National Math and Science Initiative

At a Glance

National Office: 
325 N. Saint Paul St. Suite 2900
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-665-2500
People Served: 
417,489
Year Founded: 
2007
Tax ID: 
11-3769438

Focus area(s):

Teacher & Principal Training
K-12 Reform
Reading/Math

Description

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) is an agent of change focused on improving student achievement in math and science across the public school system.  NMSI brings best practices in management to the education sector by replicating proven programs on a national scale.

NMSI has scaled UTeach, a math and science teacher preparation program, to 22 universities across 11 states in just four years.  NMSI's comprehensive high school program that increases student achievement in math, science, and English has been implemented at over 300 high schools in just four years

Impact and Outcomes

The 4,499 students enrolled in the 22 universities implementing UTeach are estimated to impact more than one million students over the course of their teaching careers.
NMSI has trained over 6,000 AP and Pre-AP teachers in rigorous STEM content and effective teaching pedagogy and has improved math and science skills of approximately 65,000 high school students.

Mission & Goals

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) was founded in 2007 in response to the National Academies’ landmark report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” an urgent rallying cry to improve U.S. STEM education and increase investment in research and development .  NMSI’s mission is to advance math and science education in the United States by scaling programs with proven results nationally.  Far too often in our country, the approach to educational problems has been to start pilot program after pilot program.  That unleashes a lot of bright ideas, but does not lead to sustained results for the 50 million students in America’s public school system.  

Program

NMSI is leading the field in scaling practice and action research.  NMSI achieves rapid results by using a systemic scaling model that ensures that replication sites produce the same or better outcomes than the original pilot. NMSI’s scaling model is grounded in experience and past success and provides an effective blueprint for scaling. While many entities recognize the need to replicate innovations that are working, some do not understand or know how to identify and transport the successful elements of one program into a different setting. NMSI’s basic scaling tenets are:

  1. Selecting programs already proven to be successful
  2. Identifying the programs’ key components
  3. Programs should not be cost prohibitive
  4. Selecting the right entity to implement the program
  5. Instituting performance management and rigorous program monitoring
  6. Establishing simple and effective collection of evaluation data
  7. Building partnerships and advocacy
  8. Communicating success

NMSI currently replicates two programs that are crucial to improving student achievement across the PreK-20 system:  (1) the UTeach program, which significantly improves the quantity and quality of new math and science teachers; and (2) Advanced Placement training programs (Pre-AP and AP), which expands the number students taking and succeeding in AP classes.

The UTeach program, developed at the University of Texas at Austin, recruits college students majoring in math and science into a teacher preparation program that integrates teaching skills with content knowledge and provides the students with both a math or science major and a teaching certificate in just four years (as compared to the typical five years).  NMSI’s K-12 AP programming empowers high-need, traditionally underrepresented students to succeed in rigorous courses by training the existing teacher corps and increasing the number and diversity of students taking and passing College Board Advanced Placement courses and exams in math, science, and English.

Impact

NMSI’s program creates a culture of high expectations, increased opportunity, and college-readiness, especially for high-need students that can be easily replicated in a variety of settings and for a variety of students:

  • For schools participating in NMSI’s program, the average first year increase in AP math, science and English qualifying scores for all students is 79%, and in math and science alone, increases are at 84%, as compared to 7% nationally. 
  • The average first year increase in math, science and English qualifying scores among African American and Hispanic students is 107%, and increases in math and science are at 104% as compared to 14% nationally. 
  • Average first year increases for girls in math and science are at 84% as compared to 7% nationally.

The longer NMSI’s program is in a school, the better they do. 

  • The average three-year increase in qualifying scores for all students in math science and English is 137%, and increases in math and science qualifying scores alone are 164%, as compared to 24% nationally.
  • The average three-year increase in math, science and English qualifying scores among African American and Hispanic students is 203% as compared to 50% nationally. The average three-year increases in qualifying AP scores in math and science alone among African American and Hispanic are at 208% as compared to 47% nationally.
  • Three-year average increases in qualifying math and science scores among females is 167%, as compared to 26% nationally.

Two recent studies examined the impact of NMSI’s programs, and both found positive effects.

The Jackson Studies -- Jackson’s (2007) first study found that NMSI’s program model is associated with increased student achievement and college enrollment, as demonstrated by positive effects on AP course enrollment, SAT/ACT scores, and college matriculation for students. Further, the significant increases in these outcomes continued to increase over time.

Jackson’s (2010) research indicates that the program’s benefits extend to college enrollment, which increased by about 9% for students in the program in comparison to those who did not participate. Moreover, this study found that increases in student achievement caused by the program persist into college with particularly positive effects on college outcomes for African-American and Hispanic students. Additionally, 22% more participating students persisted in college than non-participants, indicating the program improved the overall educational attainment of participating students.

