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Pasco schools win $1 million Gates grant to improve math lessons

The district will work with TNTP to prepare teachers with new curriculum.
A Pasco County eighth grader works on algebra problems to prepare for the end-of-course exam.
Published Aug. 30

The Pasco County school district’s initiative to overcome classroom lessons that don’t match state academic standards gained a $1 million boost Thursday, with the receipt of a competitive grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support new middle school math materials.

Pasco is one of 12 districts across the nation to win the award.

With it, the district plans to pair with TNTP, the group that authored the “Opportunity Myth” report that is driving Pasco’s efforts, to train teachers on how to use the Illustrative Math curriculum.

The goal is to get proper materials in teachers’ hands, and show them how to best challenge their students at all proficiency levels.

“Pasco County Schools is committed to providing teachers with supports to deliver top-notch, standards-aligned instruction, using high-quality instructional materials so that they can prepare all students for success in college, career, and life,” superintendent Kurt Browning said in a released statement.

The district has been working with TNTP for the past five years. In 2014, the group visited classrooms and found that many teachers lacked materials that aligned to the state standards.

This year, Browning announced he would embrace the group’s four main goals to tackle the “opportunity myth,” going so far as to send the report to all newly hired teachers in the district.

RELATED: Students are doing their work, but schools are making it too easy, report says

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