Vince Cyboran, Roosevelt University
Steve Ponisciak, Consortium on Chicago School Research
Barbara Radner, DePaul University
Abstract: The session will profile an urban education initiative designed to increase math achievement of students in high poverty urban elementary schools through intensive teacher education. The presentation will include information about the project's design, implementation, measures, and preliminary results. The project includes an analysis of the influence of the initiative in terms of standardized measures of student achievement and content analysis of both students' and teachers' work. The session will include a discussion of elements of the intervention designed to influence teachers to develop students' ability to think mathematically and to embed algebraic thinking in ongoing instruction: teacher cohort, substantial course work, job-embedded formative evaluation, and in-school facilitation. It also will address Chicago "potholes"—obstacles to fidelity of implementation and sustainability that affect all school-centered research projects but particularly those based in urban schools. While the session is not designed to solve those problems, it will provide information about some effective responses to these challenges and an opportunity to discuss how to organize and conduct research and deal with the exogenous and endogenous variables that affect teaching and learning in urban schools.