The Idaho Department of Education is working with Boise State University in hopes of training 9,500 teachers and school administrators to improve math instruction in the state’s public schools, the Idaho Statesman reports. The state is negotiating with professor Jonathan Brendefur, director of the university’s Institute for Developing Mathematical Thinking, on a one-year, $450,000 contract to guide the math instruction of 1,800 educators next year. The state might spend about $3.9 million altogether on a new approach to math teaching and learning. Idaho is in the early stages of a plan to boost sagging math scores among public school students from kindergarten to 10th grade. Testing shows nearly 90 percent of Idaho’s students are proficient in math in the fourth grade, but that number dips to 77 percent by their sophomore year. Brendefur has patterned his approach on research on Dutch arithmetic instruction and already has brought math instruction training to a few Idaho schools. He has now been asked to transform his small program into a statewide plan…

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