Dissemination

Dissemination of the NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics has taken many different forms. The document was provided free to all NCTM individual members and sold by the organization. As of June 1997, NCTM has distributed or sold over 647,000 copies of the Standards documents.2 An executive summary of the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics was prepared and distributed to members of Congress, governors, university administrators and mathematics department chairs, school principals, PTA presidents, and school board chairs. Separate flyers were prepared for parents and policy makers as well as teachers and a general audience. A public relations firm was engaged to promote the release of the document. NCTM leaders received "public relations" training. The Council produced a kit which included speaker's guide that included a video of prominent individuals, such as musician Wynton Marsalis explaining the importance of mathematics and the NCTM Standards.

The NCTM cooperated with other groups in dissemination. The Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM) undertook "Leading Mathematics Education into the 21st Century," a joint project of the ASSM, NCTM, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), Council of Presidential Awardees of Mathematics, and the MSEB. The project involved five regional conferences across the country, at which NCTM leaders and standards writers made presentations about the document to the participants, who were then expected to return to their local areas as teams and do further dissemination. This project produced a comprehensive speaker's kit and led to over 50,000 documented contacts with teachers over two years.

The Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (NCTM, 1991) and Assessment Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 1995a) were developed with much input from the field, and the documents were widely circulated while in draft form. About half of the funding for the Professional Standards for Teaching School Mathematics was provided by the NSF. The Assessment Standards for School Mathematics was funded with NCTM resources only. Copies of these documents have been given free to each NCTM member. Copies of all three sets of standards are currently available from NCTM. The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics is available on the World Wide Web.3 In addition, the Council has produced two short publications, Making a Living, Making a Life (1996b), intended for a general audience and explaining the importance of standards-based mathematics for all children, and Mathematics: An Introduction to the NCTM Standards (1996a), intended for those in the mathematics education community to use as a starting point for discussion about standards.

The NCTM curriculum standards have been in the field for eight years. Various national surveys have assessed the level of awareness among teachers about the documents. In a 1993 survey, Weiss, Matti, and Smith (1994) found that 56 percent of secondary teachers, 28 percent of teachers at the 5-8 grade level, and 18 percent of teachers at the K-4 grade level were "well aware" of the NCTM Standards. In the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) conducted in 1995 (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1996), results showed that at eighth grade, 95 percent of U.S. teachers claim to be either very aware or somewhat aware of current ideas about teaching and learning mathematics, which could be taken to mean familiarity with the NCTM Standards. Awareness levels appear to be increasing.

2  

This count includes 335,000 copies of Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, 172,000 copies of the Professional Standards for Teaching School Mathematics, and 140,000 copies of the Assessment Standards for School Mathematics.

3  

Available through the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse at www.enc.org/reform/journals/ENC2280/nf_280dtocl.htm



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