From the NCSM President
Suzanne Mitchell
Summer 2011

This is an exciting time to be president of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. It is with great pleasure that I accept the challenge to guide NCSM as an organization with influence at the national level. As president I plan:

  • to continue the collaborative efforts NCSM has made to jointly work with the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics on major outreach projects to support the Common Core State Standards;
  • to promote the PRIME Leadership Framework in support of developing leadership potential and capacity among our NCSM members and professional learning communities and through high quality professional development;
  • to reach out to mathematics coaches, specialists, and other mathematics leaders in support of developing the leadership knowledge and skills necessary to ensure high-level, meaningful mathematics EVERY DAY for EVERY CHILD and EVERY TEACHER;
  • to increase access to leadership resources; and
  • to develop opportunities to forge business/education/ policy partnerships in support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) ventures.

The PRIME Leadership Framework comes alive within the context of implementing the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM). Our work as mathematics education leaders does matter to the implementation of the standards. A trademark of a PRIME leader is the intentional and aggressive pursuit of the actions we believe will bring the highest expectations and the most gain for teachers and students. The CCSSM provide a strong foundation for our work as mathematics leaders. Weaving the two documents together also leverages a way for mathematics leaders to work proactively to influence and interpret the standards and to develop coherent, comprehensive plans for implementation. As you plan for summer professional development, keep PRIME in the forefront using the following:

    P: Professional Learning Communities-Use PRIME as a book study with groups of teachers or leaders, especially applying the self-analysis tools provided at the end of PRIME.

    R: Relationships-Use PRIME to explore successful relationship and leadership skills more deeply.

    I: Influence-Use PRIME leadership strategies to explore the CCSSM, assessments, instructional materials, and implementation strategies.

    M: Motivation-Use PRIME leadership strategies to motivate mathematics coaches and specialists in their leadership roles with teachers.

    E: Engagement of leaders in conversations with others-Use PRIME leadership language for discussion starters and include NCSM position papers for research study. The knowledge that leaders bring to the leadership process must continue to grow as we struggle to influence parents, administrators, students, mathematics peers, and emerging leaders. Leadership skills are partly technical, analytical, managerial, sociopolitical, and relational. None are sufficient alone.

All play a part in developing learning opportunities for teachers and leaders to study, assess, and implement the CCSSM. NCSM is committed to supporting your work through the Leadership Academy, the Leadership Seminar, PRIME Leadership Framework resources, the NCSM Journal, and Newsletter, and collaborations with state and national organizations.

Two NCSM position papers were distributed at the annual conference in April: Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics by Promoting Positive Self- Beliefs and Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics by Systematically Integrating Effective Technology. NCSM will be releasing a Facilitators Guide for leaders to use to plan strategies on how to implement the eight position papers that are now on the Website. These position papers inform our work and should be used to influence teachers and leaders to improve professional practice.

In the NCSM conference bag, attendees received a first copy of NCSM Great Tasks for Mathematics. These are engaging activities for effective instruction and assessment that integrate the content and practices of the CCSSM. A great task revolves around an interesting problem offering several methods of solution. It is directed by essential mathematical content as specified in the standards, begs for discussion, and builds student understanding. The task is correlated to the CCSSM content standards and mathematical practices and includes teacher notes, a task overview, the actual task, student work, and a rubric. More great tasks across different grade levels will be placed in the members-only section of the Website.

The reality of the members-only section of the NCSM Website is close. Stay tuned for information about the unveiling in early summer and go to the NCSM Website to renew or join NCSM [] so you will have immediate access to NCSM resources. Many of our resources and products will only be available if you are a member of NCSM. Soon you will be blasted by NCSM eNEWS-another online feature of electronic news that will bring you current and timely resource updates.

Begin making plans now in your budget process to attend the 44th NCSM Annual Conference, April 23-25, 2012 in Philadelphia. The conference will focus on "Life, Liberty, and Mathematics for All: NCSM Leads the Way." The online proposal process is now open and can be accessed online. Also, be sure to visit the NCSM Website often to keep up to date on the latest leadership activities such as the 2011 Leadership Seminars. Our students are counting on us. Mathematics leaders do make a difference in student success. Be sure to email me if you have any comments or suggestions about NCSM support, resources, and activities.

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