Iris M. Carl Biography

  • Iris M. Carl Biography

    Iris M. Carl is remembered for her long and distinguished service to mathematics education. Gifts to the Iris M. Carl Fund provide funds to grades 6-8 teachers to incorporate middle school classroom materials or lessons that will improve the achievement of student groups that have previous records of underachievement.

    During her tenure as NCTM President (1990-92), Iris Carl helped catapult NCTM into the forefront of the public debate on establishing and adopting national academic standards. She assumed the Council's new role by promoting a campaign to gain more members and more opportunities to share NCTM's vision. Her success was unprecedented-20,000 new members in two years, a flood of invitations from broadly diverse audiences, and record-breaking attendance at NCTM conferences. In 1997, Carl was recognized for her lifelong commitment to mathematics education by receiving the MET Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Carl began her lifetime teaching career in 1955, instructing elementary and secondary-level students in Connecticut and Texas. She served as an instructor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and in the University of Houston's Graduate School Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Throughout her career she served two other organizations as president: the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and the Houston Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She also served as vice-chair of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board. She testified before Congress on education issues and appeared in national news media. Carl held a doctorate in teacher education/mathematics.

    One person who nominated Carl for the MET Lifetime Achievement Award wrote, "She broadcasts our mathematics mission with pride and humility. She speaks to and with governors, legislatures, leaders, and classroom teachers. Her voice is articulate, professional, and prominent. As our champion, Iris makes mathematical literacy the priority of this decade."

    Iris Carl died in January 2004.