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Rural Missouri Students to Benefit from $12 million Federal Grant Program

eMINTS to study technology-enhanced professional development in Missouri’s Middle Schools

December 9th, 2010

Story Contact: MU News Bureau, 573-882-6211, munewsbureau@missouri.edu

Columbia, MO – The enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) National Center at the University of Missouri has secured a $12 million federal grant to study the effects of the eMINTS professional development program for educators on the achievement of rural Missouri middle school students.

Participants from sixty rural Missouri school districts are divided into three study groups for the five-year project. At the end of the grant period, approximately 10,500 students and 240 teachers in Missouri will have been served by the intensive professional development, in-classroom coaching and technology-rich classroom environment of eMINTS. A full listing of participating schools and more information on eMINTS can be found at www.emints.org/i3/.

“As a long-time teacher and administrator, I can honestly say that I have seen few concepts, ideas or programs introduced into education that have had the same type of positive impact on student learning as eMINTS and inquiry-based instruction,” says Dave Haggard, New Franklin R-I School district superintendent, which serves as a model eMINTS district and grant partner for the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant project, “Validating eMINTS.”

Only 49 school districts, nonprofit education organizations and institutions of higher education nationwide were selected from nearly 1,700 applicants for funding under the federal Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grant program. The i3 fund, part of the $10 billion investment in school reform in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for high-need students. Applicants were required to demonstrate their previous success in closing achievement gaps, improving student progress toward proficiency, increasing graduation rates, or recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and principals. More information on i3 is available at www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/.

The eMINTS National Center is a collaborative program developed by the University of Missouri, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The goal of eMINTS is to change how teachers teach and how learners learn by providing a research-based approach to organizing instruction in any subject area at any level. Matching funds from corporate partners were required to secure the i3 grant funding. A complete list of partnerships is available at www.emints.org/i3/partners

“We have seen firsthand in eight other states how the systemic approach underpinning the eMINTS program transforms schools by increasing teacher effectiveness, integrating deeper learning with technology in core curricular areas, and increasing student achievement and technology literacy,” Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) said. “SETDA sees real value in sharing eMINTS as a model for 21st Century Learning Environments as well as transformational instructional practice among state leaders.”

Learning Point Associates, an affiliate of the American Institutes for Research, is the external evaluator for the eMINTS i3 project.

“The i3 grant program provides a unique opportunity for American Institutes for Research to assess the program’s effectiveness in rural middle schools and better understand how and for whom the program works best,” W. Christopher Brandt, senior researcher, American Institutes for Research said. “It’s exciting to be partnering with the eMINTS National Center, as it has established itself as a leading organization in educator professional development and classroom technology integration.”

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