Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Mathematics and Science Education: Connecting Curriculum Sensitive Assessment With Teacher Professional Development and Student Learning Outcomes
Authors: William H. Schmidt, Neelam Kher, Richard T. Houang, Leland Cogan, Kathleen Wight

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5. Conclusions

The curriculum-sensitive data employed in PROM/SE have offered insights for the design of professional development and data for systematic evidence-based curriculum reform within participating schools and district. The project emphasized the notion of "curricular content trajectories" and helping teachers to identify them within standards and in instructional materials. Professional development for the teachers has focused on: a) deepening teachers' mathematical knowledge for teaching and cognitive demands of tasks; b)using data, both from PROM/SE and other relevant sources; c)familiarizing teachers with the connections between content related standards and instructional practices; and, d) Developing teacher understanding of content trajectories within and across grade spans.

The project has just completed four years. In the final phase of our data collection evidence will be obtained regarding changes in the intended, implemented and attained curriculum. The analysis of the student learning outcomes will also include contextual variables such as district and school level policies and leadership and extent of teacher participation in available professional development. In addition to professional development provided by PROM/SE, teachers also avail of other opportunities for professional development.

In preparation for summative data collection there are plans to obtain comprehensive information related to other professional development activities. Changes in policies, personnel and leadership will also be noted to determine if these factors provide rival explanations for the hypothesized student learning outcomes.