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Mathematics reform work earns national notice

June 18, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The Core-Plus Mathematics Project, a long-term Western Michigan University effort to develop and support implementation of a high school mathematics curriculum that will meet the nation's current and future needs, has won the praise of an organization made up of high-profile corporate CEOs, agency chiefs and university presidents from around the nation.

CPMP is a high school mathematics curriculum that has been in development and evaluation at WMU since 1992 with funding from the National Science Foundation. Already designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an exemplary program, CPMP was singled out this month by the Business Higher Ed Forum for recognition on its Web site at strategicedsolutions.org. CPMP is June's featured program, lauded as one that works and can make a difference in U.S. schools. The BHEF is made up of Fortune 500 CEOs, prominent college and university leaders and foundation leaders, "working to advance innovative solutions to our nation's education challenges in order to enhance U.S. competitiveness."

Meeting future educational and workplace needs

Directed since its inception by Professor of Mathematics Dr. Christian R. Hirsch, the Core-Plus Mathematics Project was originally developed as a three-year mathematics program for all students to prepare them for college and the workplace. Each year of the program integrates fundamental concepts and skills in algebra and functions, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability and discrete mathematics. A flexible fourth-year option is available and designed to prepare both calculus- and noncalculus-bound students to excel in college-level mathematics classes.

CPMP has been implemented in more than 1,000 schools in 45 states. Four recent and independent evaluations of the program have shown it boosts achievement on standardized tests and improves quantitative thinking skills among students using it, as compared to those in more traditional math programs. The curriculum is supported by textbook publisher Glencoe/McGraw Hill. A second edition of the series, "Core-Plus Mathematics," has recently been published.

Business Higher Education Forum

The Business Higher Education Forum set out a year ago to identify clearly effective educational programs that would help them and others improve their education philanthropy. The BHEF also maintains a Strategic Solutions resource site on which the Core Plus Mathematics Program is featured this month. The site is targeted toward corporate philanthropists and others working to make high-impact investments in education.

Among BHEF members are the leaders of such corporate giants as Boeing, State Farm, IBM, Pfizer and Northrop Grumman; the heads of the Wallace Foundation, the College Board and the American Council on Education; and the presidents of a number of high-profile universities, including Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown and Ohio State universities as well as the universities of North Carolina and Notre Dame.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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