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Florida Launches Finding the Right Angle for Math – a New Professional Development Opportunity for Middle School Math Teachers

March 16, 2023

FDOE Press Office

Florida Launches Finding the Right Angle for Math – a New Professional Development Opportunity for Middle School Math Teachers

Miami, Fla., March 16, 2023 – Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez and Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. highlighted a unique offering for math teachers in Florida. This new professional learning opportunity, currently taking place throughout the spring semester, provides five regional learning events for more than 700 middle school teachers. The initiative is called Finding the Right Angle for Math, and will focus on teaching strategies such as how to leverage progress monitoring data to make informed instructional decisions specific to mathematics.

“While Florida’s 4th grade math scores were top five in the nation, we noticed a dip in 8th grade math scores,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “That’s why we acted with urgency to develop a robust professional learning program, specifically targeted to middle grade math teachers. I applaud our educators for taking initiative and putting the success of our students first.”

“Robust math instruction creates a variety of opportunities for our students,” said Manny Diaz, Jr. “We must focus on increasing math scores for middle school students, which will set them up for success in high school and beyond. Thank you to our educators for partaking in this professional learning, and I look forward to seeing its positive results.”

Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida was the first state to return to in-person instruction for students in the fall of 2020, which avoided the catastrophic pandemic learning losses that occurred in other states that kept their schools closed. Overall, Florida received the highest rankings in state history on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as the nation’s report card. However, when we received the grade eight math scores, it spurred the Florida Department of Education to quickly develop and implement a plan to provide concentrated support to teachers in delivering effective instruction aligned to the newly revised Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards for Mathematics.

More information on Finding the Right Angle for Math:

  • Throughout the spring 2023 semester, the Department is holding five regional professional learning events for more than 700 middle school teachers.
  • Events are located in Bay, Miami-Dade, Orange, Hillsborough and Alachua counties.
  • Each educator who participates in the training will receive a $1,000 stipend.

In addition to these comprehensive professional learning events, Florida is further emphasizing middle grades mathematics through:

  • Professional learning for professors in elementary and middle school math teacher preparation programs to ensure that teacher preparation programs are no longer teaching Common Core and future educators fully understand how to teach the new B.E.S.T. standards to students.
  • Development of videos by Florida math teachers and leaders to support the components of the B.E.S.T. Instructional Guide for Mathematics to create a “living instructional guide.”
  • Creation of resources that provide educators with strategies on teaching accelerated courses, emphasizing the importance of teaching to the course description so that students do not have any unintentional learning gaps.

For more information, please visit the B.E.S.T. Standards for Mathematics page of the FDOE website.

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