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Math and Science Efforts Win U.S. Teacher-Quality Grants

The U.S. Department of Education this week rolled out nearly $100 million in five-year grants for teacher-quality initiatives, including $2.2 million to expand the UTeach math and science program to Cleveland State University and $7.7 million to Lehman College to support a math initiative in the South Bronx.

The UTeach program for recruiting and preparing math and science teachers has been implemented at 13 universities since 2008, and is expanding to 21 universities this year, according to a press release from the National Math and Science Initiative, which was awarded the grant. The program, created originally at the University of Texas at Austin, enables college students to graduate in four years with deep content knowledge in a math or science major as well as a teaching certificate.

The new grant will be used to launch the UTeach program at Cleveland State University during the 2010-11 academic year.

Meanwhile, Lehman College, which is part of the City University of New York, will use its teacher-quality grant to implement a program called "MATH-UP," short for Mathematics Achievement with Teachers of High-Need Urban Populations. The effort aims to prepare 125 teachers in grades 1-6 to provide strong instruction in math, with an emphasis on differentiating instruction for English language learners and students with special needs. The idea is to offer a school-centered 5th year teacher preparation program with integrated professional development and induction support targeting high-need, low-achieving students.

"This grant will create a new program for elementary school teachers before they enter the profession," Lehman College president Ricardo R. Fernandez said in a press release. "With this preparation, they will be able to give younger students a stronger foundation in math upon which to build."

In addition, the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute's Urban Teacher Education Program received an $11.6 million federal grant to improve and expand its teacher preparation efforts, including with the development of a "robust secondary mathematics and science certification program," according to a University of Chicago press release.

In all, the U.S. Department of Education announced 12 grants this week under the Teacher Quality Partnership grants program. These grants were funded by the federal economic-stimulus law.

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