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Math for America Boston Inc.

 Dept of Mathematics, Boston University, c/o Professor Steven Rosenberg, 111 Cummington Mall
 Boston, MA 02215
[P] (617) 358-2388
[F] --
www.mathforamerica.org/boston
[email protected]
Kristen Luce
INCORPORATED: 2009
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-1240064

LAST UPDATED: 09/18/2015
Organization DBA MfA-Boston
MfA-B
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

Math for America-Boston (MfA-Boston) works to improve student engagement, interest, and achievement in mathematics by recruiting, training, and retaining expert mathematics teachers for high needs Boston area public middle schools and high schools. MfA-Boston consists of a Teaching Fellowship program to recruit and prepare new teachers and a Master Teacher Fellowship program to deepen and share the skills of expert teachers - together with extensive professional, mathematical, and financial supports which include graduate tuition, stipends, mentoring, professional development, and an inspiring community of mathematicians, teachers, and educational specialists. All Fellows commit to at least 4 years of teaching in a high needs Boston area public school.

Mission Statement

Math for America-Boston (MfA-Boston) works to improve student engagement, interest, and achievement in mathematics by recruiting, training, and retaining expert mathematics teachers for high needs Boston area public middle schools and high schools. MfA-Boston consists of a Teaching Fellowship program to recruit and prepare new teachers and a Master Teacher Fellowship program to deepen and share the skills of expert teachers - together with extensive professional, mathematical, and financial supports which include graduate tuition, stipends, mentoring, professional development, and an inspiring community of mathematicians, teachers, and educational specialists. All Fellows commit to at least 4 years of teaching in a high needs Boston area public school.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015
Projected Income $65,000.00
Projected Expense $201,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Master Teacher Fellowship Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Math for America-Boston (MfA-Boston) works to improve student engagement, interest, and achievement in mathematics by recruiting, training, and retaining expert mathematics teachers for high needs Boston area public middle schools and high schools. MfA-Boston consists of a Teaching Fellowship program to recruit and prepare new teachers and a Master Teacher Fellowship program to deepen and share the skills of expert teachers - together with extensive professional, mathematical, and financial supports which include graduate tuition, stipends, mentoring, professional development, and an inspiring community of mathematicians, teachers, and educational specialists. All Fellows commit to at least 4 years of teaching in a high needs Boston area public school.


Background Statement

MfA-Boston was established in 2009 as a 501(c)(3) public charity, contributions to which are tax deductible. Our partners are Boston University, MIT, Boston College, Education Development Center (EDC) and PROMYS for Teachers. MfA-Boston operates autonomously with some financial and technical support from the national office. For example, the MfA national office provided a start-up grant.  

The national Math for America (MfA) program was established as a public charity in New York City in 2004 by a group of business leaders, mathematicians, and educators, led by Dr. James Simons. There are autonomous satellite programs in Boston, Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, Utah, and Washington DC. 

MfA-Boston selects college graduates with strong backgrounds in mathematics and offers these Teaching Fellows the practical incentives of teacher training, initial teaching license, and a graduate degree. We offer a stipend, four years of mentoring and guidance by seasoned teachers of mathematics, and ongoing professional development which focuses on teacher-designed ways to bring authentic mathematical experiences into the everyday classroom. All Fellows experience PROMYS for Teachers, the intensive summer immersion in mathematical practice which has been inspiring teachers for over 20 years and is a distinguishing feature of the MfA-Boston program.

We retain exemplary mathematics teachers in the classroom with professional opportunities, stipends, advanced graduate courses to deepen their mathematical understanding, and the recognition of an MfA-Boston Master Teacher Fellowship. MfA-Boston Master Teachers are required to share their expertise with fellow teachers and are given access to a highly motivating and professionally enriching community of local, regional and national peers. Master Teachers are expected to mentor early career teachers and to develop inspiring teaching materials for both students and other teachers. 

All Fellows are supported over their careers by a vibrant and interactive professional community comprised of teachers, mathematicians, and education researchers who work together in study groups on current challenges in mathematics education and participate in a range of professional and leadership activities that keep mathematics at the core. All MfA-Boston Fellows commit to at least four years of teaching in high needs Boston area public schools. There are 36 current Fellows.

