Distance Learning Professional Development for Math Difficulties
National tests in mathematics achievement of K-12 students indicate a performance gap across geographic regions of the country. Researchers have demonstrated that students in extreme rural areas receive among the least exposure to advanced mathematical understanding and have lower levels of educational aspirations and math achievement than their non-rural counterparts (Blackwell & McLaughlin, 1999; Roscigno & Crowley, 2001). Additionally, math disabilities (MD) are on the rise. Rural communities are deeply affected by these trends because disabilities are a significant though often overlooked part of the complex rural American situation. Additionally, a rural county's ability to provide a high quality math education has direct implications for the community's future economic prosperity. Programs that raise education levels are an essential part of a successful strategy to improve the economic well-being of rural America, however, economically disadvantaged rural schools are increasingly challenged to provide high quality, up-to-date, low cost math education reform. This investigation will produce professional development distance learning software that equips general classroom teachers with the skills to recognize unsuccessful mathematics performance patterns in their students and to make the best instructional decisions to ensure that each student can find academic and social success.
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