A program at Black Hills State University, known as Project PRIME, was singled out by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today in a speech at Columbia University.
Below is a segment of the speech that Duncan made at Columbia University today in which he mentions BHSU as an example of high-quality innovative teacher preparation programs.
“There are many other first-rate teacher preparation programs—Stanford, the University of Washington, and Michigan, just to name a few. But I want to be clear that it doesn't take an elite university and a big endowment to create a good teacher education program...At Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, Project PRIME, a partnership with the Rapid City Schools uses school-based math coaches and graduate level courses for teachers to successfully boost math achievement among Native American students,” Duncan says as part of his speech. “I cite all these examples to point out that, with courage and commitment, our teacher preparation programs absolutely can provide dynamic and effective teacher preparation for the 21st century.”
Project PRIME, which is an acronym for Promoting Reflective Inquiry in Mathematics Education, is a unique and innovative partnership of the BHSU Center for Advancement in Math & Science Education (CAMSE), Rapid City area schools, and TIE (Technology in Education), a regional educational service agency in western South Dakota.
According to Dr. Nancy Hall, dean of the College of Education at BHSU, the goals of the project are to improve mathematics instruction within the Rapid City school district and to reduce the achievement gap between American Indian and non-American Indian students. District-wide interventions include building-based math coaches and graduate-level classes for teachers that focus on deepening content knowledge and increasing understanding of student thinking. A hallmark of PRIME has been its strong emphasis on collecting, analyzing, and using data to highlight successes, to determine areas in need of additional attention, and to guide the overall direction.
BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp says she’s pleased that the College of Education is receiving national recognition for this program.
“Secretary Duncan’s mention of Black Hills State University is a reflection of the high-quality innovative work in the College of Education,” Schallenkamp says. “BHSU has earned a stellar reputation for its teacher education program and we’re proud to be recognized nationally for our success.”