For Immediate Release
March 8, 2007

Math and Science innovations take center stage at Capitol Showcase

Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program brings teachers, scientists and others together to improve teaching and share research

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Boards of Education (ISBE) and Higher Education (IBHE) are joining with mathematicians, engineers, teachers and scientists today at the State Capitol to showcase research partnerships and how they are improving teaching in classrooms around the state. The Capitol Showcase of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships (IMSP) brings participants together to share their research findings about how they learned and how it changed their teaching in classrooms.

“Our partnerships are beginning to realize their serious responsibilities for today’s students and tomorrow learners, by facing the realities of teaching in a 21st century classroom dealing with new technologies that are emerging everyday,” said Christopher Koch, Interim State Superintendent. “The IMSP program creates a bridge and opens doors between our K-12 teachers, colleges, universities and the private sector.”

The IMSP program was created as part of the No Child Left Behind Act, and over the past four years the partnerships have provided outstanding opportunities for professional development in mathematical and scientific inquiry, problem solving and technological design. The partnerships have been created with local districts, colleges, universities and a wide diversity of Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) leaders in Illinois. The focus on STEM education by scientists, mathematicians and engineers is rapidly becoming a focus for assuring that our students are well-prepared for future careers and as global citizens.

“One of the most important policy issues facing Illinois and the nation is the production of STEM leaders to remain competitive in the global environment,” said Judy Erwin, IBHE Executive Director. “The Board of Higher Education NCLB partnerships provided extensive and intensive professional development to Illinois teachers last year, focused in the high-need STEM disciplines. These research-based professional development activities helped equip Illinois schools with highly qualified teachers, the key ingredient to student achievement.”

The IMSP program will serve approximately 700 teachers in more than 68 counties. The budget in Fiscal Year 2007 for the IMSP program is approximately $6.3 million.

Twenty IMSP partnerships are continuing their work through this school year and presenting at the Capitol Showcase and are as follows: