NJDOE News

NJDOE News

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Tom Rosenthal

Rich Vespucci

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**For Release: July 2, 2002**

FACT SHEET |
July 2, 2002 |

Mathematics

*In mathematics, the standards are now more closely aligned with those
of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which were recently
revised.*

Summary

The vision of excellent mathematical education is based on the twin premises
that *all* students *can* learn mathematics and that all students
*need *to learn mathematics. The mathematics standards were designed
not as minimum standards, but rather as world-class standards which will
enable all students to compete in the global marketplace of the 21st century.

The vision of success for all students in mathematics depends on:

- establishing learning environments that facilitate student learning of mathematics;
- making a commitment to equity and to excellence; and
- defining the critical goals of mathematics education today--what students should know and be able to do (i.e., content and processes).

The mathematics standards are intended to be a definition of excellent practice, and a description of what can be achieved if all New Jersey communities rally behind the standards, so that the excellent practice becomes common practice.

Background

Since the new assessments were adopted, a Mathematics Curriculum Framework was developed and new assessments were introduced to reflect the new standards.

The mathematics standards adopted in 1996 were philosophically aligned
with the *Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics*
of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 1989), but went
beyond that document in a number of ways, reflecting national discussions
of that document between 1989 and 1996 and taking into consideration conditions
specific to New Jersey. In, 2000, NCTM published a new document, *Principles
and Standards for School Mathematics.*

Recommendations Incorporated in Standards

The panel that drafted the revised standards reviewed many of the state
standards as well as *Principles and Standards for School Mathematics*
(NCTM, 2000). The panel also took into consideration a review of New Jersey’s
1996 standards prepared by Achieve, Inc. The panel kept in mind two important
principles:

*Retain the*content*of the current standards and the structure of the current assessments, so that the standards will not be a major departure from what is currently expected of students.**Revise the*presentation*of the standards, so that teachers will find them easier to understand and implement, and so that standards and assessments are better aligned.*

The content of the new mathematics standards is therefore largely the same as the previous version. However, the new standards are different in that:

- They are more specific and clearer than the previous standards;
- They are organized into a smaller number of standards that correspond to the content clusters of the statewide assessments;
- They are intended to serve as clear guides to the assessment development committees so that there should be no gaps between the standards and the test specifications; and
- They include expectations at grades 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7, as well as at grades 4, 8, and 12.