practices into systematic instructional programs that can be tested experimentally across a range of students;
research to support the development of benchmarks for reading comprehension across the school years.
Investment in recent decades by federal agencies and private foundations has produced a wealth of knowledge on the development of mathematical understanding and numerous curricula that incorporate that knowledge. Existing evaluations of some of these curricula suggest the potential to substantially improve student achievement outcomes, in some cases raising the performance of disadvantaged students to the level of their more advantaged counterparts. But adequate research has not been done to independently and rigorously evaluate the programs, to compare outcomes across these programs and with more traditional curricula, to study the teacher knowledge requirements the programs entail, and to consider the requirements for taking the programs to scale.
We propose three initiatives for early mathematics:
development of early mathematics assessments that capture the range of understanding and skills involved in mathematical proficiency, with companion research and development efforts aimed at identifying and providing the supports needed by teachers to use assessments effectively in teaching;
research and development on the knowledge required to teach elementary mathematics, on alternative approaches to teacher education that would support that knowledge development, and on the teacher supports required to take promising curricula to scale; and
independent evaluation and comparison of curricular approaches to the teaching of number and operations that vary on distinct and theoretically impor