The Foundation’s partnerships with municipalities have increased in the previous school year to 15 cities. Each municipality defines an ambitious goal for increasing its number of five-unit high school graduates in mathematics and prepares a plan to support the teachers, harness the principals and engage the parents. In order to sustain this growing portfolio, last year we convened a small group of consultants. They interacted with the education and program leaders in each municipality and helped them to prepare and execute the program.
We chose four consultants with substantial experience and expertise; Yohanan Doron, former school principal and head of the education department in the town of Netivot; Leah Dolev, previous head of mathematics at ORT school network and member of the International Advisory Council of the Trump Foundation; Bahaa Zoabi, of Al-Qasemi Academic College, who works with Arab municipalities; and Ronit Haimov, former school principal in the town of Holon. Each of them spent 30 hours a month during the past year in supporting 3-4 municipalities.
Their support concentrated on assisting the local education leadership in collecting and analyzing data regarding students and teachers, organizing the local team around the goals, and preparing a program to develop pedagogic expertise among teaching staff. Feedback given by the local leaders was positive, and pointed to receiving valuable assistance with תplanning and meeting standards and to the effective relationship with the consultant whilst executing the program.
For example, in one municipality, the program leader had no five-unit mathematic teaching background, and consequently needed assistance in harnessing an academic institution and guiding it to focus on the five-unit agenda. In another city, the program leader was reluctant to using clinical teaching tools and means to advance the five-unit goal. The consultant used the high drop down rate from the five-unit track to persuade the leader that a significant change in pedagogy indeed was required.
In light of the above, we are proposing to continue this program for an additional year, where the consultants will monthly provide 30 hours of guidance to 24 new and ongoing municipalities. In addition, they will participate in 6 meetings with the foundation staff and continuously report on their work. During this year, we intend to think carefully about the sustainability of this service as part of a network we are currently creating between our partner cities. An evaluation study will analyze the performance and contribution of the consultants, and inform the decision on long-term sustainability.
* The text presented above shows the grant as approved by the Foundation Board / Grant 312