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Council on Postsecondary Education awards $895,000 in federal funds to improve P-12 educator quality

Friday, 11 16, 2012

Sue Patrick
502-573-1555
Cell: 502-330-6596
Sue.Patrick@ky.gov

For the 11th consecutive year, the Council on Postsecondary Education awarded federal grant funds to improve P-12 educator quality through professional development programs.

The Improving Educator Quality (IEQ) grants, totaling $895,000, were awarded to four lead institutions, including Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University and University of Kentucky.

Included in the proposals are partnerships with the University of Louisville, Hazard Community and Technical College, Madisonville Community College, the Kentucky Center for Mathematics, Thomas More College, as well as local high-need school districts.

“These partnerships are breaking new ground in priority content areas, and as a result, more high school students will graduate college and career ready,” said Council President Bob King.

The focus of the program this year is on fully integrating the Common Core Standards by assisting teachers in providing intervention in content areas for students in need of accelerated learning, which helps successful students advance to the next stage and helps struggling students catch up.

To be eligible, a partnership must include a postsecondary institution’s school of arts and sciences, its teacher preparation program, as well as a high-need local school district.

The projects, lead institutions and grant awards are listed below.

  • Reading for the 21st Century: Improving Reading Comprehension Through Project-Based Learning, Morehead State University, $135,000--Year 2
  • Developing Standards-Based Digital Content for Next Generation Learning, Murray State University, $90,000--Year 2
  • Continuous Assessment and Algebraic Thinking: Keys for Career and College Readiness, University of Kentucky, $150,000--Year 2
  • Algebraic Dynamic Duo: Integrating Hands-On Learning and Problem Solving to Increase Student Achievement, Morehead State University, $130,000
  • Success in Algebra: Improving Special Education Teaching Practice, University of Kentucky, $130,000
  • FLIP: Using Video Podcasts for Mathematics Instruction and Intervention, Northern Kentucky University, $130,000
  • Collaborative for Inquiry-Based Instruction, Northern Kentucky University, $130,000

More detailed descriptions follow.

Morehead State University: $135,000—Year 2
Reading for the 21st Century: Improving Reading Comprehension through Project-Based Learning
Krista Barton, principal investigator
Morehead State University, in collaboration with Hazard Community and Technical College, will engage with 60 science, social studies, reading and collaborating special needs teachers in a professional development delivery system that begins with on site data assessment meetings in every school followed by a summer institute. The project will enhance skills in recognizing reading difficulties and making appropriate content-based interventions or referrals for assistance in reading instruction. The project will also help teacher implement instructional practices, informed by scientifically based research, for teaching reading for comprehension in social studies and science.

Murray State University: $90,000—Year 2
Developing Standards-Based Digital Content for Next Generation Learning
Yuejin Xu, principal investigator
Murray State University, in collaboration with Madisonville Community College, will offer professional development to help mathematics teachers meet the requirements of the Common Core Standards and help them to learn to effectively use standards-based digital content for smart devices for students in need of accelerated learning. Through intensive summer training and online mentoring throughout the school year, participating teachers will gain insight into the new standards for mathematics and explore effective strategies for empowering their students to use standards-based digital content for smart devices to better serve their students of the digital generation.

University of Kentucky: $150,000—Year 2
Continuous Assessment and Algebraic Thinking: Keys for Career and College Readiness
Kimberly Zeidler-Watters, principal investigator
The University of Kentucky, in collaboration with the University of Louisville, will provide approximately 60 teachers the content and strategies necessary for them to engineer effective classroom experiences for their students. The focus will be on deepening participating teachers’ understanding of the content and pedagogical content knowledge necessary to teach the algebra standards in middle and high school. Additionally, the project will address the foundational elementary standards necessary for success in algebra.

University of Kentucky: $130,000
Success in Algebra: Improving Special Education Teaching Practice
Kimberly Zeidler-Watters, principal investigator
The University of Kentucky will provide content and strategies for special education teachers to facilitate and develop effective classroom experiences for their students. The content focus will be on developing a deeper understanding for the teacher participants on number concepts as they relate to success in algebra. The interventions are necessary for special needs students who have gaps in learning so they are prepared for and can be successful in Algebra I courses. The proposal will target 20 special education middle and high school mathematics teachers.

Northern Kentucky University: $130,000
Collaborative for Inquiry-Based Instruction
Jennifer Stansbury Koening and Susan Cook, principal investigators
Northern Kentucky University, in collaboration with Thomas More College, will expand support for the professional learning community of Instructional Coaches established by the Northern Kentucky Partnership Academy. CIBI will promote best practices of inquiry-based and project-based instructional strategies during workshops convened by postsecondary experts of Teacher Education, Mathematics, Sciences, and Literacy. Participants will engage in experiential instruction that builds their capacity to effectively coach teachers to implement inquiry-based instructional strategies and implement project-based instructional strategies to accelerate student learning.

Morehead State University: $130,000
Algebraic Dynamic Duo: Integrating Hands-On Learning and Problem Solving to Increase Student Achievement
Krista Barton, principal investigator
The Morehead State University will engage 40 middle and high school math and math-collaboration special education teachers. The project’s objectives are (1) identify students in need of accelerated learning through rigorous and scientifically researched assessment practices to make appropriate content-based interventions for assistance in algebra instruction, especially students beyond 8th grade still struggling with Algebra concepts, (2) implement instructional practices, informed by scientifically based research, for teaching algebra with a focus on depth of knowledge in algebraic concepts as defined by Common Core Standards, (3) fully integrate EPAS professional development that assists teachers in analyzing EPAS scores to inform instruction and strategies to assist students achievement on these tests, and (4) empower teachers through self-reflection and analysis in the creation of individual action plans.

Northern Kentucky University: $130,000
FLIP: Using Video Podcasts for Mathematics Instruction and Intervention
Theodore Hodgson and Renee Campoy, principal investigators
Northern Kentucky University, in collaboration with Murray State University and the Kentucky Center for Mathematics will provide mathematics teachers the opportunity to pilot a flipped instructional model. With the guidance of university specialists in mathematics education, teacher education, and technology, 30 teachers in grades 7-12 will “flip” the traditional instructional sequence using content-based video podcasts. In the flipped classroom, students view teacher-created video podcasts of the lesson as homework. Time in the classroom is then devoted to clarifying discussions, computational and conceptual practices, and enrichment activities. Research on this emerging model indicates that students are more actively engaged in the classroom, achieve and succeed at higher levels, and assume greater responsibility for their learning.

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