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MSP Conferences

MSP Learning Network Conference Plenary Sessions

Day 1 - January 31st

SessionBreakout Session TitlePresentersDescription
1 Assesing mathematical content knowledge of middle school teachers Heather Hill, University of Michigan This session will cover the history of and alternative methods for measuring teachers' knowledge of teaching mathematics. The session will explore a variety of existing methods and tools for measuring teachers' mathematical teaching knowledge, and describe one project designed to supply such tools to the research community. Participants will also be able to network with others interested in using such measures.
2 Assessing science content knowledge of middle school teacher Sean Smith, Horizon Research Inc. This session will describe efforts by one MSP RETA (ATLAST) to develop measures of teachers' science knowledge. Sample items will be discussed, as well as lessons learned about the types of teacher knowledge that can be assessed. Participants will also receive information about when these measures will be available for use.
3 K-12 Student Science Assessment Instruments Phillip Sadler, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics The effectiveness of MSP activities can be measured through the assessment of changes in students' and teachers' attitudes, skills, and conceptual understandings. Our team has been particularly engaged in the development, validation, and application of instruments that measure student understanding. We will consider the problems involved in aligning tests with nation standards, incorporation of cognitive research on student conceptions, and underlying psychometric properties of items and their assembly into test instruments.
4 Student Assessment Math and Science: Developing Curriculum Sensitive Measures William Schmidt,
Michigan State University
PROM/SE will implement a unique design for large-scale mathematics and science improvements using evidence from assessments to improve standards and the quality of teaching.
5 OGAP - A Developing Model of Cognitively Based Assessment Marge Petit and Beth Hulbert, Vermont Mathematics Partnership Implications for Formative Assessment, Instruction, Content Course Development, and School Intervention.
6 On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness: Judging the Quality of K-12 Mathematics Evaluations. A report of the National Research Council Jere Confrey, Washington Univ., St. Louis and Chair of the NAS/NRC Committee This session will discuss the NRC report that reviewed the evaluations of 13 NSF supported and 6 commercially developed mathematics curricula. The goals in writing the report were twofold: examine evidence currently available from the evaluation of effetiveness of mathematics curricula and 2) suggest ways to improve the quality and usefulness of evaluations.
7 MARS Toolkit for Change Agents: linking challenges to tools through strategies. Change is made by people - but people are more effective when they have well-engineered tools to help them. Mary Bouck The web-based Toolkit provides a framework for those active in standards-based improvement to share the challenges they face, and the tools that have helped tackle those challenges more effectively.
8 Alignment of K-Science and Mathematics Content. Susana Navarro, UTEP
Alicia Parra, UTEP
Lucy Michal, UTEP
Jan Kettlewell, University System of Georgia
This session will focus on the way two MSPs are working to provide coherence in the mathematic and science courses through the K-16 courses.
9 The Role of Standards-based Reform Including Interim Tests of Student Achievement in MSP Work Lauren Resnick, University of Pittsburgh Andy Porter, Vanderbilt Univ. This session focuses on urban district curriculum centralization policies and practices. Are the MSP's operating in districts that are using standards-based reform to align teaching and learning with standards and tests? What initiatives are being used to increase alignment? Is the target of alignment the standards, the tests or are these so well aligned that there is no distinction? Are the districts using interim tests and if so, what subjects and what grade levels? Are the interim tests aligned with the end of year tests and the standards? How are results of the interim tests used? How does the approach appear to be working in terms of advancing student achievement? Are improvements seen at all levels of proficiency?
10 Networking for MSP project evaluators Joy Frechtling, Westat Evaluators will meet to discuss the particular challenges involved in MSP projects, with particular emphasis on evaluating challenging courses and curriculum at all levels.
11 The Management Information System: IHE and PI modules Gary Silverstein, Westat
Robyn Bell, Westat
Ed Mann, Westat
Tentative findings to date will be discussed. Participants will also have the opportunity to comment on the modules.
12 Sustainable immersion of all children of large urban district in extended, full cycle inquiry: What does it take and what results are found? Christian Schunn, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Terry Millar, Univ. of Wisconsin
One of our goals is to have all students engage every year in an extended, in-class, authentic science full-cycle inquiry project (typically 4-6 weeks in length). There are many challenges to making that happen in urban districts, but we have made progress, thinking through how to create such experiences that align with state standards, maximize the learning gains from the in-depth experience, develop sustainable in-district support, align with IHE resources for in and pre-service connections, etc.
13 Use of Surveys of Enacted Curriculum to evaluate and report on math and science course content. Rolf Blank, CCSSO
William Badders, Cleveland Public Schools
Paulette Poncelet, CMSD
The CCSSO RETA project has demonstrated the use of the Enacted Curricululm survey and reporting system with several MSPs, especially for analyzing instrution, differences in course conent, and evaluating effects of professional development. Cleveland MSP has used the Surveys as part of its project evaluation and will be demonstrating how the data are reported and used.
14 How will we know challenging science courses and institutes for teachers are effective? Ron Atwood, Univ. of Kentucky AMSP has utilized multiple-choice tasks with non-scientific conceptions embedded in the distractor options to assess preservice and inservice teachers' conceptual understanding before and after completing "challenging" courses and institutes. Examples and results will be shared. Advantages and disadvantages of this approach and alternative approaches will be discussed.
15 MSPnet: What it can do for you? Joni Falk, TERC
Brian Drayton, TERC
Shay Pokress, TERC
The breakout will introduce new tools for creating workgoups, sharing documents, organizing resources, and facilitating online dialogue. There will also be time to discuss needs and suggestions for on-line tools and events.

