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Preview of Findings from RFA’s Fall 1999 Data Collection and Analysis: Creating an Infrastructure for Sustaining Math and Science Reform in Philadelphia

This report is an analysis of the PHUSI and large-scale sustainable changes in math and science curricula in Philadelphia schools. The analysis is based primarily on key informant interviews conducted during Nov. and Dec. 1999 and on the analysis of CPRE survey data. The current analysis suggests the following needs: a greater degree of strategic planning, articulation, and monitoring of elements of systemic change, increased number and stability of staff knowledgable in math and science content at the middle school level, broader understanding about the process of curricular and pedagogical reform in math and science among people in leadership positions. This report provides recommendations for addressing these needs including building existing partnerships with universities, bringing principals and cluster leaders explicitly into the ongoing reform initiative, bringing in the School District of Philadelphia Dep’t of Human Resources to expand efforts to recruit and hire experienced teachers in math and science, and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of all the key players in this reform, and how their efforts fit within the broader reform effort.