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Common Core State Standards Joint Statement

A joint public statement of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (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)

Mathematics Education Organizations Unite 
to Support Implementation of Common Core State Standards

The release of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a welcome milestone in the standards movement that began more than 20 years ago when the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics published Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. By initiating the development of the CCSS, state leaders acknowledged that common K–grade 8 and high school standards culminating in college and career readiness would offer better support for national improvement in mathematics achievement than our current system of individual state standards. The CCSS provides the foundation for the development of more focused and coherent instructional materials and assessments that measure students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and acquisition of fundamental reasoning habits, in addition to their fluency with skills. Most important, the CCSS will enable teachers and education leaders to focus on improving teaching and learning, which is critical to ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality mathematics program and the support that they need to be successful.

Greater Coherence Built on a Strong Foundation 

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (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) support the goal of the CCSS to describe a coherent, focused curriculum that has realistically high expectations and supports an equitable mathematics education for all students. Many aspects of the central elements of the CCSS echo the longstanding positions and principles of our organizations: 1  

  • All students need to develop mathematical practices such as solving problems, making connections, understanding multiple representations of mathematical ideas, communicating their thought processes, and justifying their reasoning.
  • All students need both conceptual and procedural knowledge related to a mathematical topic, and they need to understand how the two types of knowledge are connected.
  • Curriculum documents should organize learning expectations in ways that reflect research on how children learn mathematics.
  • All students need opportunities for reasoning and sense making across the mathematics curriculum—and they need to believe that mathematics is sensible, worthwhile, and doable.

Supporting and Facilitating Implementation 

The collective strengths of our organizations give us the potential to generate the momentum necessary to implement the CCSS effectively. Together, our organizations represent mathematics teachers, mathematics education leaders at the school, district, state, and national levels, researchers, and mathematics teacher educators in schools and colleges of education and departments of mathematics, who collectively have the expertise to lead implementation efforts.

The critical first steps will be to help educators interpret and understand the CCSS and to support the development and implementation of comprehensive, coherent instruction and assessment systems. To this end, we intend to do the following:

  • Work with our local, state, and national affiliates to feature the CCSS in our professional development opportunities, including annual and regional conferences, academies, and seminars, and infuse them into our teacher education classes.
  • Support the development and implementation of the corresponding assessment system, particularly with respect to preparing teachers, leaders, and teacher educators to use assessment results effectively to inform instruction and to incorporate formative assessment practices in the classroom.

Finally, we strongly encourage and support both research about the standards themselves (e.g., research on specific learning trajectories and grade placement of specific content) and their implementation, as well as periodic review and revision based on such research.

June 2, 2010


1 As articulated in NCTM’s Standards publications (1989, 1991, 1995, 2000), NCTM’s Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence (2006), NCSM’s Principles and Indicators for Mathematics Educators (PRIME) Leadership Framework (2008), NCTM’s Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making (2009), and AMTE’s Standards for Elementary Mathematics Specialists State Certification (2010).


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