Teachers Assisting Students to Excel in Learning Mathematics Phase II (TASEL-M2) is a partnership among California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), Santa Ana Community College (SACC), Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) and the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). TASEL-M2 addresses issues of sustainability and scalability relative to successful practices of Phase I-TASEL-M, the critical juncture between high school and college, and the issue of mathematics preparation for post-secondary success in the context of increased need for remedial mathematics in college.

The TASEL-M2 partners implement and study a district-wide professional development plan to: strengthen and adapt innovative practices from the TASEL-M project; take them to scale in all of the district's secondary schools; narrow the achievement gap in Algebra for targeted subgroups (ELL, Hispanic, low SES, and Special Education); and increase student enrollment in advanced mathematics courses. This project researches the causal factors linking Professional Learning Communities, peer coaching, and increases in student achievement. This contributes to and informs state initiatives to improve Algebra instruction and higher education efforts to more effectively address the needs of students required to take remedial courses in mathematics at the university level. TASEL-M2 employs a rigorous research agenda that includes a three cohort quasi-experimental design with a time-delay control group to address the following questions: --What are the factors that are necessary to sustain the successful Professional Learning Community (PLC) model developed in TASEL-M in participating schools and how can the PLC model be brought to scale in non-participating schools in the same district? --What is the added benefit of in-class support from peer coaches, mathematics specialists, and STEM faculty in promoting teacher change? --How do teachers from the original project continue to change and how do teacher effects accrue to the students they teach? How do TASEL-M participants compare with non-TASEL-M teachers in similar schools in terms of their mathematical content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, both in level and rate of change?

One of the most innovative ways TASEL-M2 involves mathematicians in improving STEM education is through pairing educational researchers with mathematicians who are experts in statistics and modeling. TASEL-M2 conducts sophisticated analyses on longitudinal achievement data with a focus on practices that are applicable to educational research more generally, including methods of computing standard errors that account for non-independence of students in schools or classrooms, methods of equating achievement change across years or across different mathematics courses, and innovative use of algorithms for handling missing data or estimating model fit.

In addition to the research agenda, a comprehensive evaluation design examines the partnership among mathematicians and mathematics educators at CSUF, instructors of remedial courses at SACC, mathematics teachers at the participating high schools, educational researchers, and administrators (principals, department chairs) at the partner schools, as well as tracks implementation and outputs related to student achievement, course-taking, reductions in remedial mathematics enrollment, and taking the project to scale.

The project affects more than 23,000 students annually, 175 teachers and 31 school administrators, a university, a community college, and a county office of education. A four-pronged professional development plan is employed to sustain the gains made from Phase 1-TASEL-M and take the innovative practices to scale with all district secondary schools. This professional development model includes: Professional Learning Communities; peer coaches facilitating a Cycle of Professional Inquiry; an instructional delivery framework to manage the flow of instruction from teacher modeling to independent practice; and collaborative development of school action plans to improve instruction and student achievement designed by teachers, principals, district personnel and STEM and education faculty.

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L.111-5).

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California State University-Fullerton Foundation
United States
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