Day 2 - February 1st

SessionBreakout Session TitlePresentersDescription
1 Measuring the Content of Instruction and Alignment in MSP Districts: Tools and Their Uses Andy Porter, Vanderbilt University Standards-based reform is intended to engage all students in ambitious academic content in math/science (and other subjects). At the top, policies are to be aligned in their content message to teachers and instructional leaders. At the bottom, instruction is to come increasingly into alignment with the instructional guidance (e.g. content standards, assessments, professional development). Teachers, instructional leaders and policy makers need tools to measure the content of the intended, enacted and achieved curriculum. They also need tools for measuring the resulting degrees of alignment. This session will describe tools to meet these needs and illustrate their use.
2 Evaluation Support from two RETAs: What can they do to help you? Catherine Callow-Heusser,
Utah State
Norman Webb,
Univ. of Wisconsin
This session will present information on the types of support these RETA projects can give the MSP Partnership projects as they develop their evaluations.
3 The Management Information System (MIS) for K-12 modules Gary Silverstein, Westat
Robyn Bell, Westat
Ed Mann, Westat
Tentative findings to date will be discussed. Participants will also have the opportunity to comment on the modules.
4 MSP overall Program Evaluation: Year one activities Robert Yin, COSMOS The MSP-PE team will provide an overview of its Year-1 evaluation activities of the MSP Program. The overview will include a discussion of evaluating the MSP Program from a context of discovery and a context of justification and highlight potential substudies. The MSP-PE team will also be available to answer questions about the evaluation.
5 Math Masters Project: Short Courses for Inservice Teachers Terry Millar, Univ. of Wisconsin
Brian Sniff, Madison Metropolitan SD
Through the Math Masters project, the Madison Metropolitan School District and the University of Wisconsin Madison's Department of Mathematics have developed an ongoing, intensive, program of content-based teacher professional development that brings the partners' middle school mathematics teachers together in courses team-taught by the mathematicians and the MMSD secondary mathematics resource teacher. In addition to content knowledge, teachers receive content-specific pedagogical instruction and other forms of pedagogical support and modeling that help them create standards-based mathematics classrooms and effectively utilize the "Connected Mathematics Project" The project will give an overview of the program and results to date.
6 Developing an Undergraduate Science Content Course Sequence for Future Elementary Teachers: Considerations, Challenges, and a Call for Collaboration Pinky Nelson, Western Washington Univ. The North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership is developing a year-long science sequence for future elementary teachers that will be piloted next academic year to be taught at Whatcom, Everett, and Skagit Valley Community Colleges, Northwest Indian College, and Western Washington University. This session will describe the courses, the development process, some challenges that we are facing. The project has a need to identify and share existing materials and associated research that can be incorporated into courses like these, especially in Earth and life science. Participants will share suggestions for collaboration on potential curriculum components.
7 An overview on the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) recommendations on the Mathematical Education of Teachers. Jim Lewis, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln Mathematics Content Courses for Middle Level Teachers-information will be shared based upon experiences gained from implementing a first course.
8 Knowledge of Mathematics for Teaching: How to Define it? How to assess it? How to achieve it? Glenn Stevens, Boston U.
Wayne Harvey, Education Development Center
Al Cuoco, Education Development Center
Sabra Lee, PERG, Lesley University
Carol Baldassari, PERG, Lesley University
