MSDE approves McDaniel’s “first-in-state” math leadership certificate program

December 03, 2010

The Maryland State Department of Education has approved McDaniel College’s Mathematics Instructional Leader (Pre-K–6) certificate program – the first of its kind in the state.

“We appreciate your efforts to address the needs of Maryland’s schools by developing a preparation program for this new certification area,” Norma N. Allen, MSDE’s chief of program approval and assessment branch, wrote in its approval letter to Henry Reiff, dean of McDaniel’s graduate and professional studies program. “We are pleased that McDaniel has taken the initiative to develop the first program in Maryland in this area.”

The program was created through the Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Leaders Project supported by The Brookhill Foundation, which is spearheaded through McDaniel graduate program by Francis “Skip” Fennell, professor of Education at McDaniel and past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

With the aid of a $400,000 grant from The Brookhill Foundation, Fennell has worked to support program initiatives to ensure the continuing professional development and mentoring of a cadre of mathematics teacher-leaders and elementary school mathematics specialists, and assess the impact of such teaching specialists on student achievement and school district improvement throughout the region.

“We need elementary school mathematics specialists, elementary classroom teachers who know and understand mathematics and can effectively mentor their colleagues,” says Fennell, who in 2000 served as chair of MSDE’s Mathematics Commission on “Keys to Math Success.” “Given our country’s need for students with a mathematics and science background and interest, this project is a first step in that direction, with multiple national implications.”

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