University Courses on
Mathematics and Science Content Knowledge
University course offerings for in-service CPS teachers received a huge boost from the Chicago Urban Systemic Program in 2000 (CUSP). Most Chicago-area universities had no such courses at all before this program began. Even after this program ended, the number of universities offering courses and the number of courses offered continue to rise. The mechanisms that allowed this expansion to occur, as discussed below, did not develop all at once, but rather in discrete steps. Certain factors, including district policies, the availability of funding from private and public sources, and changes in leadership at the district and school levels, improved the potential for various aspects of the reform to continue. There are necessary evolutionary stages in building sustainability, as initially structures must be developed and models adhered to fairly strictly. At later stages, the models can be adapted both qualitatively (such as the use of co-teachers in university courses) and quantitatively (such as the addition of new university partners). In the end, it is the crafting of “what works” that is sustainable, and what works is influenced by flexible models, reliable funding, accountability, and continued incentives that keep driving the reform forward.