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NCTM Supports Teachers and Administrators to Implement Common Core Standards

RESTON, Va., June 2, 2010—The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) expressed its support today for the goals and intent of the Common Core State Standards released in Atlanta. The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to develop a common core of state standards for proficiency in English-language arts and mathematics for K–grade 12.

The standards define the knowledge and skills that students should gain as they progress from kindergarten to grade 12 to ensure that they will graduate from high school able to succeed in introductory-level credit-bearing academic college courses and in jobs in the workforce. States will be asked to adopt the Common Core State Standards in their entirety and include the core in at least 85 percent of the state’s standards in English language arts and mathematics.

Since the initial draft of the standards was developed, NCTM has been engaged in the process as a reviewer and has provided extensive comments and detailed suggestions to the developers and writers on every successive draft over the past year. The Council has diligently monitored the development of the CCSS and advised the NGA and CCSSO throughout the process, pointing out common ground between the common core standards and NCTM’s own K–12 mathematics standards publications. NCTM was the first organization to develop content standards with its publication of Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (1989) and its subsequent update, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000). More recently, the Council published Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence (2006) to address issues of curricular consistency, coherence, and depth. Last year, NCTM published Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making to set forth a vision for high school mathematics based on reasoning and sense making and developing reasoning habits throughout their mathematics learning. This vision constitutes a substantial rethinking of high school mathematics and how it is taught.

The underlying philosophy and intent of these NCTM foundational publications will support the future implementation of common core standards. Implementation of the standards and development of related assessments consistent with the standards will be significant next steps in a reaching the initiative’s ideal of a common core standards environment.  NCTM, the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM), and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) have issued a joint statement expressing support for implementing the common core standards.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students through vision, leadership, professional development, and research. With more than 100,000 members and 230 Affiliates, NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. The Council’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics includes guidelines for excellence in mathematics education and issues a call for all students to engage in more challenging mathematics. Its Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics identifies the most important mathematical topics for each grade level. Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making advocates practical changes to the high school mathematics curriculum to refocus learning on reasoning and sense making. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for our nation’s students. 

Contact: Andrea Christie, Communications Assistant, 703/620-9840, ext. 2198, achristie@nctm.org. 

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