History and Context

2000 Chicago Urban Systemic Program

Previous Page Next Page

By the end of CSI funding in 1999, and after nearly a decade of local control decision-making about curricula, individual schools were using dozens of mathematics and science textbooks and other instructional materials, making district-level curriculum-specific support next to impossible.

In September 2000, CPS was awarded an NSF-funded $11.8 million Urban Systemic Program grant with the goal “to increase significantly K-12 student achievement in mathematics and science by noticeably improving the level of performance of the current science and mathematics teachers.” Known as CUSP (Chicago Urban Systemic Program), the program designed four initiatives to meet this goal: “(1) the K-4 Specialization in Mathematics and Science, (2) the Grades 5-8 Mathematics and Science Endorsement Program, (3) the Grades 9-12 High School Science and Mathematics Certification Courses, and (4) the Professional Development Networks” (NSF Award Abstract, 2003).

The first annual CUSP report described the Professional Development Networks, supported by CUSP-funded “Local School Teacher Facilitators,” as the “most significant change agents” in the school. Twenty-five CUSP schools were organized into networks of three to six schools. The networks were formed to foster collaborative action research projects at the schools to improve student achievement in mathematics and science (CUSP Annual Report of Progress, 2001).

In the same report, CUSP leaders explained that some district math and science activities occurred outside of CUSP programming: the Mathematics/Science Magnet Cluster Program (MSMCP) and the Museum Partners Science Program (MPSP). The CUSP report stated that, “all CUSP, MSMCP, and MPSP activities are coordinated to support a common district agenda.” CUSP reported impacting 29% of CPS schools, 30% of elementary teachers, and 13% of high school teachers during its first year (CUSP Annual Report of Progress, 2001).

Establishing the Medill Professional Training Center and creating the Department of Instruction for Science, Mathematics, Health, and Technology (ISMHT) to continue the systemic reform efforts begun by CSI were also major accomplishments (CUSP Annual Report of Progress, 2001).

Previous Page Next Page