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President's Messages: Diane J. Briars

Diane J. Briars, NCTM PresidentCurriculum Materials Matter! Evaluating the Evaluation Process
Adoption of curriculum materials is one of the most important decisions a teacher, school, or district can make. While state standards describe what students are expected to learn and be able to do, what is taught in classrooms—the implemented curriculum—is heavily influenced by textbooks and other instructional materials. The instructional materials affect lesson content, depth and duration of instruction for particular topics, and topic sequence. So, while we may talk about curriculum materials as just "resources," the fact is that they strongly influence classroom instruction—for better or worse. Read more.

Back to School—The Time to Engage Parents and Families
It's August—back-to-school time. As you plan for the new school year, don't forget to make explicit plans for engaging parents and families. As you well know, parents can be invaluable supports for their children's mathematics learning. While it's helpful to send parents basic information about their children's mathematics class, such as course outlines, assignments, and descriptions of teacher expectations, they typically need much more than that to be prepared to support their children's mathematics learning. Read more.

Core Truths
A little more than four years ago, on June 2, 2010, I was sitting with a small group of mathematics educators in the Peachtree Ridge High School auditorium in Suwanee, Georgia, on the occasion of the release of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Governors, state and district education leaders, business leaders, teacher union leaders, and a number of classroom teachers all described their strong support for CCSS and how having common, rigorous, world-class college- and career-ready standards would benefit both their students and the nation. Read more 

Moving Ahead: Opportunities and Priorities
As I begin my term as NCTM President, I’m struck by both the challenges currently facing the mathematics education community and the opportunities for systemic improvement in mathematics teaching and learning that addressing these challenges affords. One of our major challenges is, of course, addressing the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM)—facilitating large-scale, effective implementation; preparing for more rigorous, aligned assessments in spring 2015; and supporting the standards themselves. Read more. 


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