18 July, 2014
Volume 19 No. 29
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In This Issue

Park City Mathematics Institute, Summer 2014

Grand Challenges in Mathematics Education: Teachers Respond

Effects of State-Mandated Math Course Graduation Requirements


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


Park City Mathematics Institute, Summer 2014


The 2014 Summer Session of the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) concludes today in Utah. More than sixty teachers from around the US participated in PCMI's three week-long Secondary School Teachers Program (SSTP), which consisted of three strands:

  • Math Course: Fractions, tilings, and geometry
  • Reflecting on Practice: Productive Discussions
  • Working Groups that focused on an activity related to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics or to related state standards

Lani Horn blogged about her "Reflecting on Practice" session Monday. The professor at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College brainstormed with PCMI participants about how hard it was for most students to answer the question "What do you think and why?"


For other PCMI reflections on practice, problem sets, activities, handouts, and many other classroom resources, visit the Class Notes page:


Having hosted the SSTP working sites since 2001, the Math Forum maintains an index of all its classroom resources here:


Grand Challenges in Mathematics Education: Teachers Respond


A National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) survey of grand challenges in mathematics education has prompted some math educators to post their thoughts publicly, even before NCTM's Research Committee processes the results.

Patrick Honner most recently appeared in these pages as runner-up of the Museum of Mathematics' inaugural Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching. Named a finalist of this year's Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the New York City public school teacher wrote about the field's big-picture challenges here:


Robert Talbert, a math professor in Allendale, Michigan, shared his view in his blog on The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Casting Out Nines":


Effects of State-Mandated Math Course Graduation Requirements


The first study to examine the effects of raising state-mandated math and science course graduation requirements suggests that the trend may increase high school dropout rates without a meaningful effect on college enrollment or degree attainment.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis used logistic regression with Census and American Community Survey data to model exposure to course graduation requirements (CGRs) in 44 states. They then assessed possible between-groups differences, revealing an association between higher CGRs and a lower likelihood that black women and Hispanic men and women would enroll in college after graduating from high school. On the other hand, higher CGRs were also associated with an increase in the likelihood that the Hispanics and non-migrant black women who did enroll in college would go on to earn a degree.

Two of the authors discuss these and other findings in a three minute-long interview:


The article "Intended and Unintended Effects of State-Mandated High School Science and Mathematics Course Graduation Requirements on Educational Attainment" appears in the current issue of Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Freely access the abstract and citation details here:



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