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For further information, contact Stacy Wenzel, Loyola University Chicago Center for Science and Math Education,, 773-508-7330.

Authors of this web-based project are noted below in alphabetical order. See the brief bios below for additional information about the authors and the team of contributors shaping this document.

  • Megan Deiger
  • Carol R. Fendt
  • Bret Feranchak
  • Janise Hurtig
  • Rachel Shefner
  • David Slavsky
  • Stacy A. Wenzel
  • The conclusions drawn in this report reflect the viewpoints of the authors. While there are many potential viewpoints, these reflect a systematic analysis of data by the authors. The hope is that these findings can facilitate improvement of this and related programs through open discussion and consideration of data-driven understandings.

    Authors and Contributors 

  • Authors
  • 2007-2010 Contributors
  • Thanks to Evaluation Teams
  • Thanks to Teachers and Administrators Sharing Insights with Evaluators
  • The process of creating this document has engaged many people. The authors listed have done the intensive writing of shaping this document during the 2007 to 2009 period with the support of a NSF DRK-12 grant. However, most of the findings about which they wrote were collected, compiled, and initially analyzed between 2002 and 2007 by the authors with the assistance of evaluation research teams with whom they worked. Further, a team of collaborators also influenced the shape of this document during 2007 to 2009; they read early drafts and dialogued on the facts and format of this paper. The transition from a traditional report-style document to a web-based text was undertaken in 2009 to 2010 with a team that brought in additional eyes and expertise. The authors share some information about themselves here and give many thanks to the others who have contributed.

    The authors also invite readers of this document to share their verbal and written feedback on this work. The plan is to add to this document – using it to extend the dialogue on systemic reform of math and science education.


    Megan Deiger is a senior researcher at UIC PRAIRIE and was an evaluation specialist with the CPS Office of Mathematics and Science from 2003 to 2005. Her research interests center on the use of mixed-methodologies (including qualitative methods, logic modeling, and multi-level statistical modeling) to examine STEM education programs. Her most recent work has involved quantitative analysis of the Chicago Public Schools Algebra Initiative, and directing an external evaluation of Chicago Public Schools’ current coaching programs. Her BA degree from Penn State University is in psychology and her PhD from Loyola University is in applied social psychology.

    Carol R. Fendt is co-director of the PRAIRIE group at UIC, which serves as external evaluator for CPS Office of Mathematics and Science programs and for various other CPS departments. Her PhD at UIC in educational policy studies focused on sense-making and implementation of school reform. She received her M.A. in educational leadership from Dominican University and her B.S. in English and secondary education from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Fendt has been a teacher and principal in the schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

    Bret Feranchak is Co-PI on the DRK-12 grant supporting this work. He directed internal evaluation of the CMSI from its inception and served as Director of the CPS Department of Program Evaluation. He has directed internal evaluation efforts around STEM education in Chicago–initially at the Teachers Academy for Math and Science–since 1998. His doctoral program research in physical chemistry was at the University of Chicago. His BS from the University of Notre Dame’s Honors Program is in Chemistry and Physics, magna cum laude.

    Janise Hurtig is a co-director of UIC PRAIRIE. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan and has been an educational researcher and program evaluator at UIC since 1998. Dr. Hurtig has directed evaluation projects with several CPS offices and district partners, focusing on program development, logic modeling, and internal evaluation design. She has published in the areas of youth and adult education, literacy, participatory action research, and gender and social change, based in research in Latin America and the urban United States.

    Rachel Shefner is the founding co-director of Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Science and Math Education (LUCSME). A faculty member in the Natural Science Department, she currently directs projects supporting teacher professional development in science and math education. Shefner oversees LUCSME’s SEPUP Implementation Center, which has supported CPS teacher professional development in the SEPUP curricula since 2003. Through this work and work on the Gates-funded CPS High School Transformation Project, Shefner has demonstrated an understanding of the evolving processes particular to university-district partnerships, and presented findings on this issue at the Georgia PRISM 2008 conference. She received her B.S. in genetics and development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in immunology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

