Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership

Building Communities of Learners and Leaders in Mathematics

 

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About Us

Who We Are

The Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership (GBMP) is a consortium of eleven school systems in the Birmingham metropolitan area, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham-Southern College, and the Mathematics Education Collaborative (MEC), a Seattle-based non-profit which provides support services to education communities to improve mathematics instruction.

Mission

The primary mission of the GBMP is two-fold: We endeavor to increase the mathematics achievement levels for all middle school students in the school districts served, while, at the same time, narrowing the mathematics achievement differences between diverse student populations. To reach these objectives, the partnership works to increase the effectiveness and leadership capacities of current and future middle school mathematics teachers within GBMP school systems. GBMP also works to build support for high quality mathematics education programs by uniting stakeholders including teachers, school administrators, institutions of higher education, parents, community and business leaders, and others in the general public. The project fundamentally targets middle school mathematics teachers (current and future), but also will impacts some fifth grade and high school teachers as well.

Funding

While the beginnings of this project can be traced back to the early 1990ís, in September 2004 the GBMP received a 5-year, 9.96 million dollar grant to fund the project from the National Science Foundation as part of its Math and Science Partnership Program (MSP). This major NSF research and development effort supports partnerships to improve K-12 student achievement in mathematics and science. This NSF funding was specifically targeted toward our project's efforts with middle school grades, grade 5, and some high school follow-up.  It also supported the inclusion of pre-service teachers and higher education faculty in our professional development efforts. Supplemental funding received from the NSF in the fall of 2008 allowed for the inclusion of undergraduates in program evaluation efforts and the establishment of a GBMP Noyce Master Teachers Program - a unique professional development opportunity for a small cadre of select local teachers which ran through the end of 2011.  In the late summer of 2009, the NSF awarded the project MSP Phase 2 funding in the amount of $2.1 million to build on the successes of the initial 5 year project, this time with a more intense focus on fewer schools and targeting grades 6-8.  Local monies have been contributed to support the participation of K-4 teachers each project year as well.  In addition to the local school district partners, GBMP has received support from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Hugh Kaul Foundation, the Malone Family Foundation, the Robert R. Meyer Foundation, and the Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust.

Targeted Activities

To accomplish our mission, the GBMP project activities include: (1) offering a series of mathematics content courses and sustained, high-quality professional development (2) developing cadres of mathematics support teams who will provide local leadership at the middle school level both during and beyond the project; (3) establishing professional learning communities which promote quality professional development through routine exchanges between peers within participating school faculties (4)  redesigning and expanding institutes of higher education (IHE) mathematics content courses and certifications for pre-service teachers; (5) placing pre-service teachers in middle school classrooms that consistently model best practices; (6) offering sessions to prepare school administrators to take a more active role in supporting quality mathematics instruction; (7) providing expanded, intense professional development to a select group of teachers from some of the neediest schools in our partnership including support for earning advanced college degrees,  (8) working proactively to ensure knowledgeable public support for quality mathematics programs and practices in schools; (9) working to recruit, develop and retain teachers with an emphasis on increasing the diversity of the teacher workforce; and (10) forming and nurturing strong business and education partnerships in support of quality mathematics education.

 

This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Nos. DUE 0632522 and DUE 0928665.  Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

 

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Department of Mathematics, University of Alabama at Birmingham
http://www.math.uab.edu