BOE ap­proves hire of con­sult­ing firm to help boost math scores

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­

The Board of Ed­u­ca­tion has unan­i­mously ap­proved hir­ing In­sight Ed­u­ca­tion Group to pro­vide a com­bi­na­tion of in-per­son and on­line coach­ing for 10 New­ton County School Sys­tem Al­ge­bra I teach­ers.

The es­ti­mated cost of the pro­fes­sional learn­ing pro­gram would be $95,950. Su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey said it will be paid for with Ti­tle IIA fed­eral funds, not out of the school sys­tem’s gen­eral bud­get.

BOE mem­ber Jeff Meadors, who made the mo­tion to ap­prove hir­ing the firm, noted that the Ti­tle IIA fed­eral funds would have to be used by Sept. 30, as they don’t carry over.

Richard Nyankori, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of In­sight Ed­u­ca­tion Group, pre­vi­ously told the BOE at its Sept. 10 work ses­sion that 10 teach­ers would re­ceive two hours of in-per­son coach­ing per month and six one-hour vir­tual coach­ing ses­sions dur­ing a six-month pe­riod from Oct. 1 through April 30,


Nyankori said the coach­ing ses­sions will pro­vide real-time feed­back to teach­ers, and fol­low up on ideas and strate­gies dis­cussed dur­ing the coach­ing ses­sions to help im­prove math in­struc­tion. Low math scores on re­cent Endof-Course-Tests (EOCTs) prompted the school sys­tem to hire the con­sult­ing firm, of­fi­cials have said.

Shan­non Buff, NCSS di­rec­tor of sec­ondary cur­ricu­lum, in­struc­tion and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, said Com­mon Core Ge­or­gia Per­for­mance Stan­dards, which in­cluded a new math­e­mat­ics cur­ricu­lum, were in­tro­duced last fall.

Spring 2013 was the first time stu­dents took the Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra EOCT test, re­plac­ing the Math I por­tion of the tests. In Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra, EOCT scores were ex­tremely low for the state and the dis­trict, NCSS of­fi­cials re­ported in July.

Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra, taken by ninth-graders, had a 19.4 per­cent pass rate in the school sys­tem, com­pared with the state pass rate of 37 per­cent. All three New­ton high schools scored be­low the state score on the Co­or­di­nate Al­ge­bra test.

In­sight Ed­u­ca­tion Group has ex­per­tise in help­ing mi­nor­ity and low-in­come stu­dents achieve at the same lev­els as their peers. The ed­u­ca­tional con­sult­ing firm has worked with Bal­ti­more City Pub­lic Schools, Chicago Pub­lic Schools, Dis­trict of Columbia Pub­lic Schools, the Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, and sev­eral other school dis­tricts around the coun­try.

Nyankori said part of what makes In­sight’s pro­gram suc­cess­ful is that its staff con­sists of ed­u­ca­tors who have taught the cur­ricu­lum.

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