$5 million grant to help prepare high school seniors for college, the NSF award is funded through the federal government’s economic stimulus plan
Chicago Public Schools will work with five area universities to develop an innovative program that aims to improve mathematics and science outcomes for high school seniors.
CPS will partner with University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago and Northwestern University in forming the Chicago Transformation Teachers Institutes.
The group has received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an effective program to bolster the quality of mathematics and science instruction in CPS high schools.
“This large grant will enable us to increase the capacity of high school departments and help ensure that 12th grade courses in our schools make a strong bridge between high school and college,” said Michael Lach, Officer of Teaching and Learning at CPS and co-principal investigator on this grant.
UIC chemistry professor Don Wink, who has headed up several successful projects to improve high school science education, is CTTI’s lead principal investigator. Wink, along with top professors from the other partner universities, will create and teach graduate-level workshops and courses to about 160 select CPS high school instructors working at science and mathematics departments in CPS schools.
Those instructors, in turn, will become “team leaders,” working with administrators and other teachers on new and inspiring ways to bolster the quality of math and science education.
“We have to design a process in dialogue with the schools,” Wink said. “We’ll be listening a lot to the teachers, principals and district leaders about the criteria they want to use.”
Among the program’s goals are annual improvement in standardized test and Advanced Placement scores of at least 10 percent; development of new AP or capstone courses for CPS students; and getting freshman college students who graduated from the CTTI program to score grades of “B” or better in college math and science courses.
Beside Wink, CTTI partner university leaders include John Baldwin, professor emeritus of mathematics and Steven Tozer, professor of educational policy, both at UIC; Dean Grosshandler, research assistant professor of learning sciences at Northwestern; Norman Lederman, chairman and professor of mathematics and science education at IIT; Carolyn Narasimhan, professor of mathematical sciences at DePaul; and David Slavsky, associate professor of physics and director of the Center for Science and Math Education at Loyola. Stacy Wenzel of Loyola will coordinate the research effort.
“Few cities have a strong university-school partnership as Chicago,” Lach said. “This grant is a testament to the power of the whole city working together to advance mathematics and science education.”
Lach and Wink are scheduled to testify before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Research and Science Education Thursday.
The NSF award is funded through the federal government’s economic stimulus plan.
Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 407,000 students in 666 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.
Monique Bond, 773-553-1620