 


Impact Statement

1)  Retention: 100% of Math for America-Boston Fellows continue to work in a high-needs middle or high school mathematics department.

2)  MfA-Boston Master Teachers (MTs) are developing into leaders in mathematics education in Massachusetts. For example: 1) Two MTs are now Directors of Mathematics for their high needs district or Head of Department; 2) Two MTs presented at the March 2014 Noyce Northeast Conference on "Exemplary Mathematics Educators for High-needs Schools;” 3) An MT was nominated for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year; and 4) Another MT’s high needs classroom was visited by Governor Patrick because of the students’ high MCAS scores.
 
3) Thanks in part to national MfA recruitment, MfA-Boston recruited excellent Teaching Fellows from around the country for its NSF Noyce grant held jointly with Boston College: drawing mathematically strong graduates (from Cornell, Tufts, UChicago, Williams and other top programs) into teaching in high needs Boston-area public schools, where they are committed to stay for at least 5 years.
 

4) Two private donors each gave $25,000 or more. These private donations were matched by equal funding from the MfA national office and fund a new MfA-Boston Master Teacher Fellowship awarded in May 2015.

5) Very much lower administrative costs since March 2014 thanks to the new Executive Director generously choosing to work for only an honorarium.

GOALS:  
 
1) MfA-Boston is seeking donors who will completely fund a Master Teacher Fellowship (to be named after the funder) and funders who will contribute towards the Master Teacher program. Funders will be gratefully acknowledged both online and in printed materials.
 
2) Acquire funding for additional professional development for current Teaching Fellows in 2015-2019 (not covered by NSF funding).
 
3) Continue to strengthen the longstanding and inspiring MfA-Boston professional community of Teaching Fellows, Master Teachers, mathematicians, and education specialists in the Boston area.

Needs Statement

1) Funding for additional 4-year Master Teacher Fellowships (to be named after funding donor): $60,000. Component costs for one 4-year Master Teacher Fellowship broken out below:

 

•     Tuition for one pre-approved graduate course per year in mathematics or education ($3,000 per year): $12,000

•     Stipend to supplement teaching salary ($10,000 per year): 40,000     

•     Professional Development support ($1,500 a year): $6,000

•     Conference participation and travel support ($500 per year): $2,000
 
2) Funding to hire Professor Carol Findell (Boston University) to conduct additional professional development seminars for Fellows and honorarium for Executive Director.
 
3) Local sponsors who may not, at least initially, be ready to fully fund a Master Teacher but who may wish to develop an ongoing relationship with MfA-Boston to strengthen the community in which we all live and work.
 

4) Assistance in reaching out to potential donors who support MfA-Boston’s mission.


CEO Statement

MfA-Boston has six key distinguishing features:

1) MfA-Boston believes that teachers can effectively teach mathematics only if they have extensive exposure to and understanding of mathematics. So, MfA-Boston recruits graduates with strong backgrounds in mathematics and requires Fellows to take graduate courses in mathematics as well as in the teaching of mathematics. This results in teachers with deep mathematical understanding which translates into greater student understanding;

2) The mentoring provided by MfA-Boston is subject-specific, by expert teachers of mathematics;

3) All MfA-Boston Fellows participate in the rigorous PROMYS for Teachers (PfT) program (described below);

4) Professional development provided by MfA-Boston is more practical than theoretical; it focuses on teacher-designed ways to bring authentic mathematical experiences into the everyday classroom;

5) MfA-Boston creates a rare and mutually respectful environment in which classroom teachers and professional mathematicians work together to improve student learning; and

6) All MfA-Boston Fellows commit to at least four years of teaching in high needs Boston area public schools.


Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
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Organization Categories

  1. Education - Graduate & Professional Schools
  2. Science & Technology - Mathematics
  3. Education - Graduate & Professional Schools

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Master Teacher Fellowship Program

The Master Teacher program rewards excellence by recognizing exceptional practicing mathematics teachers in the Boston area with scholarships for advanced courses, professional development, leadership training, and salary supplements over four years. All Master Teachers participate in the intensive 6-week mathematical immersion experience of PROMYS for Teachers and subsequent workshops help the teachers bring PROMYS methods of mathematical investigation into the classroom. Master Teachers use their expertise to develop curriculum materials which foster effective mathematical learning. They have opportunities to design and lead professional workshops, mentor early career teachers, and share innovations and best practices with one another. Master Teachers will also have opportunities to engage in national leadership and policy events, such as presenting work at conferences and serving as leaders in the Boston and national mathematics education communities.

Budget  $64,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

“Through PCMI, coursework at BU, and other professional development opportunities I have had through MfA-Boston, I see my own practice as a teacher improving year after year. I am consistently challenged while being given tools to really make a difference in the mathematical education of my students. This has allowed me to become a leader of math instruction both within my school and in a larger math-ed community.” Ryan Casey, Master Teacher whose Roxbury classroom was visited by Gov. Patrick for its high MCAS scores.

“Being a Master Teacher Fellow has provided me with numerous opportunities to become a better mathematician and a better math teacher.” Brendon Ferullo, MfA-Boston Master Teacher at Framingham High School, MA (nominated for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year)

Program Long-Term Success 

Inspire, support, and reward highly effective teachers of mathematics so they remain in the classroom, help other teachers become effective in the classroom, and substantially improve success in mathematics for students in high needs Boston public schools. Continue to build a highly professional and mutually supportive community of excellence consisting of teachers of mathematics, research mathematicians, and educational professionals in the Boston area.

Support teachers who have strong understanding of mathematics and of the learning of mathematics. Build a culture of rigorous exploration-based mathematics in high needs Boston area public schools. Inspire students to have strong mathematical skills through experience tackling challenging mathematical problems under the guidance of teachers who can communicate positive feelings about mathematics and about the benefits of sustained student effort to understand mathematics.

Program Success Monitored By 

One crucial measure of success will be the extent to which our Master Teachers remain in the classroom. The national norm for mathematics teachers is 50%. 100% of MfA-Boston Fellows continue to work in a middle or high school mathematics department. We will also assess the breadth and depth of the Fellows’ sharing of their expertise within the math teaching community in the creation of effective curriculum and professional development and through presentations and publications. Classroom effectiveness will be measured using assessments by supervisors, teaching distinctions, and indications of student success in mathematics. MfA-Boston does not believe that teacher effectiveness is accurately measured by student standardized tests scores because effective teaching involves so much more than test preparation and uncontrolled variables in the student population make any posited correlation between student scores and teacher effectiveness highly suspicious.

Examples of Program Success 

Retention: 100% of Math for America-Boston Fellows continue to work in a high-needs middle or high school mathematics department.

MfA-Boston Master Teachers (MTs) are developing into leaders in mathematics education in Massachusetts. For example: 1) Two MTs are now Directors of Mathematics for their high needs district; 2) Two MTs presented at the March 2014 Noyce Conference on "Exemplary Mathematics Educators for High-needs Schools;” 3) An MT was nominated for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year; and 4) Another MT’s high needs classroom was visited by Governor Patrick because of the students’ high MCAS scores.

"I often wonder if I would still be in this career had I not received this Fellowship and been in touch with so many great people.” MfA-Boston Master Teacher


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Keith Hilles-Pilant
CEO Term Start Mar 2014
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience MfA-Boston’s only employee, Keith Hilles-Pilant largely donates his time, choosing to work for only an honorarium. Keith joined MfA-Boston in March 2014 after retiring from a distinguished career as a mathematician which included government work, work in the private sector, and 35 years as a classroom teacher of mathematics. Keith’s career associations include Los Alamos Scientific Lab, NASA (OAS Copernicus project), IBM Research, SUNY, Princeton, University of Illinois, Hotchkiss School, Milton Academy (teaching mathematics there from 1986-2013), the Clay Mathematics Institute (founding the CMI Junior Research Fellows program for high school students), Columbia University (Klingenstein Fellow), University of Saint Andrews (University Fellow), and School Year Abroad (teaching in France, Spain, Japan, and Italy). Keith participated in PROMYS for Teachers in 2009, 2010, and 2014.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

MfA-Boston collaborates with its partners:

Boston University - where Glenn Stevens (President and Chair) and Steven Rosenberg (Treasurer and Director) are Professors of Mathematics;

Boston College - where Sol Friedberg (Director) is Professor of Mathematics;

MIT - where Haynes Miller (Director) is Professor of Mathematics;

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) - where Al Cuoco (Director) is Distinguished Scholar and Director of the Center for Mathematics Education; and

PROMYS for Teachers (PfT), founded by Glenn Stevens in 1990.

