For the last couple of years, I have followed the work of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. For those in the know, NCTM is a hub of information for everything from Math Teacher Educator and Journal for Research in Math Education to extensive resources to assist teachers with classroom instruction. I’ve particularly enjoyed reading fantastic weekly teacher comments around problems they are encountering in their classrooms and, more importantly, offering assistance and encouragement to their peers. Imagine my excitement to attend my first-ever NCTM convention in Los Angeles this week!
Wait a minute…. excitement? Yup – there is no other word. I've always enjoyed being around teachers my entire professional career. Left to my own devices, I would probably gravitate toward ELA or social studies teachers. Attending the NCTM conference offered the chance to explore a new subject that is more important for our students than ever. I may not have enjoyed math in middle school, but I use it all the time. Math to understand statistics in research and elsewhere. Math to interpret the news, particularly in the sciences. Math to calculate my way through the day and better understand complex problems affecting the world. And I know this will be even more true for the next generation.
In recent research, students, parents, and teachers have expressed a deep value for mathematics generally but want it made relevant, collaborative, and personalized. It’s exciting to see this alignment with the profession. At NCTM, I met dozens of folks allied with students and parents in this quest. Educators imagining new ways of teaching math, understanding math identities and the factors that create them, and exploring new uses of technology to bring to a foreboding subject for too many. It was exciting to see the group poised, through their individual and collective efforts, to modernize mathematics based on their students' needs and interests.
Over the next couple of years, I look forward to spending time at NCTM and the many state and local mathematics associations across this country, from Texas and New York to California and Washington. From sea to shining sea, or sine to shining cosine if you like. We’re excited to share more soon about how we’ll deepen our work in math. Until then, here are a few things we’re excited about.
Director of K-12 Education
A newly released study shows that Nebraska elementary- and middle-school students who consistently utilized Zearn had large gains in their math learning. More specifically, researchers found that students who consistently completed three Zearn Math digital lessons weekly had 2.5 times the growth in their Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) math scores than students who did not use Zearn Math.
The Collaborative for Student Success announced key updates to EduRecoveryHub.org, a partnership with the Center on Reinventing Public Education, and the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University, that spotlights promising practices in the use of K-12 federal relief funds. Eighteen new promising practices are featured on the site, including a new statewide Michigan initiative to provide math tutoring and help educators target mathematics instruction based on individual student learning needs. Check out more at EduRecoveryHub.
The Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University is launching the Leading through Learning Playbook to support education leaders as they pursue transformative, equity-driven change. Built on over a decade of research and work with dozens of education-focused organizations and districts, the Playbook includes research-backed recommendations, case studies, and a suite of step-by-step tools and protocols.
Bento, Kitamba’s free education data visualization tool, has been updated with new data! Explore the RAND Corporation’s 2022 Learn Together Surveys, which ask teachers and principals about topics like math materials and instruction, teacher wellbeing, and school environment in easy-to-understand charts and visualizations. Bento’s dashboard has also been updated with recent state- and district-level data on teacher salary, education funding, high school graduation rates, and more.