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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 23, 2000
Contact:Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126

Massachusetts Board Of Education Gives Conditional Endorsement To New State Curriculum Framework For Mathematics

Malden - The Massachusetts Board of Education Wednesday voted 7-2 to "conditionally endorse" a revised state curriculum framework in mathematics, subject to five actions to be carried out over the next several months by the Commissioner of Education.

The conditions include confirmation that the framework will not affect the comparability and validity of future MCAS tests for students; a review of the framework in light of the expected spring release of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards; review of the mathematical accuracy and soundness of the document by mathematicians; enhancement of the framework by a group of educators recommended by the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts, and the Mathematics and Science Advisory Council to the state Board of Education; and technical and editorial edits.

The Board of Education in December 1995 had approved the state's first mathematics framework.

"The 1995 framework is, in my view, unbalanced and somewhat prescriptive in its treatment of pedagogy. In revising the framework, it was our intention to make the document more neutral and balanced with respect to instructional methods," said Board of Education Chairman James A. Peyser. "I am pleased with the outcome of the lengthy Board deliberation in that the direction of clearer standards has been maintained while at the same time we are reaching out to mathematicians, associations and teachers to make the document richer and stronger," Peyser added.

The new draft "presents clearer and more specific learning standards so that teachers at all levels will know what they are expected to teach," and provides options for schools to design courses for students that either would proceed along a path of Algebra 1-Geometry-Algebra 2 in grades 8 to 10 or 9-11, or an integrated curriculum combining mathematical subjects at the secondary level, noted Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll in a memorandum to the Board.

Before the vote, fifteen speakers addressed the Board to criticize the draft document and the process by which it had been developed. "I hear that criticism loudly and clearly," Driscoll said. "We must move these standards forward, while listening to the field of teachers and others who will provide us very important material on best practices in the teaching of mathematics."

View The Conditionally Mathematics Endorsed Curriculum Framework
[ PDF || MS WORD ]

Last Updated: February 23, 2000
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