For roughly 35 years, the NCTM Research Presession has been held 1 or 2 days prior to the NCTM Annual Conference—hence the word presession. Beginning with the 2014 meeting in New Orleans, the NCTM Research Presession will be rebranded as the NCTM Research Conference. This change of name is intended to emphasize the critical role that research should play in our efforts to improve mathematics education. The NCTM Research Committee thought this an appropriate occasion to invite Richard Lesh, who was instrumental in the founding of the Research Presession, to join the members of the current Research Committee in reflecting on its formation, the hopes he and other kindred spirits had in mind when they started it, and the current state and future of research in our field.
Richard Lesh, Kathryn B. Chval, Karen Hollebrands, Clifford Konold, Michelle Stephan, Erica N. Walker and Jeffrey J. Wanko
James E. Tarr, Erica N. Walker, Karen F. Hollebrands, Kathryn B. Chval, Robert Q. Berry III, Chris L. Rasmussen, Cliff Konold and Karen King
During the past 2 decades, significant changes in mathematics curriculum standards and policies have brought greater attention to assessment instruments, practices, purposes, and results. In moving toward stronger accountability, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 (NCLB, 2002) mandates that school districts receiving funding under NCLB formulate and disseminate annual local report cards that include information on how students and each school in the district performed on state assessments. This mandate has not only facilitated a growth in state testing (Wilson, 2007) but also influenced the teaching of mathematics (Seeley, 2006). More recently, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) crafted and launched the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (NGA Center & CCSSO, 2010), which have been formally adopted by the vast majority of U.S. states and territories. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) specifies standards for mathematical content by grade in K–8 and by conceptual categories at the secondary level and identifies key Standards for Mathematical Practice that should be present in K–12 instruction. The CCSSM represents an unprecedented initiative to raise academic standards in school mathematics that will inevitably influence the development of curriculum materials, teaching, and assessment practices.
Daniel J. Heck, James E. Tarr, Karen F. Hollebrands, Erica N. Walker, Robert Q. Berry III, Patricia C. Baltzley, Chris L. Rasmussen and Karen D. King
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) espouses priorities to foster stronger linkages between mathematics education research and teaching practice. Of the five foundational priorities, one is directly focused on research, indicating NCTM's commitment to “ensure that sound research is integrated into all activities of the Council” (NCTM, n.d.). Another priority specifically references the relationship between research and mathematics teaching; the priority on curriculum, instruction, and assessment states that NCTM pledges to “Provide guidance and resources for developing and implementing mathematics curriculum, instruction, and assessment that are coherent, focused, well-articulated, and consistent with research in the field [emphasis added], and focused on increasing student learning” (NCTM, n.d.).