A Florida State University researcher has received the 2019 TaxWatch Productivity Award for helping Florida teachers and public schools save money through a free curriculum planner based on the latest educational standards.
Rabieh Razzouk, associate director of the Learning Systems Institute and acting director of the Florida Center for Research in STEM, developed the tool after recognizing that teachers needed more support in developing lesson plans that adhere to state standards. The planner is called CMAP, short for curriculum mapping.
“The idea was to create a tool that helps the teacher save time in planning, provide them the ability to maintain an accurate plan throughout the year, allow them to start next year more efficiently, and provide smart tools to support the teachers in finding resources that support them just-in-time based on their plans,” Razzouk wrote in his nomination form. “That was how the idea for the CMAP tool was born.”
CMAP was recognized as part of the 2019 Florida TaxWatch Productivity Awards. The annual awards program recognizes state employees for innovation and creativity that improve the delivery of state services either through increased productivity or cost savings.
Over the past three years, 159,000 teachers have used the CMAP, saving them an estimated $45 million combined over that period. Researchers reached that number based on the market cost of $100 for a curriculum planner, multiplied by 159,000 teachers. Then, that number was tripled for use over three years.
Razzouk initially received funding from the National Science Foundation to create a software application to address the needs teachers were facing in the classroom. The application has many facets, including web templates that aid teachers in creating a website with high-quality educational resources that their students can access outside of the classroom.
For Razzouk, the most important aspects of the product are that they save teachers time and money while also providing them with tracking tools to see if their plans are working.
“They barely have time for planning, and it is often too short,” Razzouk wrote. “Planning processes are antiquated and go stale as things usually do not go according to plan. Traditional methods do not have feedback and tracking tools to allow for improving year after year. The CMAP does all that and more.”