The University of Rhode Island (URI), Rhode Island College (RIC), Johnston Public Schools and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) are Core Partners in a comprehensive, statewide effort to improve the quality of science teaching and learning at all secondary schools. The Education Alliance at Brown University, which will evaluate the project, is a supporting partner together with the Community College of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and the Concord Consortium.
Rhode Island Technology Enhanced Science (RITES) will, in five years of NSF funding, transform the quality of science teaching and learning at all secondary schools, with the goal of increasing the number and diversity of students who are proficient in science and pursue careers in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM). The heart of the project is the seamless integration of all segments of the Rhode Island educational community (i.e., teachers and school systems, higher education science departments and schools of education, the various state offices that monitor and support STEM education and the private sector).
RITES will impact all 686 middle school and high school teachers and all of their 83,339 students with excellent, challenging, computer-based, standards-aligned, science materials. Pairs of high schools and feeder middle schools will join the Partnership together by developing a unified, comprehensive, middle and high school science action plan that will integrate RITES resources, for professional development of teachers and materials for students, with school needs and ongoing school reform. Schools that participate in the project will be expected to have the active engagement of the school leadership and at least 75% of the science teachers. Teachers will attend short courses not only to deepen their content knowledge and pedagogy but also to learn how to customize the newly designed curricular materials for their own classrooms. The comprehensive evaluation plan will include annual reviews of the New England Common Assessments Program (NECAP) science assessment,which will be administered for the first time in Spring 2008.
Project website: http://www.ritesproject.net/
Daniel Murray, University of Rhode Island - PI
Anne Veeger, University of Rhode Island - Co-PI
Glenisson deOliveira, Rhode Island College - Co-PI
Peter McLaren, Rhode Island Department of Education - Co-PI
Alicia Storey, Westerly Public Schools - Co-PI