Milwaukee Public Schools is taking a lead on a comprehensive approach to integrating the mathematics Common Core State Standards with science standards. As a plan of action to improve pre-K to grade 12 student learning and achievement in mathematics and science, the MPS Comprehensive Mathematics and Science Plan (CMSP) is designed to equip every student with the levels of rigor and relevance needed for success in college and career readiness.
The CMSP expanded on the approach used in the 2010-11 school year for developing and implementing the Comprehensive Literacy Plan (CLP) to improve literacy performance.
The CMSP represents an effort to clearly define MPS’s vision and priorities for improving math and science teaching and learning that is to be implemented in every MPS school, at every grade, and in every course. In so doing, the district will more effectively engage parents and the community. The CMSP, an evidence-based plan, sets expectations for effective math and science education, including both strategies and supports, for all MPS schools and classrooms.
The plan includes the following:
- Clear expectations for what students should know and be able to do (e.g., concepts and skills) aligned to rigorous, 21st-century mathematics and science standards – the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards framework
- Aligned courses/curricula that are purposefully sequenced to meaningfully scaffold student learning (e.g., learning progressions) and ensure that all students have access to rigorous course content
- A core instructional program with explicit instruction/lesson design (including classroom environment, expected instruction minutes, pacing guides, and detailed assessment and instruction strategies)
- Vision and support for differentiated instruction (defined later), with particular attention to meeting the needs of struggling learners, English language learners, and students with disabilities as well as accelerated learners
- Universal screening and continuous progress monitoring
- Targeted interventions for both struggling and accelerated learners
- A variety of high-quality curricular and instructional resources and materials, including instructional technology, for every classroom
- Aligned, high-quality professional development and implementation supports for teachers, coaches, and school and district leaders
- Broad community and constituency support, including a variety of enrichment opportunities for students and staff
- Meaningful parental and family engagement
Foundational to the CMSP is a districtwide vision for mathematics and science.
The plan includes a guaranteed and viable curriculum for mathematics and science, research-based instructional design and strategies, assessments that inform teaching and learning, aligned resources that include instructional technology, system-wide ongoing professional development, and broad community and constituency engagement.
This work is supported in part by the GE Foundation Developing Futures in Education Grant.