-14, 2006) • Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (November 5-7, 2006) • Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA (January 10-11, 2007) • Fermilab and Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Chicago, IL (April 19-20, 2007) • Miami Dade College, Miami, FL (June 5-6, 2007) Future meeting dates and locations: • Washington University, St. Louis, MO (September 6-7, 2007) • Community College of Denver, Denver, CO (October 23-24, 2007) • Washington, DC area (February 2008) • The Panel continues its work between meetings by phone and email.
NMP Meetings • Meetings consist of Panel work sessions, and public comments and invited testimony from: • Mathematicians • Researchers • Parents • Educators • Textbook publishers • Software developers • Assessment companies • Others • All meetings of the full Panel are open to the public and public comments are invited.
Research Questions Conceptual Knowledge and Skills Task Group • What are the elements or major topics of algebra? • What are the essential mathematics concepts and skills at the elementary and middle grade levels that lead to success in algebra? • Does the sequence and depth of study of mathematics topics leading to algebra affect achievement in algebra?
Research Questions Learning Processes Task Group • How do children learn and achieve high levels of competence in specific areas of mathematics that are essential for algebra? These areas include whole number arithmetic, fractions, estimation, and basics in geometry and algebra, where research is available? • What are the fundamental cognitive, social, and motivational processes that affect mathematical learning? • What is the research on the math skills that children bring to school and how do these relate to later math achievement?
Research Questions Learning Processes Task Group, continued • What are the differences in math learning for boys and girls, and across ethnic and socioeconomic groups? • What are the obstacles to children learning mathematics, and what are the cognitive and educational processes that foster learning in the mathematically gifted? • What does research in the brain sciences tell us about mathematical learning and cognition?
Research Questions Instructional Practices Task Group • What is known about teaching and instructional practices and math achievement? How do explicit/direct instruction and inquiry/discovery instruction impact math/algebra achievement? • What is the role of real world problem solving in algebra/math achievement? • What is known about the use of formative assessment to enhance math achievement? • What adjustments to instruction are effective in addressing individual differences (i.e., students who are gifted in mathematics, students with disabilities/ difficulties in learning mathematics)? • What is the role of technology including computer software, calculators and graphing calculators in mathematics instruction and learning?
Research Questions Teachers Task Group • What is the relationship between the depth and quality of teachers' mathematical knowledge and students’ mathematics achievement? • What is known about programs that help teachers develop the necessary mathematical knowledge for teaching? Which of these programs have been shown to impact instructional practice and student achievement? • What evidence exists for the effectiveness of elementary math specialist teachers with regards to student achievement? What models exist for elementary math specialists and their preparation? • What types of recruitment and retention strategies are used to attract and retain highly effective teachers of mathematics? How effective are they?
Research Questions Assessment Task Group • What mathematical knowledge and skills are assessed on NAEP, TIMSS, and State tests? • How do these competencies align with the essential knowledge and skills required for eventual success in algebra as determined by NMP?
Progress to Date After 1 year, 7 plenary meetings, and many conference calls among task groups, the National Math Panel has made significant progress on the elements of the President’s Executive Order: • Learning Processes Task Group: “The processes by which students of various abilities and backgrounds learn mathematics;” • Core knowledge of cognition (e.g., working memory) and learning (e.g., the influence of practice) is being integrated with reviews of children's mathematical knowledge before formal schooling and as related to their learning of whole number arithmetic, fractions, and core areas of geometry and algebra. • As an example, findings are emerging that support the importance of practice for skill building and as an opportunity for providing a context for reinforcing key concepts and for formative assessment. • Practice also results in more automatic recall of relevant information and procedures and thus reduces the working memory demands of problem solving. • Reduced working memory demands, in turn, allow students to better attend to novel or more difficult aspects of the problem.
Progress to Date • Conceptual Knowledge and Skills Task Group: “The critical skills and skill progressions for students to acquire competence in algebra and readiness for higher levels of mathematics;” • Major topics in school algebra: • Symbols and expressions • Linear relations • Quadratic Relations • Functions • Algebra of Polynomials • Combinatorics and Finite Probability • Essential mathematics concepts and skills that lead to success in Algebra • Fluency with whole numbers • Fluency with fractions • Geometry
Progress to Date • Instructional Practices Task Group: “The role and appropriate design of systems for delivering instruction in mathematics that combine the different elements of learning processes, curricula, instruction, teacher training and support, and standards, assessments, and accountability;” • Research syntheses have been written on all 5 research questions regarding real world problems, formative assessment, cooperative learning (an aspect of student-centered versus teacher-directed learning), addressing individual differences in learning, and the role of technology • Preliminary findings on these topics have been determined and are in the process of being finalized
Progress to Date • Teachers Task Group: “The training, selection, placement, and professional development of teachers of mathematics in order to enhance students' learning of mathematics;” • Teacher content knowledge: As indicated by certification, coursework and teacher test scores, the evidence seems to indicate a positive relationship to student achievement but the results are not conclusive • Pay for performance: Of 14 quantitative studies of different programs, 13 found positive effects on student achievement
Progress to Date • AssessmentTask Group: “The role and appropriate design of standards and assessment in promoting mathematical competence;” • Met for the first organizational meeting in April 2007. • Literature review and original research is underway.
Progress to Date • National Survey of Algebra Teachers • Mid-April – June 29th, 2007 collection period • The survey is a sample of 1,000 randomly chosen public school Algebra I teachers. • As of June 15, 2007, 695 surveys have been received • Includes sets of questions on student preparation, motivation, work habits and skills • Asks teachers about their insights on curriculum and instruction and what would help all math teachers do a better job • The results and analysis will be presented at the September meeting in St. Louis. • Undertaken to learn more about the experience of algebra teachers in the classroom
NMP Outreach • Stakeholder meeting December 11, 2006 to discuss panel progress • Listserv (currently 759 subscribers) • Messages to listserv • Website: http://www.ed.gov/MathPanel • Open sessions for public comment at all NMP meetings • Media advisories for all NMP meetings • Other opportunities for coverage including: • Department’s outreach vehicles such as the TV show, Education News Parents Can Use and The Achiever newsletter • Panel representation at national association meetings/conferences
NMP Discussion Questions • Are there resources that you know of that would be useful to the Panel’s inquiry and deliberations? • How can the Panel best keep stakeholders informed of its progress? • How might the Final Report be made most useful for practitioners?
NMP Contact Information • We welcome and encourage your thoughts and feedback. Website: www.ed.gov/MathPanel Email: NationalMathPanel@ed.gov • Principal Staff • Tyrrell Flawn, Executive Director, Tyrrell.Flawn@ed.gov • Marian Banfield, Marian.Banfield@ed.gov • Jennifer Graban, Jennifer.Graban@ed.gov • Ida Eblinger Kelley, Ida.Kelley@ed.gov