This commentary highlights the contribution that careful and systematic analyses of curriculum or content standards can make to questions and issues important in the mathematics education field. We note the increased role that curriculum standards have played as part of a standards-based education reform strategy. We also review different methods used by researchers to compare and analyze the *Common Core State Standards for Mathematics*, each method designed for a particular purpose. Finally, we call upon mathematics education researchers to engage in careful analysis of curriculum standards and to share their findings in ways that can inform public debate as well as support education professionals in improving student learning opportunities.

### Dung Tran, Barbara J. Reys, Dawn Teuscher, Shannon Dingman and Lisa Kasmer

### Krista L. Strand and Katie Bailey

“I've read the standards so many times, but they just don't stick with me.” “I find a lot of the language in the standards to be confusing. I'm unsure about what some of the standards are actually saying.” The teachers' statements above capture a

### Mary Montgomery Lindquist

### Edited by Thomas E. Rowan

Clear expectations for the measurement curricula of grades K–8 are expressed in the *Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics* (NCTM 1989). The statements in **figure 1** are discussed in the Standards. Central to both the K–4 and 5–8 standards is the process of measuring, which can help students build understanding about measuring and make connections among various measurement concepts and skills.

### Lorna J. Morrow and Thomas E. Rowan

An underlying view of mathematics education expressed in the *Curriculum and Evaluation Standards* (NCTM 1989) is that a student should be actively involved both mentally and physically in constructing his or her own mathematical knowledge: “The K-4 curriculum should actively involve children in doing mathematics. … [They should] explore, justify, represent, solve, construct, discuss, use, investigate, describe, develop, and predict” (NCTM 1989, 17).

As we near the end of the more-than-fouryear- long process of creating NCTM's *Principles and Standards for School Mathematics*, we can rightfully celebrate this new milestone in our continuing efforts to improve the mathematics education of all students. Attend the NCTM's 78th Annual Meeting in Chicago, and join your colleagues in the official celebration at the opening session on Wednesday, 12 April 2000, at 5:45 P.M., when the document and accompanying CD-ROM will be presented to the membership.

### Michelle L. Stephan

A grocery shopping problem can link the Common Core's standards with a new classroom culture.

Over the past few months, some lively dialogue has occurred about the discussion draft of NCTM's updated standards, titled *Principles and Standards for School Mathematics*, as a part of providing the writers feedback in preparing the final version. The “Shaping the Standards” articles in this journal have been an interesting part of that discussion.

### Glenda Lappan

Since its inception in 1920, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has assumed the responsibility of providing broad national leadership in mathematics education. To establish a focus for discussion on improving the mathematics education of every student in states and provinces across North America, NCTM published three *Standards* documents from 1989 through 1995, addressing curriculum, teaching, and assessment. The Standards present a focus and vision—not a single path or algorithm—for building excellent mathematics programs.

### Glenda Lappan

Since its inception in 1920, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has assumed the responsibility of providing broad national leadership in mathematics education. To establish a focus for discussion on improving the mathematics education of every student in states and provinces across North America. NCTM published three Standards documents from 1989 to 1995, addressing curriculum, teaching, and assessment. The Standards present a focus and vision—not a single path or algorithm—for building excellent math-ematics programs.

### Glenda Lappan

Since its inception in 1920, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics I (NCTM) has assumed the responsibility of providing broad national leadership in mathematics education. To establish a focus for discussion on improving the mathematics education of every student in states and provinces across North America, NCTM published three *Standards* documents from 1989 to 1995, addressing curriculum, teaching, and assessment. The Standards present a focus and vision-not a single path or algorithmfor building excellent mathematics programs.