From the NCSM President
Suzanne Mitchell
Fall 2012

I hope you are enjoying your role as a mathematics leader. As a mathematics leader, you must keep abreast of the newest information on the horizon. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics presents new challenges. Leaders must help administrators, teachers, and parents understand that standards alone will not ensure success. Professional development for teachers is critically important. Nine recommendations for professional learning were developed in a report produced with the support of a National Science Foundation RAPID Grant (#1114933) titled, "System-level Professional Development: Articulating Research Ideas that Support Implementation of Professional Development Needed for Making the CCSS for Mathematics a Reality for K-12 Teachers."

The nine recommendations for CCSSM-related professional development (CCSSM-PD) in the report are as follows:

  1. Emphasize the substance of CCSSM-PD
  2. Create and adapt materials for use in CCSSM-PD
  3. Design CCSSM-PD based on features that support teacher learning
  4. Build coherent programs of CCSSM-PD
  5. Prepare and use knowledgeable facilitators for CCSSM-PD
  6. Provide CCSSM-PD tailored to teachers and to groups that play key roles in education
  7. Educate stakeholders about CCSSM
  8. Continuously assess CCSSM-PD
  9. Create CCSSM-PD consortia

This report can be accessed on the NCSM Website in the Common Core State Standards section. Support for teacher learning should be at the core of any professional development related to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). In developing their research-based recommendations, authors Paola Sztajn (North Carolina State University), Karen Marrongelle (Oregon University System), and Peg Smith (University of Pittsburgh) built on shared, existing knowledge recognizing that effective professional development should:

  1. be intensive, ongoing, and connected to practice
  2. focus on student learning and address the teaching of specific content
  3. align with school improvement priorities and goals
  4. build strong working relationships among teachers

The recommendations are intended to help districts and states in creating, sustaining, and assessing professional development systems that support practicing mathematics teachers in implementing the CCSSM, ultimately enriching the learning of all K-12 students

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