The following projects began in 2010: (1) management and instruction for all mathematics classes in the Mathematics Department at Western International High School, (2) delivery of the Math Corps summer initiative for middle school students in Detroit, (3) implementation of a comprehensive professional development program for early childhood educators, (4) delivery of a research-based professional development program to science teachers, (5) implementation of a district-wide curriculum for high school physical education teachers and health educators, and (6) implementation of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Program to prepare math and science teachers. Funds were secured from federal, state, and private sources. Two additional projects including (1) an Early College Program and (2) the establishment of a Math Science Center to provide professional development and curricular innovations for improving instruction and student achievement district-wide were proposed. The proposed Early College Program concept may be integrated by the DPS within a larger, PreK-20 initiative that is under consideration by the District.
Faculty and staff in WSU schools and colleges of Education and Liberal Arts & Sciences are presently delivering more than 100 different special programs and services to students and teachers in the Detroit Public Schools. In part to better understand the coherence and impact of these commitments, in 2009, WSU President Jay Noren established a University Task Force for PreK-12 Education in Detroit. As part of its work, the Task Force examined the WSU Math Corps, pioneered in Detroit by its founder and director, WSU Mathematics Professor Steve Kahn, who also serves as director of the WSU Center for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics. The Math Corps has become a model for other direct intervention programs with Detroit students. Among the Task Force's recommendations was the need to expand University partnership initiatives to better assist the District in implementing its school reform plans. The President's leadership in this area has crystallized WSU's present attempts to partner with the District in the reform endeavors which will help to improve teaching and learning for all PreK-12 students.
WSU, among its many projects with the DPS, is seeking new external funding specifically to support the proposed Early College Program, and the proposed Math Science Center.
Best Practice Information
WSU faculty are outstanding resources for information on best practices in PreK-12 academic development (assessment, curriculum), transition to post-secondary education, school leadership, and many related areas.