Standards based education was launched in 1989 by the National Council of Teachers for Mathematics (NCTM). Several more NCTM publications between 1990 and 2006 identify additional concerns requiring a change to the current mathematics instruction practices in the United States. Although student achievement has improved since 1990 there are significant areas in mathematics education still requiring improvement. Mathematics achievement are not at satisfactory levels and learning is not a reality for the majority of students in North America. The recent test results on the NAEP, ACT, SAT, and PISA are not improving in comparison to our closest neighboring country. Canada was ranked 13th and the United States a distant 26th on the PISA in 2012. (OECD, 2013). Educational research identifies shortfalls between what student should learn would and what teachers should be doing in the classroom to teach mathematics.
There is a promising hope that the CCSSM will provide the needed rigorous assessments to help address the challenges and expand the current progress in mathematics education. The CCSSM provides the guidance and direction but little is written sufficiently about the enactment of practices and actions required for a successful implementation at the local level or in the classroom.
Call to Action: Call for Advocacy
The primary document to teach educators is Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All which was published in 2014. I believe there are very few teachers in southern California who have knowledge about this book and far less have read it. This is obvious when hearing different teacher comments about the new common core state standards during the implementation phase for the integrated pathway. Teachers need to experience the standards for mathematical practices themselves. Teachers need to thoroughly understand the math practices to implement the common core curriculum. The common core for mathematics is not just about new content standards. The National Research Council in 2001 defined mathematical proficiency to include the following:
- Conceptual understanding
- Procedural fluency
- Strategic competence
- Adaptive reasoning
- Productive disposition
Effective teaching and learning must include the above components to promote individual and collaborative learning experience necessary to support the conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts. We need more common core Evangelist to help support teachers and provide quality professional development consistent with the publications by the NCTM. A primary purpose for this blog is to share information and resources to educate teachers to implement the principles and actions in every classroom.
NCTM (2014). Principles to actions: Ensuring mathematics success for all. Reston, VA: Author.
Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All