John M. Cooper, Ed.D, who served in several positions at Harvard University and has extensive experience in education and government, has agreed to serve as the new convener of Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team (MPPT).
He replaces Geoffrey L. Schuler, a retired Boeing Company executive who has served as convener since the team’s creation in 2015.
MPPT, a group of math professionals at the high school and college level who are supported by TCCC, works to improve the tri-county area’s math curricula and ensure every child graduates high school ready to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce.
Cooper, who became convener of MPPT on March 19, earned a doctorate in education from Harvard University in Administration, Planning and Social Policy in 1995. He also has a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University.
He served as associate director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education after working in both the executive and legislative branches in North Carolina and South Carolina. Later, he served in several positions at Harvard, including assistant dean for finance for the faculty of arts and sciences. Cooper also was the chief financial officer and faculty member of the Institute of Health Professions at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Cooper retired as the associate director of the Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2016 and has been active as a community volunteer in Charleston as part of Social Venture Partners Charleston.
“Dr. Cooper’s strong background in education, administration and government makes him an excellent choice to continue MPPT’s important work,” TCCC CEO John C. Read said. “We look forward to seeing his leadership help to improve math education and outcomes for all tri-county children.”
Under Schuler’s leadership, the MPPT implemented many initiatives, including:
- Spearheading the implementation of Algebra Nation, an online math enrichment tool, which is now fully funded by the State of South Carolina for use by all school districts statewide.
- Establishing the Excellence in Mathematics Teaching awards to recognize and honor mathematics teachers and administrators from the four regional school districts.
- Reviewing the high school math curricula of the four tri-county school districts and recommending requirements for all high school students to complete at least four credits of math: Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry and a fourth higher-level math course beyond Algebra 2.
- Proposing that high school math courses beyond Algebra I and Algebra 2 (e.g. Geometry and Precalculus) should include an end-of-course (EOC) exam common across each school district, that each EOC exam should align exclusively to the priority standards set for that course and that these exams should count for at least 15% of the student’s final grade for the course.
“Geoff Schuler has done an amazing job leading the Math Pathways Project Team in its work with local school systems and the state to improve math education attainment for all our children,” said Anita Zucker, CEO of The InterTech Group and chair of the TCCC Board of Directors. “We are very grateful for the team’s many accomplishments under his guidance, and we look forward to further MPPT achievements as Dr. Cooper transitions into the role.”