Teachers need challenging mathematical experiences of their own as models for developing challenging but accessible experiences for their students. But what "knowledge" do we hope teachers will learn from these experiences and how will this knowledge affect their work in the classroom? This session will focus on the theme of "Knowledge of Mathematics for Teaching" --how to define it, how to develop it in teachers, how to recognize and evaluate it, and how to increase appreciation and support for it among leaders in the school districts and in the universities. There will be time for full discussion of ideas and strategies related to these questions.
9 Multiple Options for Challenging Courses and Curriculum Lee Sloan, Del Mar College
Dwight Goode, Texas A&M-Kingsville
Harriet Lamm, AIMS
Nancy Knobles, AIMS
The AIMS Leadership Team will discuss how the vision of Challenging Courses and Curriculum has varied in the partnership and how they have successfully negotiated to achieve the MSP objective through multiple venues: prek-12 standards-based mathematics instruction; intensive professional development of instructional methodology aligned with the standards-based curriculum; coaching/mentoring for pedogogy adoption; and unique technology applications for instructional support.
10 Title 1/Mathematics Initiative at the U.S. Dept. of Education Pat Ross, U.S. Department of Education TBD
11 Teachers Learning Science Online: What Formative Assessment Can Reveal Sue Doubler, TERC In this breakout session, examples of assessment strategies used in the Lesley/TERC Online Master's program, e.g., thought experiments, project rubrics, discussion analysis, peer and self-assessment, will be shared in order to seed discussion of possible ways of finding out what teachers learn.
12 Elementary and Middle School Teachers as Mathematicians: The Vermont model for providing challenging courses and curricula Ken Gross, University of Vermont The Vermont Mathematics Initiative will present a successful model for K-8 content based mathematics professional development, which is being disseminated to sites in other states.
13 In-Service Training for an Inquiry-Based Science Program in North Carolina. Dave Smith, TASC
Norm Budnitz, TASC
The TASC Program was designed to introduce school districts to inquiry-based science by providing affordable materials and professional development. TASC trainers are not in a position to force teachers to examine their knowledge and misconceptions or to integrate new knowledge into their thinking and teaching. Not all teachers willingly accept the challenge, but TASC must entice them nonetheless. As a matter of necessity, the program's trainers have found ways to get teachers to grapple with science content. Two TASC trainers will share the experience of presenting teachers with the challenge to learn and demonstrate a few techniques.
14 RETA Projects and MSPnet - One on one or team sessions Joni Falk, TERC
Brian Drayton, TERC
Shay Pokress, TERC
- Explore ways that MSPnet can support collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst the RETAs.
- Explore ways that MSPnet can support the RETAs dissemination of their tools and research within the MSP community.
- Update the RETA showcase so that it will be a more accurate and interactive representation of the RETAs' work for the other MSPs' as well as for the public at large.
15 Status Report on Mathematics Standards: Where are we today? Presenters:
Jim Rubillo, Executive Director, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Roger Howe, Mathematics Dept., Yale University, and IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute

Herb Clemens, Mathematics Dept., Ohio State University, and IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute
In July, 2004, the State Supervisors of Mathematics of the 50 States were invited by their professional association, ASSM, and the leadership of the NCTM, to come together at the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute to examine and compare their various state standards in mathematics within the framework of the NCTM standards. A group of research mathematicians who have been active in school mathematics issues was invited to participate and to formulate an analysis of fundamental mathematical strands which were common (or not) to the various State Standards. Two perspectives on this exercise will be presented, focusing on the (perhaps surprising) data which is emerging and the very promising dialogue which it is engendering. There will be opportunities for questions and discussion throughout the presentation.