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Stark County Profile

Stark County Math and Science Partnership


The Stark County Math and Science Partnership (MSP) project was funded in October 2002 by a $7.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. This initial 5-year grant was to foster Stark County's efforts to improve overall student achievement in math and science while reducing the achievement gap at the middle and high school levels. The partnership included all 17 Stark County school districts, the Stark County Educational Service Center, 5 area colleges and universities (Malone College, Stark State College of Technology, Kent State University - Stark Campus, Walsh University, and Mount Union College), local business and industry and non-profit organizations, including The Stark Education Partnership.

Some of our accomplishments:

*Establishment of 4 urban centers - Alliance City, Canton City, Massillon City, and Plain Local
*Significant reduction in the achievement gap for minority high school math students in the 4 urban centers in 2007
*Introduction of 14 teacher coaches assigned to work with teachers to enhance classroom performance throughout the County
*Partnership with 5 area colleges to assist with teacher content knowledge and improvement of pre-service teacher programs and 4 college liaisons to help with communication and professional development programming
*Partnership with area business and industry in providing summer internship opportunities for teachers to enhance real-world applications in the classroom with 165 teachers and 56 businesses participating over 5 years
*College tutor program for students in the 4 urban districts
*Student Experimental Research Program (SERP), promoting extensive student research with mentoring by college professors and business representatives
*Masters Degree programs for middle school teachers through Malone College (graduating a total of 24 in math and 17 in science) and Kent State University to improve content knowledge in math and science
*Establishment of building level study groups focused on improving student achievement
*Support services for middle and high school guidance counselors
*An extensive workshop program offered throughout the academic year and summer
*21 member MSP Advisory Board
*16 member MSP Business Advisory Council
*Comprehensive data analysis program based on the work of Nancy Love and Research for Better Teaching

Looking toward the future:

The National Science Foundation, impressed with Stark County's endeavors over the previous 5 years, has extended the grant by 2 more years adding an additional $100,000 per year. These additional funds, along with some carryover funding will enable Stark County Schools to continue the following MSP programs/services:

*4 County Teacher Coach positions
*Math and Science Lead Teacher programs
*Kent Research Bureau evaluation services
*MSP Advisory Board
*Content Networks in Math and Science
*Summer 2008 Workshops
*Administrative assistance

The National Science Foundation would like us to focus some of our attention specifically on:

*Publishing results from our grant initiatives
*Maintaining our MSP website
*Obtaining, reporting, and interpreting more valuable data to be used in improving curriculum and instruction

Stark County is grateful to the NSF and looking for to 2 more years of progress toward our goal of raising overall student achievement in math and science and reducing the achievement gap at the middle and high school levels.