    David Slavsky is Co-PI on the DRK-12 grant supporting this work. He is the founding Director of Loyola's Center for Science and Math Education. A faculty member in the Physics and Natural Science Departments, he is currently PI on 9 grants involving science and math education, most of them involving close cooperation with the Office of Mathematics and Science of Chicago Public Schools. A former Dean of Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences, he has published in the area of stellar and planetary atmospheres. He received his Sc.B in space sciences from Brown University, his M.S. in applied physics from Harvard, and his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Stacy A. Wenzel is PI on the DRK-12 grant supporting this work. She was lead external evaluator of the CMSI since September 2002 and is an associate research professor at Loyola’s Center for Science and Math Education. She has been conducting evaluation of STEM education projects for the past 20 years and has focused her work on the Chicago area since 1995. Wenzel has been principal or co-principal investigator on several research grants funded by the National Science Foundation and has also served as external evaluator on other NSF-, state-, city- and private foundation-funded projects aimed at improving math and science education for urban public school students. Her research interests and publications focus on equity in and systemic reform of science, math, and engineering education at the postsecondary and K-12 levels. A former industrial process engineer, she has a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.

    2007-2010 Contributors

    In July 2008, a two-day Summit was convened to discuss the nature of systemic reform of Chicago K-12 education and participants at this working meeting read and discussed an earlier draft of this paper. Their comments were immensely valuable. In addition to the paper authors noted above, this group included the following individuals (noted at their institutions as of July 2008):

  • Jeanette Bartley, CPS Office of Mathematics and Science
  • Martin Gartzman, UIC Office of the Provost
  • Andy Isaacs, University of Chicago CEMSE
  • Michael Lach, CPS Office of Teaching and Learning
  • David Mayrowetz, UIC Education Policy Studies
  • Steve McGee, Northwestern University, Education & Social Policy
  • Lynn Narasimhan, DePaul University, Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Kelci Price, CPS Department of Program Evaluation
  • Mary Jo Tavormina, CPS Office of Mathematics and Science.
  • Additional insights were contributed when the authors worked intensely with Narasimhan and Mayrowetz and with Chandra James, Director of CPS Office of Mathematics and Science, to shape a research grant proposal to DRK-12 in January 2009. The paper also benefited from thoughtful editing and feedback from Claudine Daubenmire. Further credit for this work goes to the directors of the CPS Office of Mathematics and Science who over the years documented their programs and who welcomed, supported, and shaped the evaluation efforts on which this paper draws. These directors are James (2007-2009), Lach (2006-2007), and Gartzman (2002-2006).

    The 2009-2010 work to create the web-based text relied heavily on the authors and Kelci Price at CPS. Jonya Leverett and Burgess Smith of the Loyola Center for Science and Math Education made valuable contributions in shaping the final product. Consultants Gail Merritt and Debra Venckus lent their expertise in editing and web-site design and creation.

    Thanks to Evaluation Teams

    Data considered for this paper were collected and analyzed primarily by the authors and the teams of evaluators with whom they worked during 2002 to 2008 at their institutions of the UIC PRAIRIE Group, CPS Office of Math and Science and Department of Program Evaluation, and Loyola University Chicago Center for Science and Math Education. Members of these teams included (in alphabetical order):

  • Wendy Atterberry
  • Sabrina Billings
  • Steven Brown
  • Megan Burke
  • Minerva Cruz-Familar
  • Xiaoyan Fan
  • Amanda Fields
  • Rodney Harris
  • Linda Heath
  • Crystal Laura
  • Jessica Lent
  • Jonya Leverett
  • David Mayrowetz
  • Mariam Mazboudi
  • Esther Mosak
  • Gregg Mossberger
  • Isabel Nunez
  • Kelci Price
  • Lisa Raphael
  • Sara Stoelinga
  • Rose Sweeney
  • Geen Tomko
  • Lois Trautvetter
  • Erika Vogele
  • Jianying Yan

  • Thanks to Teachers and Administrators
    Sharing Insights with Evaluators

    Most importantly, this document owes its existence to the thousands of teachers and administrators at schools and universities who have spoken during interviews, allowed their meetings and classrooms to be observed, filled in surveys, written reflections and shared documents with evaluation teams from 2002 to 2008. These educators have been incredibly thoughtful, candid, and generous in allowing us to view the workings of Chicago’s math and science education community.