New Jersey Department of Education

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Successful teaching and learning of mathematics play an important role in ensuring that students have the right skills required to compete in a 21st century global economy. When properly implemented and coupled with opportunities for students to engage in mathematical investigation, communication and problem solving, rigorous mathematics standards hold the promise of elevating the mathematical knowledge and skill of every learner to levels competitive with the best in the world, of preparing our college entrants to undertake advanced work in the mathematical sciences, and of readying the next generation for the jobs their world will demand.

New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Mathematics

Intent and Spirit

For more than a decade, research studies of mathematics education in high-performing countries have concluded that mathematics education in the United States must become substantially more focused and coherent in order to improve mathematics achievement in this country. To deliver on this promise, the 2016 New Jersey Student Learning Standards - Math (NJSLS-M) are designed to address the problem of a curriculum that is "a mile wide and an inch deep."

The math standards provide clarity and specificity rather than broad general statements. The standards draw on the most important international models for mathematical practice, as well as research. They endeavor to follow the design envisioned by William Schmidt and Richard Houang (2002), by not only stressing conceptual understanding of key ideas, but also by continually returning to organizing principles (coherence) such as place value and the laws of arithmetic to structure those ideas.

In addition, the "sequence of topics and performances" that is outlined in a body of math standards must respect what is already known about how students learn. As Confrey (2007) points out, developing "sequenced obstacles and challenges for students…absent the insights about meaning that derive from careful study of learning, would be unfortunate and unwise." Therefore, the development of the standards began with research-based learning progressions detailing what is known today about how students' mathematical knowledge, skill, and understanding develop over time. The knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for mathematics in college, career, and life are woven throughout the mathematics standards.

Supporting Resources

Middle school age girl doing math at the white boardPrerequisite Concepts & Skills and Instructional Units

Contact Us

Dr. Deidre Richardson

Mathematics Coordinator


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Page Last Updated: 11/18/2022

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