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Innovative New Jersey Teacher Training Focuses on Increasing Student Performance in Math

January 23, 2009

TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Set against the backdrop of volatile fuel costs, reduced budgets, and busy teacher schedules comes a new public/private partnership in support of improved student performance in middle school mathematics. Thanks to funding from the New Jersey Department of Education, in partnership with Rutgers-Newark and the Business Coalition for Educational Excellence (BCEE) at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, this new project, called MATHNext, will provide professional development to educators from 20 school districts. The effort will include in-person training and the innovative use of new technologies using webcam-enabled laptop computers donated by IBM, and in-kind web and audio conferencing services made possible by Global Crossing.

MATHNext will provide research-based, state-of-the art professional development to middle grades (6, 7 and 8) math teachers, curriculum leaders, and content-matter coaches in New Jersey aimed at deepening teacher understanding of math content and pedagogy.

The New Jersey Department of Education has allocated funding for middle school mathematics teachers from twenty schools/districts to participate in MATHNext. Drs. Roberta Schorr and Lisa Warner, from Rutgers University-Newark, who have done landmark work in the Newark Public Schools and is a much-celebrated recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation.

MATHNext will employ advances in teacher training and assessment that will help measure teacher growth over the length of the project. The project will also employ advances in communication technology — many of which represent firsts for teacher training programs in New Jersey — that will enable teachers to attend scheduled professional development sessions from the convenience of their homes or schools. Live and interactive training via web and audio conferencing and other support technologies saves money on transportation costs and opens program access to districts located too far to make in-person training a reality. To help ensure that participating teachers have the computers needed to participate in the project, districts lacking appropriate equipment will receive loaned web-cams and IBM laptops to enable live video interaction and communication. The project will utilize Global Crossing’s world-class IP-based network.

“Research has proven that college graduation and success in the workplace directly correlates to a strong foundation in mathematics,” said Dana Egreczky, president of the BCEE. “This public-private partnership, which includes the New Jersey Department of Education, Rutgers-Newark, Global Crossing and IBM, produces a set of resources that will surely help New Jersey students.”

“MATHNext represents a new way of implementing teacher training in New Jersey,” said Commissioner of Education Lucille Davy. “By removing the element of geography as a potential obstacle we’ll be able to open the program to schools across the state, cut travel costs, and reduce carbon emissions. This is truly a win-win for all involved.”

About the BCEE

The Business Coalition for Educational Excellence (BCEE) at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is committed to ensuring that all students achieve at high levels, become productive citizens, and are well prepared to succeed in the workplace. The BCEE serves as the voice of business in the education policy debate, and supports programs that address the business agenda in education reform. The BCEE is guided by its accountability to the business community. BCEE programs are supported by tax-deductible contributions made to the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information please visit www.bcee.org.

About Global Crossing

Global Crossing (NASDAQ: GLBC) is a leading global IP solutions provider with the world’s first integrated global IP-based network. The company offers a full range of secure data, voice, and video products to approximately 40 percent of the Fortune 500, as well as to 700 carriers, mobile operators and ISPs. It delivers services to more than 690 cities in more than 60 countries and six continents around the globe.

Please visit www.globalcrossing.com or blogs.globalcrossing.com/ for more information about Global Crossing.

About IBM

To make the most effective use of IBM resources and expertise, IBM has selected priority issues and key initiatives for investment. IBM realizes the power and importance of education and supports programs that make positive impact on the education system. Through our major initiatives such as Reinventing Education, the IBM KidSmart Early Learning Program, and IBM MentorPlace, IBM is working to raise student achievement and enhance academic productivity to support thriving communities around the globe.

    CONTACT GLOBAL CROSSING:
    Press Contact
    Michael Schneider
    + 1 973 937 0146
    michael.schneider@globalcrossing.com

    CONTACT BCEE:
    Press Contact
    George Koodray
    + 1 973 402 6556

SOURCE Global Crossing


Source: newswire



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