MfA-Boston also collaborates with other organizations including

Focus on Mathematics (FoM), of which Glenn Stevens is Principal Investigator and which Al Cuoco co-directs.  Steve Rosenberg has served on the FoM advisory board and facilitated FoM study groups. FoM is a unique partnership of mathematicians, teachers and school districts dedicated to increasing student achievement by providing to mathematics teachers the content knowledge and skills valuable in their profession; and

IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) which runs programming for secondary school mathematics teachers; and

The national program of Math for America (MfA).

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 5
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 1
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 0
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Governance


Board Chair Professor Glenn Stevens
Board Chair Company Affiliation Boston University, Professor of Mathematics
Board Chair Term Jan 2010 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Dr. Al Cuoco Education Development Center, Inc., Distinguished Scholar Voting
Professor Sol Friedberg Boston College, Chair of Mathematics Department Voting
Professor Haynes Miller Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MacVicar Faculty Fellow Voting
Professor Steve Rosenberg Boston University, Professor of Mathematics Voting
Professor Glenn Stevens Boston University, Professor of Mathematics Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 0
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015
Projected Income $65,000.00
Projected Expense $201,000.00
Form 990s

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2014 Review

2012 Review

2010 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $265,993 $179,861 $284,386
Total Expenses $145,764 $265,962 $148,262

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$177,016 $174,250 $275,000
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $71,165 $3,560 $5,090
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $17,091 -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $721 $2,051 $4,296
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $138,714 $252,518 $108,458
Administration Expense $7,050 $10,922 $14,399
Fundraising Expense -- $2,522 $25,405
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.82 0.68 1.92
Program Expense/Total Expenses 95% 95% 73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 1% 9%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $741,320 $620,791 $706,892
Current Assets $741,320 $620,791 $706,892
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $345,000 $2,200 $2,200
Total Net Assets $396,320 $618,591 $704,692

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 2.15 282.18 321.31

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. The breakout of Foundation and Corporation funding, for each fiscal year, was provided by the organization.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Math for America-Boston (MfA-Boston) seeks to improve student engagement, interest, and achievement in mathematics in high needs Boston area public middle schools and high schools. 

The following are the problems MfA-Boston is working to address:

  • Too few Boston area public high school students are proficient in mathematics. 
  • Too many high school mathematics teachers are ill-prepared for their professional work.
  • Too few college graduates with strong mathematical skills choose to become teachers.
  • Too few high school mathematics teachers have experienced pleasure doing mathematics.
  • Too few high school mathematics teachers are able to communicate positive feelings about mathematics to their students.  
  • Too many excellent mathematics teachers leave the classroom after only a few years.
  • Too few high school students are being prepared for credit-bearing college mathematics courses.
  • Too few students are being prepared for good 21st Century jobs requiring strong mathematical skills.
  • Massachusetts public schools are among the best in the nation, but we need to do better in mathematics to compete globally.
Estimating that about 150 students are taught by each Fellow each year, the current corps of 36 MfA-Boston Fellows directly impacts about 5,400 high needs Boston area students each year. Through their mentoring of other teachers, their creation of innovative curriculum and professional development, and their impact on the Boston area teaching profession, the MfA-Boston Master Teachers also improve the math teaching received by many thousands of additional high needs Boston area students every year.  Math for America-Boston seeks to expand the number of Master Teacher Fellows in order to improve the mathematical success of many more of Boston's high need students.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

MfA-Boston consists of a Teaching Fellowship program to prepare new teachers and a Master Teacher Fellowship program to deepen and share the skills of expert teachers - together with extensive professional, mathematical, and financial supports which include graduate tuition and stipends. All Fellows commit to at least four years of teaching in high-need Boston area public schools. By working to strengthen the professional corps of mathematics teachers in the Boston area, MfA-Boston is working to improve student achievement in mathematics in high needs Boston area public schools. This creates education and employment opportunities for these students and social and economic benefits for the Boston area. 

