A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
FY 1999 Annual Plan - Volume 1. Objective Performance Plans and Data Quality - February 27, 1998
Objective 2.3. Every eighth-grader masters challenging mathematics, including the foundations of algebra and geometry.
Context: Mathematics is a basic skill--the gateway to learning many more advanced skills, and a prerequisite for success in a wide variety of careers. Results from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which compared mathematics and science achievement of students from the U.S. and other countries, show that the U.S. is the only country that scored above the international average at the fourth grade and below the international average at the eighth grade. Mathematics, like reading, has a key academic turning point; for mathematics this occurs around the eighth grade. Ninth-graders are often put on different tracks that they follow through high school and beyond; mathematics often determines what that track will be.
Key strategies for FY 1999
- ED-NSF action strategy. Support the ED-NSF Action Strategy to improve mathematics instruction and achievement through the $33.7 million request in new funding for Eisenhower Professional Development Federal Activities (which is coupled with an NSF request for $28 million), including $22 million to develop professional development leaders, support teacher networks, support capacity-building grants to assist school districts in planning coherent use of federal and other funds to improve mathematics education, and create technology-based materials that emphasize teaching for conceptual understanding of mathematics while at the same time ensuring mastery of the basics.
- Research-based information and public engagement in mathematics education improvement. Provide high-quality instructional materials over the Internet. The request for Eisenhower Professional Development Federal Activities also includes a $10 million request to significantly expand technical assistance in mathematics and science education, and $1.7 million to expand the dissemination of professional development and mathematics materials through the Eisenhower Consortia and National Clearinghouse. Support the development of a National Voluntary Test in mathematics and encourage support among urban school districts. Launch ED-NSF national information and engagement campaign based on using challenging mathematics items and student work to inform the public and provide opportunities for parents and volunteers to support improved student achievement. Develop and widely disseminate clear, research-based information on the importance of challenging middle school mathematics.
- Research and evaluation. Support research from many disciplines on such areas as (1) the implications of recent brain research on cognitive development and early learning, (2) classroom-based strategies for improving student achievement in mathematics and reading, and (3) the contributions that technology can make to teaching and learning reading and mathematics through the $50 million request for an interagency research initiative involving the Department and the National Science Foundation (which will contribute an additional $25 million). Conduct additional Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) studies, evaluate the Eisenhower State Professional Development program, school implementation of standards-based reform and the Title I program, and develop a continuous feedback system for monitoring the effectiveness of Department strategies.
- Challenging state standards and services to special populations, such as students who are low-income and disadvantaged. Support state and local efforts to help low-income and low-achieving students meet challenging state and performance standards in mathematics that states are required to have in place by the 1997-98 school year through the $7.8 billion request for Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies. The Department is requesting $476 million for Goals 2000 State Grants, which will support the development of assessments aligned with the content and performance standards in mathematics that states are expected to put in place by 1998. The budget includes a $200 million Education Opportunity Zones investment in FY 1999 and $1.5 billion over 5 years would strengthen schools and help students master basic and advanced skills where the need is greatest--in urban and rural communities with concentrated poverty and low expectations for student performance.
- Teacher recruitment, preparation, and support. Emphasize the importance of providing sustained, intensive, high-quality professional development for mathematics teachers in grades 5-8, as called for in the ED-NSF Action Strategy for improving achievement in mathematics. The $335 million request for Eisenhower Professional Development State Grants helps states train teachers to prepare their students to meet high standards in all core subjects, but the program reserves $250 million for professional development in mathematics and the sciences. The Department's proposal for the reauthorization of Title V of the Higher Education Act includes $30 million for a Lighthouse Partnerships program that would identify a variety of institutions that prepare teachers well, and promote the expansion of their best practices to other institutions. In selecting Lighthouse Partnerships, priority would be given to institutions committed to preparing teachers of mathematics and of reading. Promote improved preparation of teachers of mathematics. Support development by mathematics professional organizations of exemplary standards for mathematical preparation of K - 12 teachers. Identify existing exemplary teacher preparation programs in mathematics and gain college commitments to support high quality teacher preparation.
- High Hopes College-school partnerships. Ensure that children have access to the rigorous core courses, especially algebra and geometry, that prepare them for college. The President's FY 1999 budget includes $140 million to promote partnerships between colleges and middle or junior high schools in low-income communities to get and keep students on the track to college.
- Extended learning time for mathematics. Promote learning and enrichment in such areas as computer skills, math and reading, as well as the arts, drama, music and community service through expansion of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program.
- ED-NSF interagency strategy. Coordinate with Departments of Commerce, Interior, Transportation, Defense, Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health, and the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA), in partnership with NSF, to implement an interagency action strategy for improving achievement in mathematics and science. This strategy will lay out a coordinated set of activities for NSF and ED, as well as other agencies, and is guiding budgetary and programmatic priorities. Some of these activities are listed below.
- National Science Foundation. Jointly award capacity-building grants with NSF to strengthen the coordination of federal programs in supporting challenging mathematics.
Programs supporting this objective
Standards for mathematics
- Goals 2000: Educate America Act
- Eisenhower Professional Development State Grants
- Higher Education Act (HEA), Title V
|Technical Assistance and dissemination
- Fund for the Improvement of Education
- Eisenhower Federal Activities
- Eisenhower Regional Consortia
- Comprehensive Regional Assistance Centers
- National Education Research Institutes
- Regional Education Laboratories
- Eisenhower Professional Development Federal Activities
- IDEA: Research and Dissemination
- Statistics and Assessment
Selected performance indicators and charts
Performance indicators for objective 2.3 focus on expected outcomes for students in mathematics and on progress in implementing key strategies to achieve these results. The Department is monitoring progress on this objective in terms of the national trends in teacher preparation and ongoing professional development, student course taking, and schools' access to and use of information on best practices for mathematics instruction. The Department is also focusing on increasing public understanding and support for mastering challenging mathematics by the end of the eighth grade.
Increasing percentages of eighth-graders reach the basic level or higher levels of proficiency in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); on international assessments, at least 60% will score at the international average by 2002. (Goal 2, indicator 8)
Indicator background and context. U.S. students have shown progress in their mathematics achievement on NAEP over the years, yet many still fail to achieve to the high standards needed for future success. In 1996, 61 percent of students scored at or above the basic level on NAEP compared to 51 percent in 1990. In 1996, 45 percent of U.S. eighth-graders scored at the international average on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). TIMSS showed that although U.S. fourth-graders perform above the international average in math, our eighth-graders, and twelfth graders scored below the international average.
Data source. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1990, 1992, 1996 Mathematics Assessment. The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), 1995 8th-grade Assessment.
Each year, more teachers in grades 5-8 will complete intensive professional development to enable them to teach challenging mathematics. (Goal 2, indicator 11)
Indicator background and context.Only 28 percent of U.S. teachers participated in an in-depth professional development program in mathematics.
Data source. Schools and Staffing Surveys, 1993-94.
Verification/validation of performance measures: Indicator data will draw from rigorously designed surveys (e.g., the National Assessment of Educational Progress, replication of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the eighth grade, and ongoing administration of the Schools and Staffing Surveys. Independently conducted program evaluations at school and district levels will assess staff access to, knowledge of, and use of best practices information.