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Ideas to Help Math Teachers Cope With Common Standards

Three experts in math education have just put forward some recommendations to help ensure that teachers get the right training and assistance to bring the common standards to life in the classroom.

The new report, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, serves up a set of nine suggestions for states and districts on effective teacher professional development, including:

• Engaging teachers with both the math content and practices of the common standards in a "focused and integrated way";

• Providing "vivid images of teaching and learning" consistent with the standards; and

• Offering a "continuous and coherent set of experiences" over an extended period of time.

"The Common Core State Standards present a historic opportunity for mathematics education," said Mike Shaughnessy, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in a press release. "For the standards to succeed and attain their full potential to help to educate all our students, high-quality professional development must be provided to all teachers."

The report was written by professors Paola Sztajn from North Carolina State University, Karen Marrongelle from the Oregon University System, and Peg Smith from the University of Pittsburgh.

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