Chicago Public Schools—the third largest school district in the United States—is embarking on a comprehensive high school reform effort and has turned to EDC. A mathematics program developed by EDC will be a central part of the 100-high-school reform effort.
The program includes innovative curricula for students and also features transformation of math instruction and professional development for teachers. At the center of the mathematics program is its high school curriculum, the CME Project. Schools that adopt the CME Project, one of three curricula available to schools in the district, will also receive a full package of professional development programs to help them use the curriculum well.
A rigorous, four-year high school mathematics curriculum, the CME Project offers teachers a traditional course structure that includes Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precalculus. It promotes mathematical proficiency for all students by emphasizing deep thinking and mathematical habits of mind, as well as essential skills.
The math program is one of many initiatives in the reform effort, the goal of which is to transform the entire high school experience. Professional development materials will help schools create a teaching culture where “working on mathematical problems of substance is as expected as showing up for class on time,” says EDC’s Wayne Harvey.
The professional development program, designed specifically for Chicago teachers, includes partnerships with mathematicians at the University of Chicago and other local universities, personal coaching from EDC staff, academic workshops, and study groups. These partnerships are designed to ensure the successful implementation of the curriculum, enrich teachers’ knowledge of mathematics, and improve student achievement.
“This is a major collaborative enterprise with Chicago Public Schools that will unfold over many years,” says Harvey. “I believe that years from now we will see outstanding mathematics teaching and learning in high schools in Chicago and recognize EDC’s influence in that transformation.”
Originally published on May 1, 2008