The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-Partnership) is comprised of 39 teams across 31 states -- including 103 universities, university systems, and community colleges; 142 K-12 schools and school districts; and several state departments of education, education consortia and other education-focused organizations -- working collaboratively to redesign secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs. This premier partnership provides a coordinated research, development, and implementation effort for secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs in order to meet the challenges of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and other rigorous college- and career-ready standards, based on research and best practices in the field. The Partnership is led by a Planning Committee comprised of national experts in the fields of mathematics education, mathematics, and teacher preparation that guides the development and scope of the project.
The Partnership endeavors to:
- Build a national dialogue around guiding principles for the preparation of mathematics teachers;
- Promote partnerships among all sectors throughout the teacher development process, with a focus on promoting institutional change;
- Develop and coordinate a networked research and development agenda;
- Serve as a clearinghouse for model programs and practices; and
- Advocate for change at university, state and national levels.
The MTE-Partnership has received more than $1.5 million in foundation support. The most recent award from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for $599,540, entitled "The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership: From Improvement to Integration", supports the continued development of the Research Action Clusters with a focus on supporting program transformation. This builds upon earlier grants from the Helmsley Trust, the National Science Foundation, 100Kin10, and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.
With this support, we have accomplished:
- Five National Conferences: to organize the work of the Partnership. The most recent annual conference held in Atlanta in June 2016 was attended by more than 90 members from 30 teams.
- Guiding Principles for Secondary Mathematics Teacher Preparation, a foundational document prepared with intensive input from the membership.
- A set of white papers that describes key problems in secondary mathematics preparation drawn from the Guiding Principles; they are currently being edited into a monograph.
- Five Research Action Clusters (RACs), each including participation by 4-14 of the partnership teams, were organized in Fall 2013 to develop solutions to particular problems in secondary mathematics teacher preparation identified in the white papers. The Partnership employs the Networked Improvement Community design developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. These RACs address: (a) clinical experiences of candidates; (b) mathematical experiences of candidates (and others) in introductory mathematics courses; (c) particular mathematical needs of future mathematics teachers; (d) recruitment and retention of candidates; and (e) retention of new graduates in the field.
- Focus on Measures tracks the progress of the partnership, including establishing benchmarks for quality of teacher candidates and targets for the number of candidates produced.
On-going development: A major focus for the MTE-Partnership is the work of the RACs. Institutions within each RAC are developing, testing, and refining solutions in their area of work, generally following the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model. As they are able to demonstrate success, solutions developed by each RAC are being made available to additional teams for extended testing, noting any adaptations that may be necessary to address the local context. Note that the development model is based on improvement science techniques, utilizing the power of the network—thus, this is a “networked improvement community” design.
Next Steps: The Partnership is beginning to focus on how to support teams in undertaking broad-scale program transformation of teacher preparation, incorporating the products and approaches developed by the RACs across multiple dimensions of improvement. Meanwhile, the RACs are continuing to expand their scope of work to include additional teams in the testing of the products and approaches they are developing, and additional RACs will be added to address the additional areas of mutual concern supporting program improvement. Finally, the Partnership is continuing to build its national leadership in secondary mathematics teacher preparation.