MfA-Boston’s experience-backed core beliefs: 

  • To inspire students to achieve in mathematics, teachers must themselves have a strong understanding of mathematics.
  • For students to succeed in mathematics, they must engage creatively with mathematical content.
  • To facilitate active student engagement, teachers benefit from having had deep mathematical engagements of their own.
  • Teacher engagement with mathematics is enhanced by immersion in mathematics.
  • Such immersion encourages development of the habits of mind of the professional mathematician and expands a strong teacher’s repertoire of effective classroom techniques.
  • Bringing a mathematician’s habits of mind into the classroom strengthens student engagement.
  • Engaging students in mathematics results in more students entering STEM careers, a national priority for economic growth and security. 

What MfA-Boston Does: 

RECRUIT: We select college graduates with strong backgrounds in mathematics who commit to teaching at least 4 years in high-need Boston area public schools. We offer mathematically talented graduates the practical incentives of teacher training, initial teaching license, and a graduate degree. We offer a stipend, mentoring, ongoing professional development, and membership in a dedicated community of mathematicians, educators, and teachers - all working together to put mathematics at the center of mathematics education in Boston area high schools. And we offer the prestige of an MfA-Boston Teaching Fellowship.       

PREPARE: The MfA-Boston model for teacher preparation and professional development is quite different from more typical models in that MfA-Boston puts serious mathematics at the core of every aspect of a teacher’s experience and it involves expert teachers as partners in every aspect of the program’s design. Fellows start by completing a one-year master’s program with graduate courses in mathematics and in how mathematics is learned. They receive four years of mentoring and guidance by seasoned teachers of mathematics. Ongoing professional development from our award-winning partners at EDC focuses on teacher-designed ways to bring authentic mathematical experiences into the everyday classroom. All Fellows experience PROMYS for Teachers, the intensive summer immersion in mathematical practice which has been inspiring teachers for over 20 years and is a distinguishing feature of the MfA-Boston program. 

RETAIN: We retain exemplary mathematics teachers in the classroom and reward them for sharing their expertise with other teachers. We reward them for their excellence with both stipends and with the recognition and prestige of an MfA-Boston Master Teacher Fellowship. Master Teaching Fellows are required to share their expertise with fellow teachers and are given access to a local and national community of peers. We enable already exceptional high school mathematics teachers to deepen their mathematical understanding with further graduate courses and encourage them to develop inspiring teaching materials for students and for other teachers. We provide visibility for MfA-Boston’s Master Teachers both regionally and nationally and link them with other MfA teachers from around the country.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

MfA-Boston is uniquely qualified to significantly improve mathematics education in the Boston area since that has been the mission of its directors, officers, and partners for the past twenty years. MfA-Boston’s primary assets are the work of these mathematicians, their reputations in and beyond the Boston area, and the organizations and partnerships they have created and developed over the years. This is the community which will continue to work to improve mathematics in Boston schools and will continue to select, prepare, retain, nurture, support, and empower the MfA-Boston Fellows.

Board of Directors (all unpaid)

Glenn Stevens, President and Chair, has been Professor of Mathematics at Boston University since 1984. He is Director of the Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS), a program at Boston University for aspiring young mathematicians founded by Glenn in 1989, and PROMYS for Teachers, a related program he founded in 1990 for Boston area teachers. Glenn is Principal Investigator of Focus on Mathematics which is a unique partnership of mathematicians, teachers and school districts dedicated to increasing student achievement by providing to mathematics teachers the content knowledge and skills valuable in their profession. Initially funded as a Math Science Partnership Program by the National Science Foundation in 2003, Focus on Mathematics has grown to encompass a large mathematical community in the Boston area with diverse professional development opportunities. In 2010, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education appointed Glenn Chair of the Common Core Mathematics Review Board. Glenn is co-Principal Investigator of the NSF Noyce grant, Math for America Boston: Teaching Scholars Program. 

