Austin Collaborative for Mathematics Education 1999-2000 Evaluation.Report as inadecuate

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The Austin Collaborative for Mathematics Education (ACME) is a districtwide initiative to improve mathematics education in all elementary and middle school classrooms in the Austin Independent School District, Texas (AISD). The initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation and the school district, provides long-term, high-quality professional development to build the instructional capacity of more than 2,000 AISD mathematics teachers. This evaluation of ACME effectiveness was based on student mathematics test results from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) and Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS); mathematics results; observations of 48 mathematics lessons and 7 professional development sessions; principal (n=88) and teacher (n=250) questionnaires, interviews with 10 teachers, AISD staff and administrators; and other AISD documents. As assessed by the ITBS, student basic mathematics knowledge has remained steady since the implementation of the ACME project. The percentage of students passing the TAAS rose from the 1998-1999 passing rates for most groups. Larger gains were seen for African American, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students even though those students continued to lag behind White students. ACME staff provided teachers with high quality, long-term professional development that was particularly effective in helping teachers who were not experienced with standards-based instruction learn how to use the designated curriculum resources. However, ACME professional development alone has not generally helped teachers who achieve a moderate level of competence become strong implementers of standards-based instruction. Recommendations are made for program improvement. Appendixes contain a discussion of gains and losses in TAAS mathematics scores, a chart of changes in professional development and implementation, and the evaluation instruments. (Contains 22 figures, 1 table, and 13 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Educational Improvement, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Inservice Teacher Education, Mathematics Education, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Professional Development, Questionnaires

Austin Independent School District, Department of Accountability, Office of Program Evaluation, 1111 W. Sixth Street, Austin, TX 78703.

Author: Batchelder, Michelle


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