The REFORMS project is federally funded and administered by the NJ Department of Education. It involves universities working with high need K-8 schools to strengthen math and science education. It is based on professional development of teachers to strengthen their math and science content knowledge, for them to learn advanced pedagogical tools, and enhance their use of technology. Professional development will address the self-identified needs of the teachers, as well. The design of the project must include project teachers and control teachers.
REFORMS components for project teachers include:
* Summer workshops- For grades 3 and 4 teachers, August 13-24, 2007 (10 days). Content is math and earth science- held at WPUNJ. Each summer, teachers are paid a $1200 stipend, plus are given books, calculators, and some science kits.
* Summer workshops- For teachers of science and math, grades 3-8, Summer 2008, dates TBA (10 days). Content is math and physical science.
* Summer workshops- For teachers of science and math, grades 3-8, Summer 2009, involving teaching summer school classes of some type in PPS.
* Professional development workshops (16 hours per year) during the school year, for a total payment of $300 per year.
* Coaching for classroom teaching- two visits by Coaching Team per year.
* Professor in Residence will be assigned to each school and will work with the coaching team of WPUNJ faculty from science, math, and education to support teachers who are incorporating the new content and pedagogy in their classes.
* Teachers will be asked to enroll in one graduate course per semester to achieve subject matter endorsement or, eventually, a Masters degree in teaching science or math. Tuition and fees will be paid by the grant and by PPS.
* At the end of each year, the participating PPS teachers will produce an educational project that will be of use to them.
REFORMS components for control teachers involve testing for content knowledge, but they will not participate in any other way. They will be paid $35 per hour for testing time. Pre- and post-intervention testing for both groups is required to document improvement in and application of knowledge. No individual test results will be shared with anyone in the PPS system. Each teacher will be given a personal identifier number that no one will have access to except the teacher and the grant coordinator at WPUNJ.