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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science The Role of National Standards in State Policy Gail Burrill, President National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Donald Kennedy, Chair Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education National Research Council A report of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education National Research Council Prepared for the National Education Goals Panel NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, DC 1997
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved on April 8, 1997 by the Executive Committee of the Governing Board of the National Research Council (NRC), whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The project was approved on April 14, 1997 by the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This project was supported with funds from the National Science Foundation, the National Education Goals Panel, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the funders. This report is available on-line at http://www.nap.edu and at http://www.nctm.org International Standard Book Number 0-309-05888-0 Additional copies are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 1906 Association Drive Reston, VA 20191-1593 703-620-9840 Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy National Academy of Sciences · National Research Council · Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education The National Academy of Sciences (NAS or the Academy) is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars, engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. The National Research Council (NRC) was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the NRC has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The NRC is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (CSMEE or the Center) was established in 1995 to provide coordination of the NRC's education activities and reform efforts. Specifically, the Center engages in activities relating to issues in kindergarten through twelfth grade education, undergraduate education, school-to-work programs, and continuing education, in the disciplines of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering. The Center reports directly to the Governing Board of the NRC. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM or the Council), founded in 1920, is a nonprofit professional association dedicated to the improvement of mathematics education for all students in the United States and Canada. It offers vision, leadership, and avenues of communication for those interested in the teaching and learning of mathematics at the elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and university levels. With more than 110,000 members, NCTM is the largest mathematics education organization in the world. Each year, the NCTM conducts a large national conference and seven to nine regional conferences, where teachers of mathematics and others interested in mathematics education can attend lectures, panel discussions, and workshops and can see exhibits of the latest mathematics education
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy materials and innovations. Many NCTM members are also members of one or more of the 260-plus local and special-interest groups formally affiliated with NCTM that work in partnership with the Council to meet mutual goals. All NCTM members receive Council publications including regular issues of the News Bulletin and Student Math Notes and one or more of four journals: Teaching Children Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Mathematics Teacher, and Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. NCTM also publishes books, videotapes, software, and research reports, which are available for sale to members and non-members. As a professional association, the NCTM derives its strength from the involvement of its members, who are drawn from the broad community of stakeholders interested in the field of mathematics and mathematics education. The standards documents published by the Council, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (1989), Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (1991), and Assessment Standards for School Mathematics (1995a), shape the Council's vision of mathematics for all children and provide the foundation for much of this publication.
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy Acknowledgments Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science was originally conceptualized as a modest effort to recount the stories and intended strategies of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards and the National Science Education Standards developed by the National Research Council (NRC). Through a productive collaboration between the NRC's Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education and the NCTM, and with the rich and thoughtful input of the expert panels and reviewers, we have produced a substantial set of recommendations for the improvement of state policy, based on national standards. The development and completion of Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science mark a number of "firsts" for the Center and the NCTM. At the Center, this is a first experience with the NRC's "principal investigator" model, in which the primary responsibility for intellectual leadership for a report comes from principal investigators, rather than a traditional study committee. For NCTM, this formal collaboration with the Center marks a first joint venture in presenting standards-related issues with another content discipline. The product that has resulted has benefited greatly from being "the first'' in each of these contexts. We owe special thanks to the members of the expert panels who gave generously of their time and expertise in the Reston and Irvine meetings and who undertook with patience and flexibility their roles in a new NRC process. Other experts who reviewed the preliminary draft by mail were most generous and helpful in improving the substance and potential utility of the report. We thank also the staff of the Center and the NCTM and the leaders at NCTM who worked diligently to meet the deadlines of the National Education Goals Panel and to ensure the quality and accuracy of the report. The efforts of Rodger Bybee, Linda Rosen, Jack Price, Paul Trafton, Susan Loucks-Horsley, Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Jeanette Offenbacher, and Kristance Coates are especially appreciated. Gail Burrill Donald Kennedy July 1997
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy Preface In Spring 1997, the National Education Goals Panel (NEGP) requested a report on standards-based reform from the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (the Center) of the National Research Council (NRC) and a report from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The request stemmed from NEGP's belief that the organizations that developed the national standards for science and mathematics had envisioned strategies for implementing those national standards that could significantly inform NEGP's thinking and planning. The Center and NCTM were asked to focus on implementation of national standards at the state level through mechanisms such as state standards, curriculum frameworks, professional development, and textbook adoption. Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy analyzes current efforts in and makes recommendations for state policy. We first provide an introduction to standards-based reform, followed by a strategic framework for designing standards-based reform initiatives. This sets the stage for presenting the activities to date of the national standards in mathematics and science education. The report then offers recommendations for state policy in the areas of (1) state infrastructure; (2) textbooks and other instructional materials, including publishers' reactions to the mathematics and science standards; (3) curriculum, including materials that offer teachers practical guidance for lessons, courses, and school science and mathematics programs; (4) teaching, including efforts to improve teacher credentialing and licensure; and (5) assessment, including efforts to develop tests aligned with standards. The recommendations are for state-level policy makers, including governors, state legislators, chief state school officers, state school board members, and state mathematics and science supervisors. This report draws on the following papers commissioned by NEGP: Reflections on State Efforts to Improve Mathematics and Science Education in Light of Findings from TIMSS (Zucker, 1997), Overcoming Structural Barriers to Good Textbooks (Tyson, 1997), and Persistence and Change: Standards-Based Reform in Nine States (Massell, Kirst, & Hoppe, 1997). This report represents the first collaboration of its kind between the NCTM and the NRC. Donald Kennedy, Chair of the Advisory Board of the NRC Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education, and Gail Burrill, President of NCTM, served as Co-Principal Investigators for the project. Staff of the NRC and several NCTM leaders assisted the Co-Principal Investigators in preparing background materials and preliminary recommendations for the report. These materials and preliminary recommendations were examined and discussed by two expert panels and, later, critiqued via mail by other experts. Both panels were convened in May 1997: the first at NCTM offices in Reston, Virginia, and the second at
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy the NRC's Beckman Center in Irvine, California. The expert panelists and mail critics provided advice and suggestions for the final report. These individuals included scientists and mathematicians, policy makers, and educators from every level of the system; they encompassed the educational and policy domains of this report and were chosen with regard to appropriate balance. Individuals who participated in the expert panels and critiqued the preliminary document are listed in Appendix A. The decision to do this work as a collaboration between the NCTM and the NRC was a natural and beneficial one. The mathematics and science education communities have common goals and a strong relationship that make this a mutually beneficial partnership. Moreover, the recommendations, which cut across the two disciplines, have the potential to help states move significantly forward in their implementation of high quality standards-based education.
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy Table of Contents Preface vii Executive Summary 1 Introduction: National Standards for Mathematics and Science Education 4 Origins 4 Common Features 4 A Strategic Framework for Standards-Based Reform 6 NCTM and the National Standards for Mathematics Education 9 Dissemination 10 Interpretation 11 Implementation 11 Evaluation 12 Revision 13 NRC and the National Standards for Science Education 15 Dissemination 16 Interpretation 17 Implementation 18 Evaluation 18 Revision 19 Current Context for Mathematics and Science Education 20 Recommendations for State Policy 22 Recommendation 1. State Infrastructure 23 Recommendation 2. Textbooks and Other Instructional Materials 28 Recommendation 3. Curriculum 31 Recommendation 4. Teaching 33 Recommendation 5. Assessment 36 Conclusion 40 References 41 Appendix A 45
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