Common Core & Struggling Learners
The project team brings together expertise in mathematics education, special education, formative assessment, professional development, materials development, and research.
Amy Brodesky, Ed.M., Principal Investigator
Amy Brodesky has been a mathematics curriculum developer and professional development specialist at EDC for over 25 years. Over the past eighteen years, she has focused her attention on improving mathematics instruction for struggling math learners, leading six related NSF-funded projects at EDC including Building District Capacity to Improve Mathematics Learning for Students with Disabilities and the current project, Strengthening Mathematics Intervention Classes (SMI). In addition, she was the study leader and co-author of the IES Issues and Answers Report, Math Education Practices for Students with Disabilities and Struggling Learners: Case Studies of Six Schools from Two Northeast States (2008) and two reports on performance patterns for students with disabilities in grade 4 mathematics education in New York State and Massachusetts.
Ms. Brodesky was the lead developer of an innovative model to differentiate PD to address teachers’ wide range of prior knowledge and experiences. A description of the model with examples, guiding questions, and planning tools is provided in the article, “Moving Beyond One-Size-Fits-All PD: Differentiating Professional Learning for Teachers” (NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership, Spring, 2016). She has created a variety of blended and online professional development courses, including the popular Foundations of Inclusive Practice courses for Massachusetts teachers and administrators.
In addition, Ms. Brodesky has extensive experience developing mathematics education materials, including the NSF-funded middle-grades program MathScape: Seeing and Thinking Mathematically and the IBM-supported, technology-intensive program Measurement, Time, and Money for elementary children. She is co-author of Digging into Data with TinkerPlots, a book of data analysis lessons for the middle grades.
Karen Karp, Ed.D., Senior Advisor
Karen Karp is a Visiting Professor at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University where she is working with doctoral students and mentoring junior faculty. She recently completed twenty-one years at the University of Louisville as a Distinguished Teaching Professor in Mathematics Education and is Professor emeritus. She has more than 20 books and 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals. She has several publications related to this grant. Her methods book, Elementary and Middle School Mathematics Teaching Developmentally (with Van de Walle and Bay-Williams) is the most widely used college methods book in the nation. Her article with Bush in the Journal of Mathematical Behavior entitled “Exploring students’ misconceptions in prerequisite skills in algebra: A review of the literature,” provides an in-depth analysis of the extant research on this topic.
Dr. Karp has also written in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School with Bush and Hunter on the Topic of RtI in the article “Systematic interventions: Teaching ratios.” She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and a former president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. During her time on the NCTM Board she was funded by NSF to explore ways to bring the mathematics education and special education communities together to teach mathematics more effectively to students with disabilities.
Jacqueline Zweig, Ph.D., Senior Researcher
Jacqueline Zweig conducts quantitative research focused on educator professional learning and virtual education. She specializes in econometric analysis of large-scale data sets, has expertise in survey design and analysis, and engages in collaborative research with education stakeholders. Zweig is the author of several publications including “Professional experiences of online teachers in Wisconsin: Results from a survey about training and challenges” and “Teacher evaluation and professional learning: Lessons from early implementation in a large urban district.” Her recent article “Writing Evaluative Feedback: A Tool to Support Teacher Learning and Growth,” was published in Principal Leadership.
Zweig oversees the applied research and evaluation studies for REL Northeast & Islands, providing teams of researchers with guidance on the design and execution of research studies that address high-leverage education issues in the region. She also served as the alliance researcher for REL Midwest’s Virtual Education Research Alliance where she worked with directors of virtual education programs to develop and carry out a research agenda that focused on questions about student achievement and virtual-learning conditions. A Massachusetts Education Policy Fellow in 2014-15, Zweig is currently a Research Fellow for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.
Emily Fagan, Senior Curriculum and PD Design Associate
Emily Fagan develops innovative elementary and middle grades mathematics curriculum and professional development materials to support teachers and schools in improving math teaching and learning. In addition to designing online and face-to-face courses and workshops for teachers and students, she is an experienced facilitator and teacher. Emily’s work focuses on improving access to mathematics for struggling learners and using formative assessment practices to improve teaching and learning. She is excited to expand her work with struggling learners and teachers who work with them through our recently-funded NSF project, Strengthening Mathematics Intervention.
Ms. Fagan has co-authored several books and articles including most recently, Bringing Math Students into the Formative Assessment Equation (Corwin, 2015), Uncovering Student Thinking About Mathematics in the Common Core (Grades K–2 and Grades 3–5 (Corwin, 2015) and , “Targeting Instruction with Formative Assessment Probes,” an article in the 2016 Focus Issue of NCTM’s, Teaching Children Mathematics. She has also developed modules in the PBS Teacherline series and units of online courses for students in the National Repository for Online Courses. Before joining EDC, Fagan taught mathematics and science in Brookline and Salem, Mass., and mathematics and social studies in Philadelphia. As a teacher, Fagan was appointed to the Massachusetts Faculty of the Coalition of Essential Schools and served as a mentor teacher, math team coach and chess club advisor.
Linda Hirsch, M.S., Research Associate
Linda Hirsch has worked at EDC since 2006, engaged in research and evaluation regarding curriculum, instruction, and professional development in K-12 science and mathematics. She joined the Addressing Accessibility in Mathematics project in 2012. Prior to entering the social science research field, Linda was an information professional with over twenty years’ experience as a computer systems analyst. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University, a master’s in library science from Simmons College, and a certificate in program evaluation from Tufts University.
Michelle Raymond, Technology Specialist
Michelle Raymond is a Technology Specialist for the Learning and Teaching division at EDC. As a technology specialist, she has vast experience in IT management, executive level administrative support and extensive web site development.
Cheryl Tobey, Mathematics Education Advisor
Cheryl Tobey’s work focuses on diagnostic and formative assessment practices and the development of materials and professional development for math educators. Tobey is a Mathematics Specialist for two projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)—Formative Assessment in the Mathematics Classroom: Engaging Teachers and Students (FACETS); and Differentiated Professional Development: Building Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching Struggling Students (DPD)—as well as the Eliciting Mathematical Misconceptions (EM2) study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). From 2001- 2008, Tobey was Senior Program Director for Mathematics at the nonprofit Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) where she directed multiple NSF and Title IIA State Mathematics and Science Partnership projects each in the area of mathematics education. Before joining MMSA in 2001, Tobey was a high school and middle school mathematics educator for 10 years.
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This project is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant No. 1621294. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.