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ED Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program Highlights


"This policy brief was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education as part of Abt Associates' contract to support their Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP) Program. The intent of this report is to highlight the work and reform innovations from the U.S. Department's MSP Program for federal and state-level staff as well as practitioners and educators in the STEM community.

To compile this report, the authors reviewed data from three sources: (a) the 2009-2010 state-issued requests for proposal (RFP) for each of the 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico; (b) annual performance reports (APRs) submitted by local projects describing activities taking place between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010 (the most recent data available at the time this report was prepared); and (c) supplemental information from state MSP coordinators. The RFP review was undertaken to determine the level of national prominence that each of the key goals of outlined in the program legislation held during this period.

The report is divided into two sections. Part 1 provides a program overview, in order to present a national picture of program activities and outcomes. It begins with a synopsis of key features of effective teacher professional development identified through research. Then, the report outlines the Allowable Activities in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation which defined the components of this formula grant program. Lastly, Part 1 describes some interesting trends about the science and mathematics content covered in MSP projects and the professional development deployed through the MSP Program.

Part 2 of the report discusses program outcomes in three areas: augmenting state-wide science and mathematics reform efforts; encouraging rigorous project evaluation designs to better understand the effect of professional development interventions; and changing individual teachers' and students' science and mathematics knowledge and classroom experience. By looking at program outcomes in these three areas, a more complete picture emerges of how the program has influenced changes at the state level, within the education evaluation community, and on individual learning. Finally, Appendix A includes a snapshot of MSP projects by state."