Steven Rosenberg, Treasurer, is Professor of Mathematics at Boston University and former department chairman. Steve is the co-Principal Investigator of the BU NSF Noyce grant, Math for America Boston: Teaching Scholars Program. Steve has been involved with Focus on Mathematics, serving on the advisory board and facilitating study groups.

Dr. Al Cuoco is Distinguished Scholar and Director of the Center for Mathematics Education at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), where he works in curriculum development, professional development, and education policy and is lead author of a four-year, NSF-funded, comprehensive high school mathematics program. Al co-directs Focus on Mathematics and also co-directs the development of the course for secondary teachers in the Institute for Advanced Study program at the Park City Mathematics Institute. Al taught high school mathematics in Woburn, Massachusetts from 1969 until 1993, except for a leave, during which he earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Brandeis University.

Sol Friedberg is Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Mathematics Department at Boston College. He has served as an advisor to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education concerning the Massachusetts mathematics framework. 

Haynes Miller has been Professor of Mathematics at MIT since 1986, chaired the Mathematics Department Education Committee for ten years, and was the first Associate Department Head in Mathematics, from 2011 to 2013.

Partners of MfA-Boston:

PROMYS for Teachers (PfT), founded by Glenn Stevens in 1992. All Fellows participate in PfT, a full-time 6-week summer immersion in mathematical problem solving followed by multiple workshops through EDC during the school year to help teachers translate their PfT experiences into effective learning in the high school mathematics classroom. 

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), the award-winning organization which designs, implements, and evaluates educational programs and which runs some of the Fellows’ professional development workshops and seminars.

Boston University (BU), Boston College (BC) and MIT: MfA-Boston holds joint NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Grants with BU and BC.  


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Success will be measured by 1) Long-term retention of Fellows in the high needs mathematics classroom. Fellows commit to 4 years, but we anticipate far longer retention; 2) The depth and effectiveness of curriculum materials and professional development projects created by the Fellows for use in the mathematics classroom; 3) The effective sharing of their expertise through mentoring, presentations and publications; 4) Assessments by school supervisors; 5) Teaching distinctions; and 6) Indications of student success in mathematics.  

MfA-Boston does not believe that teacher effectiveness is accurately measured by the performance of students on standardized tests, both because being an effective teacher involves so much more than preparing students for these tests and because the number of uncontrolled variables in the student population makes any posited correlation between student scores and teacher effectiveness highly suspicious.

Retention Rate Success: 100% of MfA-Boston Fellows continue to work in a high needs Boston area public middle school or high school. The national 5-year retention rate for mathematics teachers is about 50%.

MfA-Boston Master Teachers (MTs) are developing into leaders in mathematics education in Massachusetts. For example: 1) Two MTs are now Directors of Mathematics for their high needs district or Head of Department; 2) Two MTs presented at the 2014 Noyce Northeast Conference on "Exemplary Mathematics Educators for High-needs Schools;” 3) An MT was nominated for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year; and 4) Another MT’s high needs classroom was visited by Governor Patrick because of the students’ high MCAS scores.

Thanks in part to national MfA recruitment, MfA-Boston recruited excellent Teaching Fellows from around the country for its NSF Noyce grant held jointly with Boston College: drawing mathematically strong graduates (from Cornell, Tufts, UChicago, Williams and other top programs) into teaching in high needs Boston-area public schools, where they are committed to stay for at least 5 years.

 “Math for America Boston has provided me with an education and community where I can continue to grow as a math teacher for years to come. …I feel privileged to be a part of this community.” Kayla Scheitlin, MfA-Boston Teaching Fellow at Clark Avenue MS, MA

“One of the best parts of Math for America Boston is the community that is formed by the fellows and Master teachers. It is great to know that I am part of a community where everyone is excited to about math and about teaching it. I really appreciated having a mentor through Math for America.” Danielle Pike, MfA-Boston Teaching Fellow at Waltham HS, MA

"MfA, PROMYS, and the EDC has made me more comfortable in exploring mathematics by myself and with my students." - Tracia Fung, MfA-Boston Master Teacher at Brockton HS, MA

