Grinnell College

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education

Volume 3, Number 2 (Summer 1997)

In December of 1996 ASA President Lynne Billard appointed a committee of seven ASA members to help advise the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) as it undertakes to update and revise the Standards that it produced for K-12 mathematics about a decade ago. The NCTM Standards comprise three volumes and describe standards for curriculum, evaluation, assessment, and instruction. ASA is one of several professional organizations in the mathematical sciences that have, at the request of NCTM, formed advisory groups for this standards update. The purpose of this article is to update you on our progress and to encourage those interested in the Standards to attend an "Open discussion meeting on NCTM Standards update" from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 13, in the Santa Monica Room of the Hilton at the Joint Statistical Meetings.

During December and January, this ASA Advisory Review Group (ARG) developed a response to a set of 4 questions posed by NCTM regarding updating the Standards. These questions asked: (1) What is the proper "view" of mathematics that we should teach K-12 students? (2) Do the Standards convey a sense of consistency and growth in content themes as students move across grade levels? (3) Do the Standards adequately reflect the mathematical understanding of a student graduating in the 21st century?, and (4) How could an updated Standards blend the ideas described currently in the three sets of Standards?

The ARG sent a response to this set of questions to NCTM in late January. This response is described in an article in the May Amstat News and the full text can be seen at: http://www2.ncsu.edu/pams/stat/stated/nctm.html.

In April and May the ARG discussed and formulated a response to NCTM questions about the role of algorithms and algorithmic thinking and about the role of mathematical proof in K-12 mathematics. This response can also be found at the website of the Section on Statistical Education.

Comments or suggestions about ARG activities may be addressed to me (as chair of the committee) or any member of the committee. The other members of the committee are Carol Joyce Blumberg (Winona State University), Christine Franklin (University of Georgia), Jerry Moreno (John Carroll University), Judith O'Fallon (Mayo Clinic), Rosemary Roberts (Bowdoin College), & Richard Scheaffer (University of Florida).

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