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Setting The Foundation For Reform: The Work of the Rural Systemic Initiatives


Barbara Heenan, Mark St. John, Samantha Brown, Michael Howard, Ana Becerra, Inverness Research Inc.


In the spring of 2000 Inverness Research Associates, with support from the National Science Foundation organized a conference for the leaders of the eleven (11) projects funded under the NSF’s Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI). The goal of the conference was to bring together the most experienced RSI leaders with those who were in the earlier stages of their work, and provide them a stimulating and safe venue in which they all could reflect upon their efforts to improve mathematics and science education in poor rural communities. Initially funded in 1994 the four most "mature" of the Rural Systemic Initiative projects, which had approximately five years experience, provided the nucleus of the conference discussions by making short presentation of their "cases." (These cases are summarized in Appendix B.) In addition to the goal of mutual learning, we hoped that the participants’ discussions would illuminate more general lessons about the nature of the work involved in improving mathematics and science education in poor rural areas.

This monograph contains the Executive Summary as well as the full report.

Intended Audience

Science and Mathematics Educators, Teachers, Reform Leaders, District Administrators, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research

Date published

April 2001

Distribution Policy

Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.

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