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Project Title:The Kentucky Center for Mathematics (KCM) Primary Mathematics Intervention Program (PMIP)Institution Name:Northern Kentuck University Innovation Category:Research and Regional Stewardship Project Director:Daniel McGee, Executive DirectorContact Information:(859) 620-3898, mcgeed4@nku.eduWebsite:http://kymath.org
Project Description:The PMIP was established in 2006 to assure that all students in Kentucky are proficient in mathematics. The KCM works with Kentucky’s public postsecondary institutions to assure that dedicated Mathematics Intervention Teachers (MITs), embedded in over 100 elementary schools throughout Kentucky, are able to coordinate a leadership team in their schools. This is done by facilitating the growth and leadership capacity of these primary mathematics intervention teachers through rigorous, sustained, job-embedded professional learning. During the ongoing PMIP experience, MITs learn to assess and advance student numeracy using Common Core progressions and the Math Recovery Models and Frameworks. And, they enthusiastically share their passion, knowledge, and tools with colleagues, transforming the way teachers think as they evolve their abilities to guide students’ development of strong conceptual foundations.
  • To improve the short and long term performance of struggling students that work directly with a KCM trained Math Intervention teachers (MIT) at elementary schools throughout Kentucky as measured by standardized test scores.
  • To improve the overall performance of the schools with MITs in terms of the number of students that are proficient and the number of students that are not novice in Mathematics as measured by standardized test scores.
  • To improve the mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge of MITs that are trained by the KCM as measured by content and Pedagogy measures including PNM, MQI, MABS. 
  • In two cohorts at 103 elementary schools in Kentucky, an experimental group of struggling students that received help from a Math Intervention Teacher (MIT) was compared to a target group at the same school that was 20 percentage points above them. This initial 20 percent gap was closed by more than half and this improvement was sustained over four years.
  • The number of schools with a KCM trained MIT that were in the top 25% of performers in the state improved by over 30%.
  • Teachers’ attitudes and beliefs improved significantly after professional learning experiences with the KCM. 
Challenges/Problems Encountered:For a KCM trained Math Intervention Teacher (MIT) to have the desired impact on an entire school, a leadership network at the school was necessary. This leadership network needed to include the MIT, the school administration and would ideally impact the classroom mathematics instruction of all teachers at the elementary school. While the KCM has developed the expertise to provide high quality, evidence based professional learning (PL) experiences to MITs; the work involved in maintaining the school leadership network is ongoing. It requires the participation of administrators in PL experiences and periodic follow up visits to the schools.
Evaluation Approach:The program concentrated on teacher development independent of assessment and curriculum choices. Hence, in early grades, student assessment was based on whatever evaluation a school chose to use. Long term follow-ups, however, were made using a state wide standardized test that was first administered in the third grade. The administrative challenges of this were obtaining agreements with both schools and with the Kentucky Department of Education to obtain state-side and school wide data.
Potential for Replication:A fundamental element of this project is the placement of a Math Intervention Teacher (MIT) and the development of a school leadership team in an elementary school. Hence, if this project were to be replicated as it is currently structured, it would require resources to place an MIT in a school as well as building relations with schools and districts. However, many of the professional learning elements of the program could be implemented quite easily.
Additional Resources:Additional contact person: Alice Gabbard, Senior Director, gabbardal@nku.edu  (859) 572-7691(859) 572-7691
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Geoff Mearns , Presidentmearns@nku.edu
(859) 572-5123
Date Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014