CPB Media Room

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards Grant to WGBH to Develop New Middle School Math Resources

  • April 9, 2013

Expanded content created for PBS LearningMedia addresses a critical need in middle school math education and provides new teaching tools for educators

Washington, D.C. – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced a nearly $2 million grant to Boston-based public television station WGBH to expand middle school math content available through PBS LearningMedia, a free digital media service with more than 30,000 resources, including videos, games, images, audio files and lesson plans to help teachers enhance learning in classrooms nationwide.

Educators stress the importance of providing all students access to a rigorous, high-quality math education. Many now believe that traditional approaches to teaching math are not as effective as digital learning in preparing youth for the 21st century workforce(1), particularly among students from diverse or minority backgrounds. As a result, achievement levels continue to steadily decline and students’ interest in the subject remains at an all-time low. Yet, around the world, demand for advanced math knowledge is on the rise, emphasizing the need to identify new approaches to strengthen math education in the U.S.

With the grant from CPB, WGBH, in collaboration with producing partners WNET (New York City), KET (Kentucky) and KQED (San Francisco), will contribute and oversee the development of more than 400 new digital resources focused on math at the middle school level for PBS LearningMedia. Public television stations KUEN (Ogden, Utah), Maryland Public Television, Alabama Public Television, KAET (Phoenix, Ariz.), KCPT (Kansas City) and the National Minority Consortia will also contribute assets that will help educators illustrate critical math concepts using culturally relevant approaches and examples. These digital math resources will focus on addressing diversity and equity issues from multiple angles.

“For more than 40 years, public media has supported our nation’s educators with high-quality, trusted resources that help engage students in learning,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “By developing much-needed math resources, accessible through PBS LearningMedia, WGBH is addressing a critical need among teachers and giving students the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.”

New math tools on PBS LearningMedia will be aligned to Common Core State Standards, which provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn so that teachers and parents know how best to support their academic achievement. Additions to the site will include self-paced lessons that provide guided pathways through the content, enabling students to progress as they master designated skills and concepts. Support materials will aid educators in meeting the diverse and varied needs of their students through highly personalized learning and differentiated instruction.

“We’re excited to help build capacity within PBS LearningMedia in the critically important area of standards-based math resources,” said WGBH President Jon Abbott. “Working in partnership with diverse organizations will allow us to maximize the use of these tools for teachers and students across a broad spectrum of needs.”

Additional math resources are available to students, parents and educators through American Graduate Classroom Resources, which is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen – a public media initiative to address the high school dropout crisis, made possible by CPB. The website, which was created by American Graduate partner station WNET, the premiere public media provider for New York City, provides easy navigation to the best of public media’s educational resources in math, as well as the arts, careers, ESL, health and sports, language arts, science and engineering, and social studies targeted to middle and high school students. The site also features tools to help students enhance 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, digital media, technology, and research and information-gathering, which are vital for success in today’s economy.

About WGBH WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, producing such award-winning PBS series as Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBH 44, and digital channels World and Create. Local WGBH TV productions that focus on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black, and María Hinojosa: One-on-One. WGBH Radio serves listeners from Cape Cod to New Hampshire with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s NPR® Station for News and Culture; 99.5 All Classical; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also produces the national radio news program The World. WGBH is a leading producer of online content and a pioneer in developing educational multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for people with disabilities. Find more information at www.wgbh.org

About PBS LearningMedia As America’s largest classroom, teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a free media-on-demand service available to educators nationwide. It brings together the best of public media and delivers research-based, classroom-ready rich media experiences that engage students in exploring curriculum concepts that align with National and Common Core State Standards. Drawing from critically acclaimed PBS programs such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and PBS KIDS programs like SID THE SCIENCE KID, as well as content from organizations including The National Archives Smithsonian, NPR, and NASA, the free service offers teachers access to more than 30,000 videos, images and articles to enrich classroom instruction. Nationwide, more than 875,000 teachers have registered access to PBS LearningMedia. More information about PBS LearningMedia is available at www.pbslearningmedia.org, or by following PBS LearningMedia on Twitter and Facebook.

(1) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, “Position Statement: Technology in Teaching and Learning Mathematics.” http://www.nctm.org/about/content.aspx?id=31734

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

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