Mathematical Proficiency for All Students: Toward a Strategic Research and Development Program in Mathematics Education

By Deborah Loewenberg Ball | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Developing proficiency in mathematics is an important goal for all school students. In light of current U.S. educational standards and the mathematics performance of U.S. students compared with the performance of students in other countries, a clear need exists for substantial improvement in mathematics achievement in the nation's schools. On average, U.S. students do not achieve high levels of mathematical proficiency, and serious gaps in achievement persist between white students and students of color and between middle-class students and students living in poverty.

To address these issues, the federal government and the nation's school systems have made and are continuing to make significant investments toward the improvement of mathematics education. However, the knowledge base upon which these efforts are founded is generally weak. Therefore, a strategic and coordinated program of research and development could contribute significantly to improving mathematics education in U.S. schools.

The RAND Mathematics Study Panel was convened as part of a broader effort to inform the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) on ways to improve the quality and relevance of mathematics education research and development. The 18 experts on the panel include education professionals, mathematicians, and researchers who have wide-ranging perspectives on the disciplines and methods of mathematics instruction. The panel was charged with drafting an agenda and guidelines for a proposed long-term strategic research and development program supporting the improvement of mathematics education. Such a program would inform both policy decisionmaking and the practice of teaching mathematics. This book presents the panel's recommendations for the substance and conduct of that proposed program. The panel's recommendations should be of interest to researchers who study mathematics instruction and to practitioners who teach mathematics.

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