BellSouth, Georgia Tech and Atlanta Public Schools Kick-off Partnership
BellSouth, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Atlanta Public School System today launched an innovative effort that will strengthen the math skills for students in grades 4 through 8.
The program, "Strengthening Student Outcomes in Mathematics," will enhance the teaching and learning of math through tutorial and mentoring programs. It also will help teachers develop real-world activities for classroom implementation.
At the core of the program is a unique approach that brings together Atlanta Public Schools teachers with a BellSouth employee, who will serve both as a mentor and partner to the teachers participating in the program. Together they will analyze data and test results to focus in on the areas of need in the school system's mathematics instruction plan and process.
As a part of the plan, the BellSouth partner will develop and implement a lesson plan that relates the concepts being taught to a real-life or business situation.
"We are very excited to be involved with the Atlanta Public School system and Georgia Tech in helping to give both teachers and students in our community the skills they need to improve math proficiency," said Duane Ackerman, chairman and chief executive officer of BellSouth. "Studies continue to show that students who master critical math skills are better prepared as they enter high school and college and we think that our program will assist in doing just that."
Georgia Tech will provide training to the BellSouth volunteers, ensuring that they understand the environment and culture of the classroom and that they have realistic expectations of what they may achieve as part of the program. The Institute's participation will be managed by its Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC).
"This is a great partnership and we at Georgia Tech are pleased to be able to participate," said Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough. "The Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing has established a national reputation for strengthening student understanding and application of mathematics, and we believe our involvement will result in positive benefits for Atlanta Public Schools students."
Strengthening the math skills of teachers and students can only bring more success to the state, said CEISMC Director Paul Ohme.
"Georgia Tech is pleased to bring its knowledge of mathematics, students and the business community to this project," Ohme said. "We are excited to be part of a community team that seeks to provide students with one of the key ingredients to a successful economic life -- mathematics."
Participation in the program will be offered to almost 80 Atlanta Public School system teachers currently enrolled in the Middle Grades Mathematics Endorsement Program. BellSouth volunteers will include more than 40 full-time employees whose efforts will be supported by involvement of the BellSouth Volunteers office.
"We appreciate the support of both BellSouth and Georgia Tech in helping to address an area that is critical to the success of students in Atlanta," said Beverly Hall, superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools. "Our math-related scores on statewide tests continue to improve, and we believe this effort will contribute to that improvement. This program also is a great example of how business and educational institutions can work together to provide a payoff for all involved."