The Mathematics and Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia (MSPGP)

F. Joseph Merlino


MSPGP worked with college faculty and expert teachers to design and implement comprehensive research-based strategies to improve learning for secondary and post-secondary students. Over five years, the MSPGP brought together 4,000 teachers and faculty from 46 school districts and 13 institutions of higher education in the Greater Philadelphia region. The MSPGP utilized a novel "Core Connector" organizational structure that provided a way to facilitate and grow partnerships between grades 6-12 teachers and administrators and college faculty. To design and assess the progress of mathematics and science programs and college/university pre-service programs, the MSPGP used a five-stage "On the Road to Reform" rubric for school districts and another specifically for colleges and universities to customize project activities to each circumstance. Aggregated data does not show an overall impact of MSPGP on its partner institutions; however, there were stunning cases of sustained personal and institutional transformations. The MSPGP research team has studied these in relation to the cultural rubrics and the implementation of the Core Connector model and learned important new lessons about school improvement K-16. Under the auspices of the newly formed non-profit corporation The 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education which arose directly out of MSPGP work, a variety of new projects and proposals have been developed which take lessons learned through MSPGP to a higher level of research and development.