Monday, June 12, 2006

Spring to Lead Agile Mind Program

West End School Committee member Stephen Spring has been named the Maine Project Director for Agile Mind. Spring works for the Great Maine Schools Project, a leading high school reform organization in the state that seeks to create equitable, personalized, and rigorous high schools to meet the needs of the 21st century.

The organization Agile Mind is housed at the University of Texas in Austin and is the brainchild of top researchers in mathematics education and technology instruction. This spring semester, over 150 Maine high school math teachers were trained and are using the dynamic, web-based tool in their classrooms.

The Mitchell Institute and the Department of Education’s Advanced Placement Initiative Program are teaming up with other school reform partners in the state to deliver training in Agile Mind - and ongoing professional development - to mathematics teachers from Kittery to Madawaska.

One major goal of the program is to work with school districts, like Portland, to change strategies that are flawed, according to Spring— such as sorting students by perceived ability, motivation, and language barriers. The continued practice of sorting high school students results in some students getting access to coursework necessary to succeed in college, while shutting doors for others, says Spring.


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