The Holtzman Study -- Results found strong, statistically significant positive impacts of NMSI’s programs on AP exam passing(scoring a 3 or higher). The percentage point differences due to the program were 0.7 for math, 0.9 for science, 2.4 for English, and 3.0 for all three subject areas combined. For the latter two, these results translate to effect sizes of approximately 0.5 (half a standard deviation). These results are notable because, while the effects on exam-taking clearly indicate that more students take AP exams in NMSI schools than in non-NMSI schools, it is also true that exam passing rates increase as well, despite the broader array of students taking the exams. Additional analyses also suggested that the increases in the percentages of students passing were partly due to the increased percentages taking the exams. This suggests the possibility that, while access is expanded by NMSI, it also offers support to help an expanded pool of students succeed. 

Growth Plan

NMSI has quickly scaled two large and complex programs.  NMSI’s K-12 program was in 462 high schools in 2011-2012, and the UTeach program is currently in 34 universities across 16 states (UTeach).  All of this has been done in just four years, putting NMSI on a steep trajectory of producing increased student achievement and STEM teacher preparation. Less than three months after becoming operational, NMSI had already issued two national requests for proposals, and just five months after that, NMSI began implementing both programs.

Over the next five years, NMSI plans to continue scaling its programs per the following expansion model:

Program

Planned Expansion

Cost[1]

K-12 Program

From 9 to 23 states in 5 years (2012-2016)

$150M

Initiative for Military Families

From 52 to 200 schools in 5 years (2012-2016)

$60M

UTeach Program

From 32 to 62 universities in 5 years (2012-2016)

$66

 

This model will allow NMSI to continue scaling its programs to 14 new states (with approximately 40 schools implementing K-12 AP programming after five years in each state) and to bring IMF to 200 new schools.  Bringing the UTeach program to 10 new universities every two years would produce approximately 500 new, highly qualified math and science teachers once each program begins graduating students. 

Just as NMSI must continue to work to establish the sustainability of its scaling model, sustainability is also built into the budget structure for all NMSI programs. NMSI requires that the entities scaling NMSI programs raise an increasing percentage of matching funds over the course of the grant period. By decreasing the portion of the budget that is provided by the grant each year and increasing the portion of the budget that is raised by the educational organization each year, NMSI helps instill a culture of financial independence that is crucial to avoiding a funding cliff. By the end of the grant period, the grantee has learned how to operate the program independent of the initial grant funds and is self-sustaining. The implementers may develop strong relationships with corporate or philanthropic donors, apply for federal or state competitive grants, and many will have secured state funding. For example, Alabama’s governor announced in 2009 that all $1.3 million in state funds traditionally used in conjunction with AP courses and exams would flow through the non-profit operating in Alabama for use in its NMSI schools. The state of Tennessee has also agreed to fund four UTeach universities throughout the state. By requiring the grantee to shoulder an increasing portion of the operating budget each year, NMSI builds sustainability into the budget structure. 

[1]All costs are approximations based on average costs across current implementation sites and may vary based on geographic location and other factors in future scaling.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
325 N. Saint Paul St. Suite 2900
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-665-2500
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

No results found.

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2011

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$28,285,000
Foundation Grants: 
$817,336
Government Funding: 
$248,483
Contributions from Individuals: 
$371,660
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$29,722,479

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$3,919,723
Occupancy: 
$322,948
Travel & Entertainment: 
$643,482
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$146,304
Telephone & Communications: 
$268,164
Payments to Affiliates: 
$25,157,083
Other Expenses: 
$336,227
Other Expenses (Description): 

Depreciation, property and casualty insurance. 

Total Expenses: 
$30,793,931

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$-1,071,452

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2010

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$15,850,000
Foundation Grants: 
$6,453,500
Government Funding: 
$0
Contributions from Individuals: 
$911,773
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$574
Other Revenue (Description): 
Interest income
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$23,215,847

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$3,245,723
Occupancy: 
$306,565
Travel & Entertainment: 
$641,397
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$119,847
Telephone & Communication: 
$70,681
Payments to Affiliates: 
$18,750,885
Other Expenses: 
$378,457
Other Expenses (Description): 

Depreciation, property and casualty insurance, marketing expense, books and subscription, network and database. 

Total Expenses: 
$23,513,555

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$-297,708

Major Funders

Army Education Outreach Program

AT&T Foundation

BAE Systems, Inc.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Boeing Corporation

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Department of Defense Education Activity

Department of Education

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Exxon Mobil Foundation

IBM

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Northrop Grumann Corporation

O'Donnell Foundation

Office of Naval Research

Perot Systems (now Dell Perot Systems)

Peter O'Donnell

Texas Instruments