Principles, Standards, and Expectations

  • Educational decisions made by teachers, school administrators, and other professionals have important consequences for students and for society. The Principles for school mathematics provide guidance in making these decisions.

    The six Principles address overarching themes:

    • Equity. Excellence in mathematics education requires equity—high expectations and strong support for all students.
    • Curriculum. A curriculum is more than a collection of activities: it must be coherent, focused on important mathematics, and well articulated across the grades
    • Teaching. Effective mathematics teaching requires understanding what students know and need to learn and then challenging and supporting them to learn it well.
    • Learning. Students must learn mathematics with understanding, actively building new knowledge from experience and prior knowledge.
    • Assessment. Assessment should support the learning of important mathematics and furnish useful information to both teachers and students.
    • Technology. Technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students' learning.

    The Standards for school mathematics describe the mathematical understanding, knowledge, and skills that students should acquire from prekindergarten through grade 12. Each Standard consists of two to four specific goals that apply across all the grades.

    The five Content Standards each encompass specific expectations, organized by grade bands:

    The five Process Standards are described through examples that demonstrate what each standard looks like and what the teacher's role is in achieving it:

    • Problem Solving
    • Reasoning & Proof
    • Communication
    • Connections
    • Representation