members of the coalition could both reward and punish universities for cooperating or resisting change.
The task is often difficult for universities, Levine said. For example, Ball State University, the largest producer of teachers in Indiana, broke its teacher education program into modules that it embedded in field experiences for future teachers. It created residencies for teachers to work on program design and residencies for professors in schools so they could spend time teaching in the schools in which they were preparing teachers to work. “We’ve told [the universities] that the whole world of science has changed. The whole world of math has changed. What we expect of schools is very different than we used to expect from them. We need a new coterie of science teachers and math teachers. What we want you to do is join us and let’s invent that future together.”
The foundation expected a memorandum of understanding signed by the president of the university, the school board, and the superintendent that included dates and deliverables. Funding for curriculum reform then hinges on meeting those dates and deliverables. For example, the universities “had 21 months to change their entire programs before any fellows arrived. If they hadn’t changed the program, they got no fellows.” In addition, vertical integration was emphasized. Recruitment, preparation, placement, retention, and professional development were tied into a single program instead of being reformed one by one.
“In the years ahead, we have the capacity to obtain the science education the children in our nation need,” said Levine. “But achieving this goal requires moving with alacrity, establishing explicit roles for each stakeholder in the system, and instituting coalitions of the key actors in each state.”
We have the capacity to obtain the science education the children in our nation need. But achieving this goal requires moving with alacrity, establishing explicit roles for each stakeholder in the system, and instituting coalitions of the key actors in each state.