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Districts with experience using standards-based middle school mathematics curricula share their implementation stories.

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Implementation Story

MATH Thematics

Jefferson City, MO

The Jefferson City Public School district is located in the capitol of Missouri, Jefferson City. The population is approximately 68,000, with about 15,000 living in the surrounding rural area. State government is the area's largest employer. The median household income is $42,308. The 2002-2003 school year started with 8263 students enrolled in the district. There are eleven elementary (K-5) schools and two middle schools (6-8). After middle school, all students begin their high school experience at the Simonsen 9th Grade Center before ending their K-12 education at Jefferson City High School.

Implementation Plan

The school district served as a pilot site for the Six Through Eight Mathematics (STEM) curriculum development program beginning with the 1993-94 school year. Initially, the 6th grade of one middle school piloted the curriculum, with additional grades added each of the next two years. Prior to implementation of each new grade level, teachers participated in an extended (2-week), summer training session, which focused on the new curriculum. During the 1997-98 school year, the Jefferson City District Curriculum Committee unanimously agreed to approve the adoption of MATH Thematics (the published version of STEM) beginning in January of 1998. It is currently used exclusively in the 6th and 7th grades.

Results

MMAT Math scores - % of students scoring in the top two levels

1993-94

1994-95

1995-96

1996-97

1997-98

Grade

District

State

District

State

District

State

District

State

District

State

6

82

72

84

73

86

73

85

77

85

80

7

77*

60*

70

61

78

62

74

66

=

=

8

82*

64*

80*

65*

78

67

=

=

=

=

MMAT Math scores - % of students scoring in the bottom two levels

1993-94

1994-95

1995-96

1996-97

1997-98

Grade

District

State

District

State

District

State

District

State

District

State

6

10

16

8

16

7

16

9

13

8

10

7

8*

25*

17

25

11

24

12

20

=

=

8

9*

23*

11*

22*

12

21

=

=

=

=


Source: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Missouri Master Achievement Test (Spring 1994-98)
* Although these grades in the district took the MMAT, they were not using MATH Thematics.
= In 1997, a new state mandated test, the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) was implemented.
‡ Not all districts in the state took the MMAT.

MAP Math Scores-% of students scoring in the top two levels

1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003
Grade District State District State District State District State District State District State
8 18 13 16 10 17 14 19 15 17 14 18 14

MAP Math Scores-% of students scoring in the bottom two levels

1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003
Grade District State District State District State District State District State District State
8 50 60 49 61 48 57 50 54 48 55 44 51

Source: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Missouri Assessment Program (Spring 1997-2003)

Lessons Learned

  • It helps to have a good knowledge about mathematics reform issues. The knowledge gained aids in explaining and justifying the program to parents, administrators and other teachers.
  • The summer training, which focused on the new curricula materials, was essential. The experience not only helped teachers learn some new mathematics, but also allowed them to experience what a discovery-learning environment was like, and then be able to anticipate questions that students would ask.
  • Once the school year began, teachers found that holding regular meetings with other math teachers to focus on the materials was extremely helpful.
  • All of the teachers in the district found that just one year's experience made a tremendous difference in implementing the curriculum during subsequent years. In particular, pacing, knowing the curriculum, and organizing the classroom were issues that were resolved after the first year.
  • Teachers indicate that students are making continued progress in understanding mathematical concepts. They report that students score well above the state average in mathematics.

 

  • Acknowledgement: The Show-Me Center is indebted to Linda Tetley, Mathematics Department Chair at Thomas Jefferson Middle School for assistance in developing this story.