Steven Leinwand began his mathematics career receiving a BA degree from Wesleyan University in economics in 1971 and an MS degree from Central Connecticut State University in educational supervision and administration in 1976. After teaching for seven years at Middletown (Connecticut) High School, including the School-within-a-School Program, he served as a mathematics coordinator, a project director for two National Science Foundation-sponsored summer institutes, and as a college instructor of secondary mathematics courses at Wesleyan University. When he became the mathematics supervisor for the Connecticut Department of Education, he was responsible for the development and oversight of a broad statewide program of activities in K-12 mathematics education, including the provision of technical assistance and professional development, the evaluation of programs, the assessment of student achievement and teacher competency, the dissemination of information, and the coordination of programs and activities that resulted in consistently high NAEP mathematics scores.
Leinwand serves as the Principal Research Analyst, American Institutes for Research (AIR) (2002-present). He is a mathematics expert on a wide range of AIR projects that focus on high-quality mathematics instruction, turning around underperforming schools, improving adult education, evaluating programs, developing assessments, and providing technical assistance.
Leinwand has been a leader in many ways during his nearly 50-year career in mathematics education. Ironically, the best demonstrations are in his ability to push, prod, cajole, and at times coerce the community to strive for what is better. His leadership roles have included being a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Board of Directors as well as its president. He held various leadership/officer roles in the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics. Not only have his leadership roles been seen at the national level, he has served in many capacities for the Associated Teachers of Mathematics in Connecticut and the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England.
Leinwand's work on advisory boards for the New Standards Project, the Connected Math Project, the Interactive Mathematics Program, Connecticut's Common Core of Learning, the 1992 and 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and the Mathematical Sciences Education Board and its Curriculum Frameworks Task Force are prime examples of his leadership. His service does not stop with advisory boards: He has served as a co-chair of a regional NCTM meeting, on NCTM's Assessment Task Force, and on the Principles to Actions writing team; chaired the Connecticut Committee to Study and Make Recommendations on the Development of a High School Competency-Based Certificate, and the Connecticut Common Core of Learning. In other words, Leinwand has been a tour de force in the area of service for the mathematics education world.
Steven Leinwand embodies service to the mathematics education community and has been recognized for it in his receiving the NCSM Glenn Gilbert/Ross Taylor National Leadership Award, the ETA Distinguished Service Award, and the Robert A. Rosenbaum Award.
Most who have seen Leinwand in any of the thousands of presentations at meetings of NCTM and other organizations around the world could testify to the ways in which he has helped them as they worked to change their teaching methods, approaches, and the curriculum that they use.