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Project Aims to Tie Teacher Prep to Common Math Standards

At a time when many people are wondering how the common standards will find their way into the classrooms, a higher education group has just launched a new initiative to prepare new secondary math teachers to do just that.

The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership aims to redesign mathematics teacher preparation programs through a collaborative approach that brings together colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and other organizations. The effort is being led by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), with an initial planning year funded in part by a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

"The adoption of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics necessitates that we re-examine the policies and practices surrounding the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers to ensure that new teachers are ready to teach to these new, more rigorous standards," said W. Gary Martin, a professor of math education at Auburn University in Alabama and a co-principal investigator for the partnership, in a statement. "The common vision for K-12 mathematics across the states opens up new possibilities for collaborative work within and across higher education institutions and with K-12 schools—essential partners in meeting this challenge."

Key goals for the effort include:

• Building consensus on guiding principles underlying teacher prep programs in secondary math;
• Developing and undertaking a collaborative research and development agenda to support programs built on the guiding principles;
• Catalyzing the transformation of teacher prep programs nationally by stimulating the use of model programs and practices and promoting changes in state program approval, accreditation, and other policies necessary to support the agenda.

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