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Chicago Public Schools Network Based Math Professional Learning Support

DePaul STEM Center Math Partnership with CPS Department of STEM and CPS Network 12 work (2019-2021)

In August of 2019, DePaul University STEM Center entered into a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools Department of STEM to provide mathematics education support to CPS Network 12 leadership and teachers through a two- year program of professional learning. The two primary goals of the partnership are to improve student learning experiences and outcomes in mathematics and to build leadership capacity to support sustained improvements in math teaching and learning. The support includes collaboration with the CPS Department of STEM and Network 12 leadership as well as the following professional learning opportunities for each year of the program*:

Six full-day sessions focused on building mathematical content knowledge as well as pedagogical content knowledge for intermediate grades teachers. Content is adapted from the Elementary Math Specialist (EMS) coursework.

Three full-day sessions focused on building mathematical content knowledge as well as pedagogical content knowledge for middle grades teachers. Content includes algebra concepts that are intended to prepare and excite participants to take the Algebra Initiative coursework. Participating teachers would also attend 3 full-day Network Summit Sessions which also include a focus on building content knowledge.

Three half-day sessions focused on building administrator capacity to support high quality math instruction, including the development of systems and structures required to maximize impact on student learning.

*Support for the 2020-2021 school year will be adapted to meet district guidelines for professional learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: The support is based on the positive outcomes from the Chicago P12 Math Collaborative Professional Learning that began in 2016, “At both the high school and elementary school levels, improvements in instruction were significantly larger in schools with extensive standards-related professional development than in schools with limited professional development… Among sixth- through eighth-grade students, average math test scores, course grades, and course passing rates also improved over time regardless of the level of standards-related professional development in their schools.  Nevertheless, improvements in test scores and math course pass rates were significantly larger for students in schools with extensive standards-related professional development than for students in schools where professional development was limited”. Changes in Math Instruction and Student Outcomes since the Implementation of Common Core State Standards in Chicago, UChicago Consortium on School Research.

The STEM Center has done similar work with other CPS Networks in the past:
  • CME Network 11 work funded by Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group Fund (2016-2019)
  • CCT work support Networks 1, 3, 4,6 (2012-2017; see Past Projects)

If your Network is interested in working with us, please contact Alanna Mertens at