Math & Science Education Gets $22 Million Boost

By Kim Tucker

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2010) -- Florida's three Public Research -- Flagship Universities, the University of South Florida, Florida State University and the University of Florida, are educating Florida's mathematics and science teachers with support from PROMiSE (Partnership to Rejuvenate and Optimize Mathematics and Science Education in Florida), a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education and awarded by the Florida Department of Education. Now totaling nearly $22 million, PROMiSE recently received its third and final installment of $7,829,513. The principal investigator of the project is USF's Gladis Kersaint, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics education in the Secondary Education Department and senior research associate for the David C. Anchin Center.


PROMiSE is a partnership among the three Florida Public Research - Flagship Universities (USF, FSU, & UF), four large school districts (Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Duval & Seminole), educational consortia (Heartland Educational Consortium (HEC), North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC) & Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC)), Florida Virtual School, and Horizon Research, Inc. PROMiSE is a large-scale partnership effort that engages College of Arts and Sciences faculty (mathematicians & scientists), College of Education faculty (mathematics and science teacher educators) and teachers in the design and delivery of professional development for teachers of mathematics and science K-12.


The findings from the first offerings of the Florida PROMiSE Summer Institutes provide ample evidence that teachers who attended the institutes are making significant gains in their content knowledge. Further, teachers at all levels – elementary, middle, and high school – benefit from the content-rich institutes.  However, it is also clear that the participants could benefit from additional professional development building on the institute experience. Therefore, four follow-up days are planned for the academic year that will be important for consolidating and expanding the progress that has been made. These follow-up activities will provide opportunities for teachers to engage in research-based activities that will enable them to connect the mathematics and science content gleaned from the Institutes to useable forms for classroom application. So far, over 17,000 Florida teachers have received professional development training about the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards using materials developed by PROMiSE.  

“We are very pleased with the outcome of last year’s Summer Institutes and look forward to even more successful institutes this year,” says Kersaint. “Thanks to the efforts of all those involved, these institutes and follow-up days will hopefully provide Florida teachers with an increased math and science content knowledge that will benefit their students.”  
Each year approximately 1,000 educators will participate in a Summer Institute program to obtain inquiry-based experiences, activities and investigations in mathematics and science subject matter.
Throughout Summer Institute 2010, experts from College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education (COEDU), and school districts will deliver a revised version of the Professional Development Program that they designed and implemented the previous year.


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 Kim Tucker is the communications & marketing officer in the College of Education.



The USF College of Education is ranked 54th by U.S. News & World Report of graduate schools in the country, is accaredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher  Education (NCATE) and is fully approved by the Florida Department of Education. The USF College of Education is the fourth largest public college of education in the nation. For more information on the USF College of Education, visit: or

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.