Loyola Marymount University (LMU) announced Monday, June 16th, that its math and science teaching program continues to experience an increase in California High School Exit Exam scores at six urban Los Angeles charter high schools.

For the past school year, the Math and Science Teaching (MAST) program, part of the Center for Math and Science Teaching at LMU, worked with six Alliance-for-College Ready schools, a nonprofit charter school management organization. The six Los Angeles schools include Gertz Ressler, Heritage, Huntington Park, CRAHS, Ouchi and Stern MASS.

“This innovative math and science teaching program improves the quality of math and science instruction,” said Shane Martin, dean of the School of Education. “By creating an environment of effective and engaging math and science educators, the MAST program is ultimately enhancing student learning.”

Judy Burton, president and chief executive officer of Alliance, added, “The success of the Alliance schools is due in part to the MAST program. These educators have greatly benefited our network of schools.”

Of the half-dozen schools, Huntington Park improved the most from 2007 to 2008, increasing its math scores by 12 percent, from 60 to 72. Gertz Ressler scored the highest, climbing from 82 percent to 91 percent on the test. Heritage went from 63 percent in 2007 to 72 percent in 2008. CRAHS, Ouchi and Stern MASS received 87 percent, 88 and 88 percent respectively, a significant increase when the comparative results of the other schools for 2007 were examined.

The MAST program works to improve teachers’ classroom instruction and leadership skills and aims to increase student engagement and knowledge of mathematics. LMU faculty members work with the faculty at the Alliance schools, tailoring each program at each participating school, and the program is designed to meet the needs of math and science teachers and students.

The program, which also seeks to improve the quality and effectiveness of teaching by enhancing student-learning and proficiency, closes the achievement gap in math and science, according to LMU.

In addition, MAST also seeks to retain competent and dedicated math and science teachers. As shown by this year’s California exit exam scores, this interaction leads to higher student scores on standardized achievement tests, according to LMU.