NEWTON, MA | September 10, 2008
Chicago Public Schools—the nation’s third largest school district— is adopting an innovative mathematics curriculum and teacher professional development program starting this year in 54 schools. The program, known as CME Project, features rigorous curricula for students, and a transformation of math instruction and professional development for teachers. The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, was developed by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
Beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, the curriculum will be used in 47 elementary schools where Algebra I is taught in grade 8, and in seven high schools where it is taught in grade 9, a total of more than 2,000 students.
Chicago Public Schools selected EDC’s research-based four-year CME Project and accompanying teacher support services as part of Chicago’s High School Transformation Program, announced in September 2006, and supported with $21 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program aims to strengthen schools with rigorous college preparatory curricula in math, science, and language arts.
Schools participating in the High School Transformation Program that adopt CME Project, one of three mathematics curricula available to them, also receive a full package of EDC’s signature professional development programs to help them use the curriculum well. Specifically designed for Chicago teachers, the programs include partnerships with local university mathematicians, personal coaching from EDC staff, and academic workshops. These partnerships are designed to ensure the successful implementation of the curriculum, enrich teachers’ knowledge of mathematics, and improve student achievement.
“EDC’s mathematics program is exactly what we have needed in Chicago schools,” said Dr. Paul Sally, a mathematician at the University of Chicago who has been working with the district for 40 years and urged the district to include EDC’s program in its reform efforts.
EDC’s curriculum is a rigorous high school mathematics program that offers teachers the traditional American course structure that includes Algebra I, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Precalculus. It promotes mathematical proficiency for all students by emphasizing deep thinking and mathematical habits of mind, as well as essential basic skills.
“We have seen teachers in Chicago with a tremendous capacity for extending their mathematics knowledge who are finding ways to engage their students to do the same,” said EDC vice president Wayne Harvey, director of the Division of Mathematics Learning and Teaching. “We are working with Chicago Public Schools with the mutual goal of realizing the potential for outstanding mathematics learning,” he said.