Page 6

for all who make decisions that affect the mathematics education of students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12” (p. ix). NCTM is an organization of over 110,000 mathematics educators concerned with pre-K–12 mathematics education. This update of the NCTM's three previously developed sets of standards for curriculum, teaching, and assessment is intended to establish a curriculum framework to bring focus and coherence to K–12 mathematics. The document was developed through an extensive and inclusive process that engaged a wide spectrum of experts on issues concerning mathematics education. As such, Principles and Standards represents a negotiated position about appropriate content for school mathematics to which educators should give careful consideration.

The developers offer the standards as a guide for ensuring quality, developing goals, and promoting change by suggesting common language, examples, and recommendations to engage people at state, provincial and local levels in conversations about mathematics education. The document is intended to (p. 6):

  • Set forth a comprehensive and coherent set of goals for mathematics for all students that will orient curricular, teaching, and assessment efforts.

  • Serve as a resource for teachers, education leaders, and policymakers to use in examining and improving the quality of mathematics instructional programs.

  • Guide the development of curricular frameworks, assessments, and instructional materials.

  • Stimulate ideas and ongoing conversations about how best to help students gain a deep understanding of important mathematics.

Principles and Standards is built on the following vision (p. 5):

In this changing world, those who understand and can do mathematics will have significantly enhanced opportunities and options for shaping their futures. Mathematical competence opens doors to productive futures. A lack of mathematical competence keeps those doors closed. NCTM challenges the assumption that mathematics is only for the select few. On the contrary, everyone needs to understand mathematics. All students should have the opportunity and the support necessary to learn significant mathematics with depth and understanding. There is no conflict between equity and excellence.

To fulfill this vision, the document describes what mathematics in pre-K–12 school programs should look like including how mathematical ideas should be developed across five content areas and five process domains. The standards present a deeper look at the mathematics within each of four grade-level bands, pre-K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12; they also suggest how mathematics should grow

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement