The goals of the MSA program are to:
- increase teacher content knowledge for teaching mathematics and science that bridges content knowledge and knowledge about the practice of teaching;
- increase teachers’ use of research-supported practices to conduct effective math and science lessons in their classrooms;
- develop school and district leadership capacity that supports continuous improvement in teaching and learning; and
- ultimately improve student learning and achievement in math and science in Northern New Mexico.
The Math and Science Academy currently supports two initiatives:
The Regional Partnership School (RPS) is a collaboration between the Pojoaque Valley School District and its community, New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) and its School of Education, and the Laboratory’s Math and Science Academy.
The goal of the Regional Partnership School (RPS) is to combine Pojoaque Valley Schools, Laboratory and Highlands expertise and resources to support improved teaching and learning (particularly in the crucial grades 4-8), leading to better outcomes for teachers and students. It is also intended to be a model of innovation for New Mexico educators and policy makers.
The RPS is the first program in the state that strategically combines a school district, a university teacher education program and a major employer. Four education specialists from MSA support the initiative, which is being implemented across PVSD’s existing intermediate school, sixth grade academy and middle school.
The Math Teacher Leader Network (MTLN) is a collaboration between the MSA and math teachers and their principals in schools across the region designed to facilitate and strengthen high quality mathematics teaching and learning in elementary and middle schools in Northern New Mexico. Teacher leaders learn and share best-practices, improve their math content knowledge, teaching approaches, and leadership skills through regular professional learning sessions and structured collaboration.
Impact of the Math and Science Academy
Since its creation in 2001 MSA has engaged regional school districts in its signature teacher professional development program. The MSA served 8 school districts, 6 Bureau of Indian Education Schools, and one BIE grant school. MSA has graduated over 600 teachers and principals from its three-year program, partnered with NMSU to graduate 60 teachers with Master’s degrees, partnered with UNM to graduate 6 teachers with Masters degrees in Native American Leadership, and also developed a doctoral program in Educational Leadership with a focus on mathematics education. MSA has initiated and supported the Math Teacher Leader Network, a learning collective of up to 12 schools from 7 districts in northern New Mexico. Most recently, MSA partnered with the New Mexico Public Education Department Math and Science Bureau to develop a pilot project for mathematics coaching programs.
One example of the impact of the MSA is shown in data from San Juan Elementary School in the Española Public School District. The majority of the teachers and the principal were enrolled in the MSA program, and over seven years, Native American student achievement in mathematics at the school increased 44 percentage points, and for five years has exceeded New Mexico averages.