Robert Noyce Urban Mathematics Educator Program
The Robert Noyce: Urban Mathematics Educator Program (UMEP) at Georgia State University began in 2005. The goal of the UMEP is to increase the number of high-quality secondary mathematics teachers who seek jobs in urban school districts and are committed to remaining in urban school environments.
The project was designed:
- to recruit individuals who demonstrated a willingness and commitment to teach secondary mathematics in urban high need schools,
- to graduate 40 UMEP Scholars (10 per year) who would commit to teaching in our partner school districts, the Atlanta Public Schools and the DeKalb County Schools System,
- to support our Scholars in the induction years, and
- to provide seminars and other forms of professional development to support the retention of our Scholars in high need schools beyond the induction years.
The UMEP has been highly successful in addressing the problem of teacher retention—especially in high need schools. Over the tenure of the project, 40 scholars were accepted, 37 completed the degree program, and 33 are now in teaching in high need schools.
- Prepare, Practice, Partner - Innovation Strategies from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conferences (pdf)
Teachers in Urban School Districts: They Start, But Do They Stay?
A teacher recruitment and retention program in Georgia, which seeks to place excellent high-school math teachers in urban school districts, has achieved a 90-percent retention rate. The program emphasizes support and professional development for new teachers.
Attrition is a major factor contributing to teacher shortages, particularly in schools with the greatest needs, according to a 2003 report issued by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. Approximately one-third of all new math and science teachers leave teaching within the first three years, and attrition is highest in high-poverty, urban schools.
The Urban Mathematics Educator Program at Georgia State University, funded by NSF's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, is helping to fill the critical U.S. need for high-quality secondary mathematics teachers who join big-city schools--and stay. To date, 33 of the 37 graduates of the Georgia program, or 90 percent, have remained in their teaching positions beyond three years.