North Carolina

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District

Setting

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) provide academic instruction to more than 133,600 students in 176 schools throughout Mecklenburg County.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg is the 23rd largest school system in the nation and the largest in the Carolinas. The district is ethnically diverse, with 42% of students African American, 15% Hispanic and 34% Caucasian.

In 2007-2008, the annual increase across schools in the number of students performing at grade level in mathematics was a low 3%.

Program Implementation

In the 2008-2009 school year, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District implemented the TI MathForward program in an effort to improve algebra readiness and middle grades mathematics performance. Six Title 1 middle schools were selected by the district to implement the program. Twenty-three teachers implemented the TI MathForward program with nearly 500 eighth-grade students.

Teachers participated in professional development focusing on the TI MathForward program components, mathematics content, and effective instructional strategies during the first year of program implementation. As well as receiving in-classroom support from the TI MathForward Implementation Specialist, teachers also collaborated during common planning periods.

All schools implemented daily 90-minute power-block classes. This resulted in students being provided the opportunities to connect their learning to their previous knowledge, and to apply what they learned to rigorous, authentic problem-solving situations.

Throughout the year, teachers used the TI-Navigator™ classroom learning system with TI-84 Plus graphing calculators for assessments and activities that foster student discussion.

Results

The district reports that the 2008-2009 student performance on the state assessment resulted in high growth for the district. District averages for Title I students showed improvement from 63% of students demonstrating proficiency as seventh grade students to nearly 80% of those same students reaching proficient levels as eighth graders.

Findings at Charlotte-Mecklenburg are consistent with prior studies of TI MathForward nationwide, showing the effectiveness of the program for increasing mathematics achievement for all sub-groups of participating students.

In the 2009-2010 school year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg expanded the TI MathForward program to seventh grade classrooms in the six schools spotlighted above and added seventh and eighth grade classrooms at four additional Title I schools throughout the district.

In addition, the district is planning to begin implementation of the program in middle school and Algebra 1 classrooms which are co-taught by an Exceptional For more information Children (EC) teacher and a general education teacher.

CMSD Case Study Results