BURNSVILLE, Minn.–To improve elementary mathematics performance, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Independent School District 191 recently used a No Child Left Behind grant to develop Math Mentor teachers, responsible for leading the district’s implementation of Wright Group/McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Mathematics program. The idea has generated improved math scores for students in Math Mentor classrooms.
The model designed by District 191 focused on preparing approximately 70 teachers, one at each grade level at each school, to become Math Mentors. During the 2003-2004 school year, the Math Mentor teachers began working with Everyday Mathematics, teaching the program in their classrooms and attending training sessions.
In fall 2004, all elementary classrooms in the district were using Everyday Mathematics, with the Math Mentors providing support to their colleagues who were just starting with the program. Over the summer of 2005, approximately 200 non-mentor teachers received training in Everyday Mathematics.
The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement designed a study methodology that included analysis of student test scores, teacher surveys, and classroom observations, to measure the impact of this model, It found that Math Mentor teachers positively impact student achievement results and student attitudes towards learning mathematics.
Test results have indicated clear progress. Students in District 191 take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) in the fall of each academic year beginning in the fall of Grade 3. Students who had test scores from two consecutive years of testing were included in the analysis. For example, a Grade 3 student who took the test in fall 2004 and who took the Grade 4 ITBS in 2005 would be included. The amount of change between the first and second administration of the ITBS was calculated for all students who took the test both times. Scores were further separated into categories based on students in Math Mentor classrooms and those in non-Math Mentor classrooms.
The findings show that students in Math Mentor classrooms averaged higher change scores across all three grade-band groups. A statistically significant difference was found between the Grade 4-to-5 and the Grade 5-to-6 groups, which shows that students in Math Mentor classrooms increased their composite mathematics standard scores on the ITBS at a rate greater than that of their peers in non-Math Mentor classrooms.
MATH MENTORS PROVE EFFECTIVE AT MINNESOTA DISTRICT
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Sandi Novak explained, “This program enabled the district to synchronize teachers’ learning of new mathematics content with the delivery of a new curriculum–Everyday Mathematics. The teachers are the beneficiaries of the implementation process, and the students in District 191 are the final beneficiaries of this curriculum adoption. It was a success by any measure, and hopefully its effects will persist for other initiatives.”
A teacher responding to a survey question reported these differences: “The enthusiasm that my students exhibit for math compared to previous programs is encouraging. My comfort level and effectiveness with the program have greatly improved. The mentoring experience has been largely a positive one. Meeting with colleagues across the district from other schools has been the most rewarding portion of being a math mentor.”
To chronicle District 191’s success, Wright Group recently published an Everyday Mathematics Success Story for the district. To download the complete story in PDF-format, visit:
About Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Independent School District 191
Independent School District 191 serves the cities of Burnsville, Eagan, and Savage in the metropolitan Twin Cities area. Located approximately 10 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, these three small cities have evolved from frontier and farming communities into burgeoning suburbs over the past 50 years. The district enrolls 10,700 students in Grades K-12 and operates 10 elementary schools, 3 junior high schools and 1 senior high school. The increasingly diverse student population is 76% Caucasian, 11% African American, 8% Asian American, and 4% Hispanic. Approximately 22% of the students qualify for the federally funded free and reduced-price lunch program. For more information, visit www.isd191.org.
About Everyday Mathematics
Wright Group/McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Mathematics celebrated 20 years of teaching success in 2005. This Pre-K-Grade 6 mathematics program helps student measure up to the demand for greater mathematical competence and problem-solving ability. Developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, the research-based curriculum coincides with standards established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is used in nearly 175,000 classrooms across the United States by more than 3 million children.
About Wright Group/McGraw-Hill
Wright Group/McGraw-Hill publishes innovative, alternative core and supplemental literacy and mathematics programs for differentiated instruction and teacher training in Grades Pre-K-8. The research-based approach is anchored in real-world applications and is based on the assessed needs of students, combining developmentally appropriate materials with explicit outcomes.
Wright Group is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower the success of professionals and students of all ages. McGraw-Hill Education has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 40 languages. Additional information is available at http://www.mheducation.com. For more information on Wright Group’s products, call 1-800-648-2970 or visit www.wrightgroup.com.