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Math Science Partnership of Southwest Pennsylvania: Measuring Progress Toward Goals

Abstract

In 2003, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit received a grant under the National Science Foundation's Math and Science Partnership program to establish the Math Science Partnership of Southwest Pennsylvania (MSP). The MSP brings together regional K-12 school districts, institutions of higher education, and intermediate units with the goals of increasing K-12 students' knowledge of mathematics and science, improving the quality of the K-16 educator workforce, and creating sustainable partnerships among participants. To achieve these goals, the MSP has instituted a variety of activities, including leadership academies, fellowship programs, and networking opportunities, to enact three key intervention strategies: professional development for content and leadership, curriculum alignment and pedagogical and course refinement, and support for and dissemination of research-based resources and tools. As RAND's involvement with the MSP comes to an end (the MSP will continue through 2010), the findings presented here provide preliminary evidence regarding the MSP's progress. The analyses draw on five years of qualitative and quantitative MSP data, including interviews, surveys, participation records, student achievement assessments, and other sources. The findings suggest that MSP partners are making progress toward the three MSP goals, although statistical analysis did not find evidence that the MSP was directly responsible for this progress.

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