Birmingham City Schools to participate in new math training program

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Birmingham City School (BCS) teachers will soon participate in a new program to help improve students’ math scores.

It comes after the state department released the failing schools list just a few weeks ago. 13 schools within the BCS district were on the list, but it’s less than in years past.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan says while they’ve made progress, there’s still more work to be done.

“Just this year, we had seven schools to come off the list,” he explained. “We had four to come on so we have a net of 13 but we’re not going to satisfied until every school is off the list.”

To make that happen, the school system is investing in a new program. Dr. Sullivan says the program costs around $240,000.

“I think it’s money well spent because it gives our teachers those skills they need in order to improve instruction,” he added.

It’s called the Public Education Leadership Program and it will focus on math instruction. Dr. Sullivan says it’s a 10-week intensive training for the teachers.

“Gives our teachers the opportunity to fail and succeed and give them an opportunity to be innovative and go back and take those practices back to their classroom and quickly change the cycle,” said Dr. Sullivan. “So if you have students not doing well, not performing well, you can analyze what those issues are and quickly address those issues so that students can be successful.”

He says the same program has produced good results in other schools within cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

“We know the state of Alabama is getting ready to push out the Numeracy Act just like they pushed out the Literacy Act so we want to position Birmingham City Schools to be in the best position,” said Dr. Sullivan. “Our goal is to be proactive not reactive.”

Twenty schools will be participating in the program and the skills that are learned will stick with the teachers for a lifetime.

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