5-year teacher enhancement project MERIT: Mathematics Education
Reform Initiative for Teachers, has completed its work on
developing courses for leaders and mentors that promote colleague
teachers’ adoption of standard-based mathematics teaching at the
middle school level (grades 6-8). Using a National Science Foundation
(NSF)-funded curriculum (MathScape), the project trained 35 leaders
who led the training of 100 mentors from 46 of West Virginia's 55
county school systems.
to a control group, project evaluators found statistically
significant differences in favor of project participants in the
on standard-based math content during class;
of own preparedness to teach (algebra, geometry, statistics);
about NCTM standards; and
in use of standard-based methods (engaging students in discussions,
using math manipulatives, and justifying solutions).
project contributed to the creation of strong sustainable learning
communities--networks of leaders, mentors and teachers--that will
last beyond the federal funding period, thus providing a model for
statewide reform through leadership teams in each county school
system. This, in turn, made statistically significant impact on
students studying with MERIT teachers (compared to non-participants),
as measured by the percentage of students at or above proficient
level: grade 6, (66% vs. 55% (highly significant); grade 7, (67% vs.
62% (significant); and grade 8 (70% vs. 66% (significant).
University and State College Systems of West Virginia, West Virginia
Council of Teachers of Mathematics, West Virginia Mathematics and