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IHE Network

The Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Network was established to share knowledge among the institutions of higher learning in Southeast Wisconsin likely to contribute teachers to the Milwaukee Public Schools. This work is done in direct alignment with major goals of the MMP, focusing on building and sustaining a solid pool of teachers that understand mathematics and use that knowledge to improve student learning for children within the Milwaukee area.

Institutions of Higher Learning that are part of the Network include

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Marquette University
  • Alverno College
  • University of Wisconsin-Waukesha
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside
  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Carroll College
  • Mount Mary College
  • Carthage College
  • Concordia University
  • Lakeland College
  • Wisconsin Lutheran College
  • Waukesha County Technical College

The IHE Network will focus its efforts on the following 3 topics:

  • Preparing Urban Mathematics Teachers

Milwaukee, the Midwest “City of Colleges,” has many programs for preparing teachers, with UWM preparing the largest number of teachers for MPS. In the past three years, UWM certified over 40% of early childhood/elementary teachers and over 30% of high school math teachers hired in MPS. With its urban education mission and close partnership to the district, UWM will focus heavily on the redesign of the mathematical preparation of urban teachers and provide the lead for the IHE Network for mathematics. This work will be centered on research efforts targeting teacher learning through multiple measures and based on national research and professional recommendations highlighted in TheMathematical Education of Teachers (hereafter, MET) (CBMS, 2001) and Adding It Up (NRC, 2001a) reports.

The IHE Network will take on focused projects identified through ongoing needs assessments, such as the improvement of the mathematical content knowledge of elementary teachers. Network participants (college faculty and staff in mathematics and education, PK-12 teachers, district curriculum and assessment specialists) will meet approximately four times per year to (1) examine the Wisconsin licensing standards centered on performance measures; (2) prepare teachers to connect the learning of challenging mathematics to urban classrooms; and (3) conduct research on students’ mathematics performance. Early engagement has started through a state Eisenhower project and an earlier NSF initiative.

  • Developing the Math Knowledge Needed for Quality Teaching

Quality teachers need mathematics courses that develop in-depth understanding of the challenging mathematics they will teach (CBMS, 2001; Ma, 1999; National Commission on Math and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, 2000; NCTM, 1991; NRC, 2001b; Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001; Manouchehri, 1997; Papick, Beem, Reys, & Reys, 1999; Simon & Blume, 1994). Acknowledging that the current training is not adequate, we will work towards improved PK-12 teacher preparation.

Design teams of mathematicians, mathematics educators, teachers, and teachers-in-residence will collaborate to improve the mathematical preparation of PK-12 teachers. Focused work includes (1) preparation of prospective teachers with a deep understanding of the mathematical content needed for teaching in alignment to MET and NRC (2001a) recommendations, the Wisconsin mathematics standards, and the mathematics framework, and informed by UWM’s urban mission; and (2) utilization of the IHE Network for Teacher Preparation in mathematics to inform the redesign of the mathematical preparation of teachers at UWM, MATC, and colleges throughout the metropolitan area.

  • Ensuring Successful College Transition and Challenging Mathematics Curricula

The IHE Network initiative will engage mathematics faculty from UWM, MATC, and other universities and colleges along with high school mathematics teachers and guidance counselors to align challenging mathematics (i.e. Advanced Placement) courses for MPS students with the preparation of students for entry to higher education. The goal is not only a reduction in the number of students assigned to remedial mathematics courses in college, but a strong foundation for students to be successful at all levels.

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