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NCTM Releases Guiding Principles for Math Curriculum

RESTON, Va., June 2, 2009—The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) today released “Guiding Principles for Mathematics Curriculum and Assessment” to influence ongoing and future development of what could become uniform curriculum expectations or national standards for mathematics education.  

NCTM was the first organization to develop content standards and a guiding framework for curriculum development with its 1989 publication of Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, which was updated in 2000 as Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. In 2006, NCTM’s Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence presented the three most important topics in each grade that students should learn in depth and with understanding for future learning in mathematics. The forthcoming Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making (2009) will address mathematics education in high school. An education based on these Standards publications will prepare students for the true workplace needs of the future: critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork.

“The continuing discussions about common core standards or a national curriculum should be based on the work that has already been done,” said NCTM President Henry S. (Hank) Kepner, Jr. “Since any discussion of true national standards relates to the fundamental issue of local control in education, effective policy should be formed by the best current information on mathematics teaching and learning. The development of any curriculum or standards should take advantage of what has already been carefully crafted by a consensus of mathematics teachers, teacher leaders, mathematics educators, mathematicians, and researchers.”

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has 100,000 members and 230 member Affiliates in the United States and Canada. It is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education for all students from prekindergarten through grade 12. The Council’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) provides guidelines for excellence in mathematics education. Its Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence (2006) identifies the most important mathematical topics for each grade level.

Contact: Gay Dillin, Communications Manager, (703) 620-9840, ext. 2189,


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