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Last modified: 8/21/2014 6:28:16 AM
Research and Evaluation

  Evaluation of Math Solutions® Professional Development Program



The Title I department at Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) implemented a proprietary Math Solutions® Professional Development Program (hereby Math Solutions) in 2007-08. This report presents the findings of a formative evaluation of the program for the 2007-2008 school year. The analysis of various aspects of Math Solutions program in the seven pilot schools in the district was done under three major evaluation questions pertaining to: increase in teachers’ math content knowledge and adoption of new instructional strategies, school-based coaching model and impact on instructional support, and collaborative relationships between teachers. A multi-method design, including both qualitative and quantitative techniques, was used to address the evaluation questions. Several types of data collection activities were conducted. These included: interviews with Title I office math coaches, interviews with school-based math coaches and principals, focus groups with teachers, and teacher surveys. A vast majority of teachers indicated in the survey and focus groups that the professional development sessions provided by Math Solutions were successful in reinforcing/strengthening teachers’ content knowledge to a large extent. Responses to questions on implementation of the school-based coaching model in the  seven schools from math coaches, principals, and teacher focus groups suggested that implementation of the model was moderately successful. Comments from the principals and teacher focus groups suggested that as a result of the professional development trainings in their schools, there was an overall increase in collaborative efforts between the teachers. However, responses from teacher focus groups and math coach interviews indicated that teachers often felt they did not have sufficient planning time during the school year to use the instructional strategies learned at the training sessions to a full potential. Teachers also felt that there was a misalignment of the county curriculum framework with Math Solutions strategies. Finally, there was some resistance to program adoption by veteran teachers who were reluctant about learning and using new instructional strategies in their classrooms. Recommendations for improving the Math Solutions program are discussed.

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