NCTM and NCSM Call for Changes to EdReports Reviews of Common Core Instructional Materials


RESTON,  Va.,  May  20,  2015—An  open  letter  to  the  education  community  from  the  National  Council  of  Teachers  of  Mathematics  (NCTM)  and  National  Council  of  Supervisors  of  Mathematics  (NCSM)  calls  for  changes  to  recently  published  EdReports  reviews  of  instructional  materials  for  their  alignment  with  the  Common  Core  State  Standards  for  Mathematics  (CCSSM).

According  to  the  statement,  “The  EdReports  methodology,  including  its  evaluation  tool  and  process,  has  produced  reviews  that  fall  short  of  providing  useful  and  accurate  information  about  many  critical  features  of  materials  reviewed,  such  as  how  the  materials  address  the  Standards  for  Mathematical  Practice  and  the  quality  of  the  instructional  activities.  As  a  result,  the  current  ratings  and  reviews  do  not  provide  the  types  and  quality  of  information  needed  to  make  informed  choices  about  the  extent  to  which  particular  materials  support  students’  learning,  or  teachers’  teaching,  of  CCSSM.”

NCTM  President  Diane  Briars  said,  “We  support  the  goal  of  EdReports  to  provide  useful  information  for  those  who  are  selecting  instructional  materials  that  support  implementation  of  the  Common  Core  State  Standards  for  Mathematics.  Teachers  and  decision  makers  need  good  information  to  make  choices  about  instructional  materials.  However,  the  EdReports  primary  analysis  focuses  on  only  a  subset  of  CCSSM  standards  at  each  grade,  omitting  standards  in  CCSSM  Critical  Areas,  such  as  probability  and  statistics  in  middle  school.  It  also  focuses  on  the  amount  of  time  devoted  to  this  subset  of  standards  instead  of  on  the  quality  of  treatment  of  all  the  standards.  Furthermore,  its  gateway  system  of  reviewing  materials  in  many  cases  neglects  the  importance  of  the  Mathematical  Practices  in  the  Common  Core,  and  excludes  many  materials  from  the  kind  of  thorough  reviews  that  are  needed  in  the  field.”

Valerie  Mills,  past  president  of  the  National  Council  of  Supervisors  of  Mathematics,  said,  “The  current  reports  with  mathematical  errors  and  faulty  rubrics  and  process  are  doing  damage  to  districts,  teachers,  and  most  of  all,  students,  by  misrepresenting  the  potential  of  currently  available  curriculum  materials  to  support  implementation  of  the  Common  Core  State  Standards  for  Mathematics.”

The  letter  calls  for  correcting  errors  in  current  reviews  and  suggests  including  a  mechanism  in  the  EdReports  process  to  avoid  errors  in  the  future.  It  also  calls  for  EdReports  to  revise  its  current  methodology,  evaluation  tool,  and  process  and  to  withdraw  the  existing  reviews  while  improvements  are  being  made  to  them.  Finally,  it  suggests  that  materials  be  reviewed  again  under  new  criteria  so  that  comprehensive  and  error-­‐free  reviews  are  available  before  any  work  is  begun  on  additional  materials.  According  to  the  statement,  “making  these  changes  will increase  the  likelihood  that  EdReports  reviews  will  be  valuable  for  educators  attempting  to  make  informed  choices  about  the  purchase  or  use  of  instructional  materials  to  support  student  learning.”  The  letter  is  online  on  the  NCSM  and  NCTM  websites.

The  National  Council  of  Teachers  of  Mathematics  is  the  world’s  largest  professional  organization  dedicated  to  improving  mathematics  education  for  all  students.  NCTM’s  Principles  to  Actions:  Ensuring  Mathematical  Success  for  All  describes  the  principles  and  actions,  including  specific  research-­‐informed  teaching  practices,  that  are  essential  for  a  high-­‐quality  mathematics  education  for  all  students.  The  Council  is  committed  to  a  constructive  public  dialogue  to  ensure  a  mathematics  education  of  the  highest  quality  for  all  students.  The  National  Council  of  Supervisors  of  Mathematics  (NCSM)  is  a  mathematics  leadership  organization  for  educational  leaders  that  provides  professional  learning  opportunities  necessary  to  support  and  sustain  improved  student  achievement.

EdReports Open Letter NCTM NCSM May 20 2015 revised

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