The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has recently appointed a Task Force on Promising Students (Linda Sheffield, Chair; Jennie Bennett, Manuel Berriozabel, Margaret D'Armand, and Rick Wertheimer) to make recommendations on the best ways to serve the needs of our top students from elementary through high school. This might include students who have been identified with traditional tests of mathematics or students who show their talents and abilities in a number of other ways.
In light of the emphasis of the NCTM Standards on "Mathematics for All", we are looking for recommendations from teachers, administrators, parents, students, and other interested parties concerning ways to challenge and enrich the mathematics learning of these promising students. Please be as creative as you wish in brainstorming ways to best serve these students. Your response to the following survey would be greatly appreciated.
1. a. What are some characteristics of good mathematics programs designed to challenge our most promising students at the elementary, middle school, and high school level?
b. Please name any projects/programs that you know of that have some of the characteristics of good programs named above.
c. Does your state, province, country, or local school or district have any policies that govern special programs for gifted and talented students? (Please identify useful policies as well as any policies that cause difficulties for these students.)
2. a. What measures might be used to identify talented students, and what measures might be used to assess the continuing progress of these students and the programs designed for them?
b. Please name any programs that use exemplary means of assessment.
3. a. How might we ensure that underrepresented groups such as promising females and culturally diverse students are identified and encouraged to fully develop their talents in strong, challenging mathematics programs or other experiences?
b. Please name any programs/other experiences that are especially successful in serving the needs of these students.
4. a. What would you recommend for both preservice and inservice teachers to better prepare them to work with these top students?
b. Please name any exemplary teacher training programs that help teachers challenge their best students.
5. a. What would you like to see that would aid in supporting the development of promising mathematics students? (This might include books, technology, Internet match-ups of mathematicians and talented students, position statements from professional organizations, support from the community, parents and school personnel, mentorship programs, competitions, after-school or summer programs, any other creative ideas that you may have.)
b. Please list any books, technology, projects, materials, or other support that exemplifies these ideas.
6. a. What do you see as major impediments in fully implementing good programs or other experiences for talented students?
b. What recommendations do you have for overcoming these obstacles?
7) Where did you see this survey?
8) What is your current professional position?
Please send any documents you might have that would be useful for our committee to consider in making recommendations to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. We would like to consider as much information as possible before our July meeting.