Grant targets math instruction in Pittsburgh Public Schools
Pittsburgh Public Schools has won a $3.4 million grant to help more students take Advanced Placement classes in math, get better grades in the subject and attend college without having to take remedial math.
The Education Development Center, a Washington nonprofit, will award the money over five years from $8 million it received from the National Science Foundation. The grant targets about 13,000 students in grades 6-12.
“We want to reduce what we perceive as an opportunity gap in this district,” said Chuck Munter, assistant professor of mathematics education at the University of Pittsburgh.
Pitt is the school district's partner on the grant along with the center, Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities. Duquesne will evaluate the effectiveness of the project. Pitt and Carnegie Mellon will train teachers.
The school board will discuss the grant on Wednesday and vote on whether to accept it at the Oct. 23 meeting.
“You're going to see students engaging in mathematics in ways similar to what ... mathematicians would be doing,” said Jeff Ziegler, curriculum supervisor for grades 6-12 math in the district.
Educators say the grant will change the way math is taught in the city. Much of math instruction now focuses on the result, said Al Cuoco, distinguished scholar at the Education Development Center.
“One of the goals is to elevate the methods of coming up with a solution and thinking about it to the same level of importance as the results themselves,” he said.
Jerri Lynn Lippert, chief academic officer for the district, said the project will help it meet the new Common Core standards. She said district officials hope the grant will reduce the achievement gap between white and black students in math.
More white students than black students in the district scored at a proficient or advanced level on state math tests in 2011-12. The difference was nearly 30 percentage points.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.