Northeast Washington Mathematics Alliance (NEWMA) Teacher Leader Project
The Northeast Washington Mathematics Alliance was formed in the fall of 2007 with the help of regional district representatives to develop a regional approach to increasing student achievement in mathematics. NEWMA planning, programs and activities have been, and continue to be, guided by the input and feedback of the NEWMA Advisory Board.
NEWMAs first year of field work was the 2008-2009 school year and focused on building capacity by supporting building based teacher leaders. The member districts were charged with implementing or enriching mathematics professional learning communities (PLCs) in their school or district. Research tells us that the most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is building the capacity of school personnel to function as a professional learning community (Professional Learning Communities at Work by Dufour and Eaker).
Our PLC work was driven by four questions:
1. What do we want our students to learn?
2. How will we know if theyve learned it?
3. What do we do when they dont learn it?
4. What do we do when they know it?
In the first year, our goal (along with PLC work) was to focus on the first question; What do we want our students to learn? Our focus was on creating Power Standards based on the Washington State Revised Mathematics Standards and building background knowledge through identifying critical content-specific academic vocabulary.
Moving forward in the years to come, we will investigate the remaining three PLC questions using assessment tools and processes based on an RtI system. This learning, with the support of a PLC environment, will create a system that clearly tracks the progress of each student. The data gathered throughout the year, will guide conversations and decisions in order to increase student achievement.
Christine Tuckerman, Director
(509) 789-3526, firstname.lastname@example.org