UWM, MPS partnership receives grant to improve math and science teaching

$2.4 million awarded by National Science Foundation

MPS administration building

A partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Milwaukee Public Schools has received a $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to improve the way math and science are taught in local public high schools.

The grant will fund a five-year project called the Milwaukee Master Teacher Partnership. The project will give 25 MPS high school teachers who have obtained master’s degrees personalized professional development and engage them in classroom-based research.

Teachers in the program will choose aspects of teaching mathematics and science to study with UWM “content experts” and design and implement classroom activities around them. Teachers will receive badges, or “micro-credentials,” for their activities.

“This effort will strengthen the professional capacity of high school mathematics and science teachers and create a new generation of teacher leaders in science and mathematics,” said project leader Michael Steele, an associate professor of mathematics education and chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at UWM.

UWM facutly and MPS district leaders will analyze the teaching practices developed by the 25 teachers in the program and lead development workshops for other mathematics and science teachers throughout MPS and across the state. The grant will pay for classroom equipment, salary stipends and travel subsidies for each of the 25 teachers in the program.

“This collaborative effort in the areas of mathematics and science is absolutely critical to Milwaukee’s future,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “Our aim is to bolster the professional capacity of high school mathematics and science teachers, teacher effectiveness in the classroom and student learning in our urban schools.”

MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said in a statement released Monday: “Strong mathematics and science skills are fundamental to our students’ success. Building on the existing skills for our teachers is critical to ensuring our young people have the tools and skills they need.”

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Ben Stanley
Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.