The meaning of
"standard" has not only a rich and long history outside of education, but also a
complex evolution in education in recent years. The National Council of Teachers of
Mathematics (NCTM) development of Curriculum, Teaching, and Assessment Standards in
1989 represented a historically important first attempt by a professional organization to
provide explicit and extensive goals statements for teachers. At that time NCTM offered
three reasons for a professional organization to formally adopt standards: to ensure
quality, to indicate goals, and to promote change. Since 1989 these standards have
provided a vehicle for focused, sustained efforts toward the improvement of students
mathematical education in school.
NCTM leaders recognized the standards
would need examination and testing and that changes which reflected new knowledge emerging
from research and technologies would be inevitable. This revision, currently in discussion
draft, produced the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics: Standards 2000.
These standards demonstrate a world dramatically different from what it was in 1989.
Students today have relatively common access to computers and the World Wide Web as well
as to handheld scientific or graphing calculators. This has compelled the need for
mathematics students of today to learn to use available and emerging technology to guide
them in the development of deeper mathematical understandings and to assist in the
unfolding of robust, connected understandings of algebraic, geometric and statistical
Standards 2000 has been developed around five
mathematical content standards and five process standards. The five content standards
address the areas of number, measurement, algebra, geometry and data. Each content
standard describes goals for student understanding of concepts and procedures. The five
process standards address problem solving, reasoning, connections, communication, and
representation. The process standards are described in terms of student mathematical
learning outcome. Standards 2000 are further organized into the grade bands,
pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. In each grade-band, the ten standards are elaborated in terms
of key focus areas, with varying emphasis and depth as appropriate. Surrounding and
supporting the ten standards is a set of principles for school mathematics instructional
programs that address equity, mathematics curriculum, teaching, student learning,
assessment and technology.
Please use the menu on the left to guide you to a wealth of
standards based curriculum materials for Mathematics. The lessons are being
developed by teams of teachers across the country working with the "Career Connection
to Teaching with Technology" Challenge Grant.