In a number of recent posts, under various headings, the readability of the NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards has been questioned. Back before there was an Addenda series, I used to use the NCTM C&E Standards as a resource in my graduate math education classes. What I found was that, while students had the book in front of them, the sentences read beautifully and everything sounded great. But when they got away from the document, they really had difficulty explaining what was meant by the things they had read--the ideas were hard to "hold onto." And although there were some illustrations (and very good ones!), there was an obvious need for many more. Back then, I spent a great deal of time generating my own or pulling some from innovative curricula (such as the Comprehensive School Mathematics Program). I, for one, was delighted when the Addenda series was produced, whatever its shortcomings may be [it has also been criticised on this listserv]. I have used it extensively during academic years in school district inservices and during both summer and Saturday workshops and classes in my Eisenhower projects. I find that experienced elementary school teachers relate very well to the illustrations therein. And when they can suggest improvements, I am delighted--not disappointed! But I still need the C&E document for reference, and I still use some of the original illustrations it contained. [I wonder if some subscribers to this listserv, in reading SUMMARIES of the Standards, do not have access to the "Focus" and "Discussion" parts of the document. The illustrations and examples some have been calling for are contained in the Discussion sections.] Although the C&E Standards may not read as fluently and beautifully as, say, Everybody Counts, I think they are very well written. As a former national-level college debater and debate coach, I know something about reading carefully and analyzing critically. I think this document holds up pretty well, even under intense scrutiny.
Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225 firstname.lastname@example.org