“MFA-Boston has helped me become more exploratory in my approach to both teaching and learning.” John Gilling, MfA-Boston Teaching Fellow at Seacoast HS, Revere MA

“Being a Master Teacher Fellow has provided me with numerous opportunities to become a better mathematician and a better math teacher.” Brendon Ferullo, MfA-Boston Master Teacher at Framingham HS, MA (nominated for MA Teacher of the Year)

 “Through PCMI, coursework at BU, and other professional development opportunities I have had through MfA-Boston, I see my own practice as a teacher improving year after year. I am consistently challenged while being given tools to really make a difference in the mathematical education of my students. This has allowed me to become a leader of math instruction both within my school and in a larger math-ed community.” Ryan Casey, MfA-Boston Master Teacher whose Roxbury classroom was visited by Gov. Patrick because of its high MCAS scores.

"I've really enjoyed being a part of MFA. I often wonder if I would still be in this career had I not received this Fellowship and been in touch with so many great people.” MfA-Boston Master Teacher


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Through its Teaching Fellows program, MfA-Boston has led 20 mathematically strong graduates to commit to teaching in high needs Boston area public schools. MfA-Boston has prepared these teachers for teaching very effectively and established them in a supportive professional community which will continue to motivate and enrich their teaching for years beyond the terms of their fellowships. 

Through its Master Teachers Fellows program, MfA-Boston has encouraged 16 expert teachers of mathematics to remain in the high needs Boston area classroom, further deepened their mathematical understanding, and, through the curriculum and professional development materials they create with MfA-Boston, caused their expertise to be of long-term value to both teachers and students.  

MfA-Boston community participants learn with and from one another, exploring deeply topics that are rooted in the secondary mathematics curriculum, and developing projects, activities and lessons that will build a culture of exploration for their students and develop teacher leadership. This community is the locus where MfA-Boston teachers are treated as highly regarded professionals, and the community is vital to keeping MfA-Boston Fellows motivated, inspired, and in the classroom. 

MfA-Boston Fellows not only enrich the mathematics education of their students and mentees, they also enrich the entire community of mathematics teachers in the Boston area. In particular, they enrich their high needs schools which so often suffer high teacher turnover which is so damaging to student learning and teacher morale. When good teachers enter the profession and when expert teachers stay in the profession, this forms a virtuous cycle for the teachers, for the schools, and above all, for the students. The effectiveness of the Fellows is augmented by their professional interactions with the mathematicians and educators in the broader community MfA-Boston forms with its colleagues at EDC, PROMYS for Teachers and Focus on Mathematics. 

MfA-Boston is building a strong corps of Boston area mathematics teachers who have deep mathematical understanding, strong teaching skills, a supportive and instructive professional community, and deep connections with Boston area mathematicians. Progress has been made, but a great deal more work remains to be done if every student in a high needs Boston area school is to be successful in mathematics. 

“Immersion in math is *the* way to become a successful math teacher. Much of the professional development at school takes a high level view of pedagogy, so programs like this are crucial in providing content pedagogical expertise that is hard to find in math.” Kim Scheltz, Math Chair at Boston Collegiate Charter School, Supervisor of an MfA-Boston Master Teacher 

“I have been asked to give PDs [Professional Development] not only at my own school but throughout the district as well... Although I have received some training in doing it, none of the training outside of MfA has been content-based and thus none of the training I've received outside of MfA has been at all useful in helping me to engage with other teachers in their practice.” Ryan Casey, MfA-Boston Master Teacher, Orchard Garden School, Roxbury, MA 

 “MfA-Boston has given me a network of educators to connect with, which has been immensely valuable during my first and now second years of teaching. I feel that my professional development has continued in ways that it would not if I was not involved in the MfA-Boston community because I am able to meet and discuss math education with other likeminded math educators.” Kayla Scheitlin, MfA-Boston Teaching Fellow at Clark Avenue MS, Chelsea, MA 

I get a lot from the collegiality and sharing between teachers in our meetings. Sharing our experiences, including lesson ideas that have gone well or terribly is incredibly helpful to me.” Shannon Hammond, MfA-Boston Master Teacher, Math Dept Head, University Park Campus School, Worcester, MA