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Consortium Profile


Consortium for Achievement in Mathematics and Science

Overview:

The Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) and additional Core Partners including the Educational Testing Service (ETS), Kean University and four urban school districts in New Jersey (Elizabeth Board of Education, Hillside Public Schools, Linden Public Schools and Rahway Public Schools) provide intensive, sustainable, systemic reform with the vision that all middle school students understand and are able to apply key concepts in mathematics and science. Goals for the project are:
Implementing challenging instructional programs
Building professional capacity in schools, the University, ETS, and MISE
Developing leadership among teachers, administrators, and University faculty
Developing a student-centered learning climate in every classroom, and
Building parent and community support.

The project is focusing on the urgent need for well-prepared and supported middle school mathematics and science teachers via an array of coordinated efforts that address candidate recruitment, teacher preparation, and support of teachers in schools.

A common set of standards based instructional materials in mathematics and science is selected and implemented at Grades 6-8 in all districts ensuring content rich and challenging courses for all students. A curriculum audit for assessing level of implementation is developed.

A collaborative assessment Plan that includes a standards based state-wide assessment is administered to all students at Grade 8, nationally-normed, objectively scored, standards-aligned, assessment are administered to all students grades 6 and 7. Collaborative wide end-of-unit assessments including objectively scored and free response items including performance tasks are administered to all students. ETS assists in developing performance assessments.

Professional development schools are established in partner districts. Districts identify and address professional development needs of all teachers and administrators to support effective implementation of instructional materials. Professional development is continuous and ongoing with participation by university faculty and content experts from within P [MS] 2. Attention is paid to teacher induction through mentoring and coaching. A middle school Mathematics and Science Endorsement is developed and implemented by Kean science, mathematics and education faculty, preparing candidates with the content background and knowledge of middle school instruction needed to be effective educators in middle school science and mathematics.

Project goals are realized through all project activities, in that a strong emphasis is placed on developing capacity and creating a continuous learning culture within each partner organization and promotes teacher retention. Collaborative activities have an extensive research component, and results are widely disseminated. Project activities address the needs of underrepresented students and provide strategies and models for increasing achievement and participation of all students in mathematics and science.