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MSPinNYC Profile

Math and Science Partnership in New York City (MSPinNYC)


Mathematics and science secondary education in the NYC school system is confronted with a number of serious problems:

(1) shortages of mathematics and science teachers, especially experienced teachers in schools characterized by poverty and by students historically underrepresented in mathematics and science;
(2) extremely low retention rates among teachers;
(3) high failure rates among students who take the 8th grade mathematics exam and required-for-graduation state mathematics and science Regents examinations;
(4) lack of preparedness of high school graduates for college level work; and
(5) schisms and poor communication between schools, between (some) university campuses, and between science, mathematics and education faculties.

To address these problems, the MSPinNYC will use the strategy of a Micro/Macro approach for reform at both the local level and system wide. At the local level, twelve hub schools will be created. Each hub school will be a clinical site for teacher training, and an exemplar for excellence in mathematics and science education. The hub schools will be developed by teams of college faculty and secondary teachers working closely together in a novel model for professional development to create cultures within the schools invested in teaching as a collaborative enterprise and research-driven classroom practices. Collaborative teaching teams of faculty and teachers will work during the summer with high school students who have failed a Regents exam. These teams will continue through the school year with collaborative lesson development and collaborative research on classroom learning. Schools of Education will be changed to include more collaborative teaching practice and a greater reliance on the scholarship of teaching. New pipelines for recruiting talented mathematics and science undergraduates into a career of teaching will be created. To create reform system wide, the MSPinNYC Macro approach will include an Advisory Board of statewide policy makers, a Council of eminent scholars in mathematics and science education, and a 'jobs-alike' structure to bring together the leadership at the public school and college levels. Important questions of policy will be raised and addressed, informed by both the scholarly and the local perspectives. The MSPinNYC Micro/Macro strategy provides a new model to approach systemic reform in large and complex systems.