|Excellence in mathematics education
requires equity—high expectations and strong support for all
students, regardless of their personal characteristics, backgrounds, or physical
challenges, must have opportunities to study--and support to learn--mathematics.
This does not mean that every student should be treated the same. But all
students need access each year they are in school to a coherent, challenging
mathematics curriculum that is taught by competent and well-supported
students--especially students who are poor, not native speakers of English,
disabled, female, or members of minority groups--are victims of low expectations
in mathematics. For example, tracking has consistently consigned disadvantaged
groups of students to mathematics classes that concentrate on remediation or do
not offer significant mathematical substance. The Equity Principle demands that
high expectations for mathematics learning be communicated in words and deeds to
Some students may need
more than an ambitious curriculum and excellent teaching to meet high
expectations. Students who are having difficulty may benefit from such resources
as after-school programs, peer mentoring, or cross-age tutoring. Students with
special learning needs in mathematics should be supported by both their
classroom teachers and special education staff.
Likewise, students with
special interests or exceptional talent in mathematics may need enrichment
programs or additional resources to keep them challenged and engaged. The talent
and interest of these students must be nurtured so that they have the
opportunity and guidance to excel in mathematics.
examples demonstrate that all children can learn mathematics when they have
access to high-quality mathematics instruction. Such instruction needs to become
the norm rather than the exception.