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NCTM Issues Position Statement Supporting the Common Core State Standards for School Mathematics

Reston, Va., August 29, 2013—The widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) presents an unprecedented opportunity for systemic improvement in mathematics education in the United States, asserts a new position statement issued by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

The Common Core State Standards offer a foundation for the development of more rigorous, focused, and coherent mathematics curricula, instruction, and assessments that promote conceptual understanding and reasoning as well as skill fluency. This foundation will help to ensure that all students are ready for college and careers when they graduate from high school and that they are prepared to take their place as productive, full participants in society.

“The Common Core State Standards offer the prospect for all students to encounter the same high expectations and have the same opportunities,” said NCTM President Linda Gojak. “If all stakeholders realize the potential of the standards and work together to support their implementation, the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics will help this and future generations of students succeed.”

NCTM supports educators’ efforts to develop and put in place the associated comprehensive and coherent school, district, and state systems of instruction and assessment. Instruction and assessment that are aligned with these standards must be rooted in and promote principles of access and equity.

According to the statement, when properly implemented, the Common State Standards will support all students’ access to, and success in, high-quality mathematics programs. Such programs lead to knowledge of mathematics content and reasoning skills that enable students to apply mathematics effectively in a myriad of careers and in everyday life.

The NCTM position statement identifies five other factors that are critical to realizing the potential of the Common Core:

  • Substantial opportunities for ongoing professional development
  • Accommodations in teacher evaluation systems
  • Ample funding for education
  • Funding for research and implementation of Common Core assessments
  • Adequate state funding

Furthermore, all stakeholders must acknowledge that systemic improvement takes a number of years, and a long-term commitment to supporting the Common Core State Standards is necessary, even if initial assessment results do not show substantial improvements in student achievement.

For the complete position statement, visit

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students. With 80,000 members and more than 200 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.

Media Contact: Tracy Withrow, Communications Manager,, 703-620-9840, ext. 2189.



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