The National Numeracy Network

Richard Scheaffer

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 11, Number 2 (Fall 2006)

Do you think high school or college graduates should be able to comprehend the quantitative material presented in a daily newspaper or news show on TV? Should they understand interest rates or be able to differentiate between the number of deaths last year and the death rate for the year? Should they be able to intelligently question the reported results of an opinion poll? If you think graduates should possess such skills, you are a supporter of national numeracy. And that implies that you or your organization should seriously consider joining the National Numeracy Network.

"The National Numeracy Network (NNN) envisions a society in which all citizens possess the power and habit of mind to search out quantitative information, critique it, reflect upon it, and apply it in their public, personal and professional lives." This vision statement and much related material, as well as information on how to join, can be found at the NNN website

"The National Numeracy Network promotes education that integrates quantitative skills across all disciplines and at all levels. To this end the Network supports faculty development, curriculum design, assessment strategies, education research and systemic change. The Network is the professional organization serving and promoting collaborations among those students, educators, academic centers, educational institutions, professional societies and corporate partners sharing our vision. The Network also strives to keep issues of quantitative literacy at the forefront of national and international conversations about educational priorities."

Check out the website to find, among other interesting items:

If all this wonderful information is free, why join? Join because Network is the key word in the title of this organization of academic programs, professional societies, and individuals. An institutional member can add descriptions of its own interests and initiatives in quantitative literacy, with links to its materials and programs. Institutional or individual members can add to the materials already on the website, such as the bookshelves mentioned above. NNN ensures that your quantitative literacy efforts will have a national audience of interested parties. Most importantly, you will be supporting a national effort for quantitative reasoning across the curriculum — an essential component of participatory democracy and fulfilling employment in the information age.

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