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Posted Oct 22, 2008

APT, AMSTI Partner to Develop Math Content

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kathie Martin 205-380-5168 800-239-5233, ext. 188 As Alabama gains stature in the world marketplace by spawning and attracting companies such as Mercedes-Benz, HudsonAlpha, ThyssenKrupp, Boeing, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Southern Research, it needs to ensure that it can provide a quality workforce for the future as well as provide the quality jobs that will keep the talent in state. To help make Alabama the force it needs to be for years to come, Alabama Public Television (APT) and AMSTI (the Alabama Mathematics, Science and Technology Initiative) have formed a partnership to develop and distribute original online middle school mathematics content to educators throughout Alabama. The program will be piloted in select AMSTI classrooms in January 2009. APT has formed a task force of AMSTI-trained math and science educators from around the state (noted below) who will serve as content developers for the project. They will work with APT’s Education Department to create original, online content that can be accessed by teachers, parents and students through APTPLUS™, the network’s free multi-media online resource. The math content developed will focus on proportional reasoning for 8th grade students and may include video clips, flash animations, lesson plans and interactive elements. The partnership is made possible by a grant to APT from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The two-year grant will focus on math, but with local support could be extended to develop into a long-term initiative that can later address the science, technology and engineering needs of Alabama students. While CPB’s grant allows APT to determine strategies and begin addressing needs specific to Alabama, it also allows collaboration and sharing of content across the education departments of public broadcasting networks in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Maryland. The Importance of Math Education In March 2008, The National Mathematics Advisory Panel—created by order of President George W. Bush—released a report recommending that the mathematics curriculum for Pre-K to grade 8 should be streamlined to emphasize the most critical topics early in a child’s education. This is the first step in preparing America’s students to not only excel in mathematics, but to become leaders in the fields of science, engineering, and research—a necessity to ensuring our country’s continuing stature as a world leader. The APT Educator Task Force Among the educators who are serving on the APT’s task force are Cathy Jones, Math Specialist for AMSTI in Montgomery; Drs. Gary Martin and Marilyn Struchens, mathematics education professors and co-directors of TEAM MATH at Auburn University; Sandra Oswalt, 9th-grade math instructor at Oxford High School; Jeanne Simpson, with AMSTI at the University of Huntsville; Joanne Taylor, math coach at Avondale Elementary School in Birmingham; Anita Forest, math instructor at Cullman Middle School; Brenda Terry, executive director of the Alabama Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Coalition and outreach and special projects coordinator for the University of Huntsville’s Institute for Science Education; Judy Matthews, principal of Tarrant Middle School in Birmingham and Susan Pruet, program director of the Mobile Area Education Foundation. About Alabama Public Television Alabama Public Television holds the distinction of being the nation’s first statewide educational television network. Its mission is, first and foremost, education. APT provides educational resources for children and adults seven days a week through online services, analog and digital television programming on three separate channels (it is affiliated with the Public Broadcasting System), documentary production and outreach services. About AMSTI Alabama’s Mathematics, Science, and Technology Initiative, commonly referred to as AMSTI, is the Alabama Department of Education's initiative to improve math and science teaching statewide. AMSTI was designed by a Blue-Ribbon committee comprised of K-12 educators, higher education representatives, and business leaders. The committee pursued every step possible to design the most effective statewide initiative for improving math and science teaching. AMSTI is research-based and incorporates best practices for math and science teaching.

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