North Carolina selects PD provider for Singapore Math pilot

Staff Development for Educators (SDE), providers of professional development for pre-K through grade 12 educators, has announced that it has been selected to provide comprehensive curriculum training to support the implementation of the Singapore Math pilot program in six North Carolina elementary schools. Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF), an independent private foundation, funds the immersive teacher training enterprise as part of the Singapore Math Pilot, a partnership between the North Carolina State Board of Education, the Department of Public Instruction and BWF.

The schools selected to participate in the pilot program are: Eastfield Global Magnet School (McDowell County), Gallberry Farm Elementary School (Cumberland), Murphey Traditional Academy (Guilford), and North Wilkesboro Elementary School (Wilkes). Also receiving a grant is the Bladen County School District for Elizabeth Primary School and East Arcadia School.

Consultants from SDE began training first and second grade teachers at the onset of this academic school year. Third and fourth grade teacher training will follow in the 2012–13 school year. SDE will then deliver professional development guidance for fifth and sixth grade teachers in 2013–2014. In their role as the training experts, SDE provides independent professional development on Singapore Math methodology, its principles and strategies including: teach in depth, teach to mastery, teach for understanding.

“The teacher is the single most influential factor in successfully implementing Singapore Math,” said SDE President Gerald Hughes. “We are pleased to serve the role of training and preparing these teachers to implement the powerful instructional strategies in Singapore Math, which are designed to drive gains in student achievement.”

BWF has helped fund study visits to Singapore by key North Carolina education policymakers and stakeholders on two separate occasions. The outcomes of these study visits have demonstrated a need to improve 1) the quality of professional development for teachers in North Carolina, 2) the quality of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education preparation for students, 3) alignment of education values among policymakers and the community at large, and 4) focus on a vision for educational advancement, particularly in science and mathematics. Many members of the study teams, having seen the impact of Singapore Math on student performance outcomes, supported incorporating this quality of learning into North Carolina schools.