For Immediate Release
April 29, 2008

Science and Math teachers take center stage at annual Capitol Showcase

Professional development opportunities with Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships (IMSP) help teachers grow and improves student achievement

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) joined dozens of classroom teachers, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and experts from higher education from throughout Illinois at today’s Capitol Showcase for the Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships (IMSP) program. The annual event at the Illinois State Capitol showcases the professional development efforts by research partnerships statewide that work to help teachers grow, and in turn, improve student achievement.

“Today’s classrooms are incorporating technology to deliver lessons at a rapid pace,” said State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch. “No place is this more prevalent than with science and math, where teachers are taking full advantage of opportunities for rapid learning to yield student improvement.”

The IMSP program was created as part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). It creates partnerships that are designed to meet the growing needs of students by providing ongoing professional development and unique opportunities for teachers that focus on new trends in Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM). Participants are able to share their expertise, resources and facilities with high-need local school districts and regions with the primary goal of improving student achievement in mathematics and science. The IMSP program has already served more than 3,000 teachers statewide.

“This year’s math and science innovations showcasing research partnerships take on added importance as the work gets underway for the Task Force for ‘A Public Agenda for College and Career Success,’” said Judy Erwin, IBHE Executive Director. “The Public Agenda – an action agenda – will be built to close the achievement gap, and many of the programs at the Capitol Showcase, will further this effort.”

Starting this year, new partnerships are forming with public and private universities across the state. All of the partnerships include the development and implementation of innovative graduate degree programs that will concentrate on building content expertise and leadership talents essential for Illinois’ highly qualified teachers. Twenty-four partnerships have begun work with design teams composed of classroom teachers, local administrators and college professors to create the innovative programs of study for the estimated 600 teachers who will participate. Classes will begin in some of the partnerships this summer, while others will begin during the next school year.

Here are 19 IMSP partnerships that are presenting at the Capitol Showcase. The listing is arranged by lead partners and includes partnership members: