Goal is to increase student participation in AP classes
As part of an effort to increase rigor in instruction and overall student achievement within the Normandy Schools Collaborative, secondary and middle school teachers in the district have received professional development from trainers with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI).
“This training will lay the foundation for increasing student success,” said Sharon Helwig, assistant commissioner in the Office of College and Career Readiness. “We want to raise the expectations of both teachers for their students, and students for themselves. The idea is to markedly increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students in rigorous classes, such as Advanced Placement.”
NMSI is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to help improve education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by training teachers in those fields so they can provide the most effective instruction. NMSI programs encourage more students to develop an interest in math and science. Since 2008, NMSI has worked with more than 500 high schools in 22 states, using a combination of teacher training, student study sessions and incentives.
Teacher training in the Normandy Schools Collaborative focused on math, science and English – the most common AP areas. Test scores indicate the NMSI program can make a dramatic difference. On average, the percentage of U.S. students who achieved qualifying AP scores increased 72 percent after one year of NMSI courses in math, science and English. For African-American and Hispanic students, the number with qualifying scores increased an average of 92 percent in one year. After three years, the average increase in qualifying scores was 144 percent for all students, while the number of qualifying scores more than doubled among African-American and Hispanic students.
NMSI training for Normandy teachers was held over four days for six hours each day. Teachers were grouped together according to content area, and science teachers received their training in a laboratory.
The training was part of two weeks of professional development provided for teachers within the Normandy Schools Collaborative prior to the first day of school on August 18.