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Topic: [ME] From NCTM: Setting the Record Straight [Part I]
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ME] From NCTM: Setting the Record Straight [Part I]
Posted: Mar 10, 2000 3:04 PM
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NOTE: I have a request to post three(3) one-page notes from the NCTM. I
will be doing this, at a rate of one a day. These can also be seen at

Setting the Record Straight about Changes in Mathematics Education

Commonsense Facts about the NCTM Standards

In April 1989, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
released its Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics,
thereby launching a decade of renewed interest in educational standards.
These 1989 Standards have been updated in NCTM's "Principles and Standards
for School Mathematics" (to be released 12 April 2000). Overall, the NCTM
Standards documents advocate a broader and more meaningful mathematics
curriculum that is responsive to changing societal priorities and to
changes in instructional practice that meet the needs of a far greater
proportion of the student population than has been true in the past.

The Standards call for a mathematics curriculum that emphasizes finding and
justifying solutions to problems, in addition to performing calculations.
Furthermore, they encourage teaching in ways that help students make sense
of important concepts through representing, communicating, reasoning about,
and making connections among mathematical ideas.

In the decade since the original set of standards was released, two
important changes have occurred:

-- There has been broad implementation of elements of the Standards in
classrooms across the United States and Canada.

New instructional materials that embrace the vision of the Standards have
been developed. An increased emphasis at all grade levels on problem
solving and realistic applications of mathematics has occurred. Technology,
in the form of powerful calculators and computers, has become an important
tool for students to use in learning mathematics.

-- There has been a clear and consistent pattern of higher student

Student proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) mathematics assessments has significantly increased at grades 4, 8,
and 12 between 1990 and 1996, representing approximately one grade level of
growth at each grade level. Average SAT-Math scores have increased from 500
in 1991 to 512 in 1998.

Some of the greatest student gains in mathematics between 1990 and 1996
have occurred in states like Connecticut, Michigan, Texas, and North
Carolina-four states that have made strong and consistent investments in
state standards and assessments that reflect the vision of the NCTM

The facts are simple:

The NCTM Standards Make Sense!

The NCTM Standards Are Working for Our Students!

The NCTM Standards Are Working for Our Future!

Brought to you by the 100,000 members of the National Council of Teachers
of Mathematics in the interest of common sense, moving forward, and helping
all children learn mathematics. This fact sheet on mathematics education
has been approved by the NCTM Board of Directors.
Permission is granted to quote or reproduce these statements or portions of

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618) 453-4244
Phone: (618) 453-4241 (office)
(618) 457-8903 (home)


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