Project Summary (Archive)

History of the Project


Grant Summary 

Project Goals:

1. To increase the percentage of students scoring proficient or above on the KCCT. 

  • In 2004, 38% of the students in the district scored proficient or distinguished in math.
  • In 2004, 37% of the students in the district scored proficient or distinguished in science.

2. To reduce the achievement gaps to meet NCLB goals. 

3. To increase the percentage of graduates enrolling in college from 64% to 71% over the four-year implementation.  

Component I: Constituency Engagement

Goal

To embed the project in existing community infrastructures to support implementation and sustainability.

External Activities

1. GLI Education Task Force will incorporate math and science with literacy in the work of the Task Force and the committees of the Task Force including quarterly reports on implementation progress and assessment data.

2. GLI Education Task Force Community Engagement Subcommittee will expand their current activities that provide out-of-school literacy tutoring, enrichment, and mentoring activities to include math and science.

3. Greater Louisville Project will sponsor a community-wide education campaign on the importance of student achievement, especially in math and science. This campaign will include groups like neighborhood associations, faith-based groups, PTA, radio and television media, community newspapers, and foundations. This effort may include garnering resources to support this activity.

4. Louisville Urban League’s Annual Education Summit will focus on math and science achievement and implementation of this project.

Internal Activities

A Project Steering Committee will be established to guide development and implementation of the identified activities, especially those activities related to curriculum and instruction. Membership will include the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, core project team, teacher and principal representatives, research and evaluation representative, JCTA, and GE Educational Liaison.

Component II: Management Capacity

Goal

To utilize the managerial strength of GE to improve the managerial capacity and effectiveness of the school district.

Activity

GE and the district will collaborate on training district department/role groups in the Six Sigma process to improve customer service, quality control, and accountability.

  • District departments will be identified for participation and a calendar for training and implementation will be developed.
  • School-based role groups will be identified for participation and a calendar for training and implementation will be developed.

Component III: Curriculum and Professional Development

Goal

To Improve student achievement in math and science.

Activities

1. World Class standards in math and science
2. Common Core curriculum in math and science
3. Interventions
4. Professional development

  • Marzano
  • data analysis and application
  • content specific
  • Guskey 5 Levels of Evaluation

5. Frequent, on-going, and common assessments
6. Teacher pre-service
7. Participation by elementary schools will require 2/3 vote by faculty.

Component IV: GE Leadership and Volunteerism

Goal

To involve GE employees in meaningful and diverse ways with the public schools.

Possible Activities

1. Science Module school inventory volunteer
2. Science Fair judges
3. Louisville Science Center Inquiry Fest volunteer
4. Mentor for students and teachers in real world applications of math and science
5. Mentor for students to increase interest in college attendance
6. Mentor for students to improve performances that link to increasing numbers of students who attend college.


World Class Standards

Both the math and science departments began their work on this grant by developing the idea of "world-class standards." Based on the curriculum and standards used in high performing countries such as Singapore and Japan, these standards differ from current standards in that there are fewer per grade but they allow teachers to teach more deeply without rushing through a topic. Students continue to learn the same number of topics throughout their school careers, but they may not repeat the same topics over and over in each grade. This allows time for teachers to teach deeply and for students to master a concept before moving on to the next.

Science world-class standards were developed in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. JCPS experts then worked to refine and align the standards with state curriculum and the needs of our district. Science module curriculum and materials now in use in the district align with the world-class standards and the science team works to help teachers fill in gaps when the modules do not address all of the standards.

A team of national mathematics and curriculum experts has evaluated the first draft of the JCPS World-Class Standards in Mathematics and offered suggestions for improvement. A key recommendation was to develop standards for conceptual understandings in addition to the original standards for assessment. The revised, nationally validated standards will be used to guide the collaborative investigation and selection of the mathematics curriculum materials. The current standards are available by clicking this link.

Inquiry and Investigation in Science

Science takes center stage in the 2006-07 school year as the district’s elementary and middle schools prepare to implement inquiry based science modules this year. A science module is an all-inclusive kit that provides “hand-on, minds-on” activities that help students learn both scientific processes and concepts. This research-based approach to teaching science provides both the needed laboratory materials as well as a high level of support for teachers while encouraging students to develop their questioning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.

More than $7 million of the grant from the GE Foundation has been used to purchase science modules and provide training for 700 elementary and middle school teachers during the summer. Additional training is taking place throughout the school year on district Gold Days. This training will be delivered to teachers in geographically grouped cadres. Professional development will continue to be delivered in chunks so that teachers new to the modules can get timely, hands-on training for upcoming modules. The cadres provide a professional learning community where teachers can share challenges, tips and suggestions, as well as providing implementation support.

At the high school level work has included revising the high school freshman Integrated Science 1A Course. The team is narrowing and focusing the topics to give teachers time to go deeper. The course is being revised to reflect a common, conceptual thread. Integrated 1A teachers received the first six weeks of curriculum materials, including complete lesson plans and materials for students to engage in inquiry investigations and professional development on the revised course. Throughout the year, teachers will continue to receive more materials and training. The team’s next steps include determining common lab investigations for other high school courses such as biology, chemistry and physics. 


SuccessMaker® Chosen as a Key Component in Interventions

JCPS has identified a new resource to help struggling students reach proficiency in mathematics. The district is purchasing SuccessMaker®, a software program that uses individual computer-based tutorial sessions to assess and intervene with students performing below grade level in math concepts and skills. 

The software is in use in other districts including Fayette and Daviess counties in Kentucky. Both districts are reporting that schools have posted significant gains in KCCT scores in math, which helped to close their achievement gaps. 

In addition, the Miami-Dade County Schools in Florida reported a significant drop in the number of schools in assistance under No Child Left Behind as a result of implementing SuccessMaker® and strong longitudinal results for their students on the FCAT, Florida’s state accountability exam. All of the districts contacted reported positive experiences with SuccessMaker® in the areas of technology support, teacher management, student engagement, and most importantly impact on mathematics achievement.    

JCPS will spend more than $600,000 of grant funds to purchase licenses for schools based upon student need. The district also will ensure that schools have the technology support required for implementing the software. SuccessMaker® provides students with the individualized support that is necessary to address learning concerns and move them to proficiency in mathematics. Additionally, SuccessMaker® is part of the mathematics system being developed.


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