Response to the 1998 Discussion Draft of the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

April 1, 1999

One of the major activities of the Access and Assets Project, a collaborative effort of the Education Development Center (EDC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to promote high quality, standards-based education for students with disabilities, is to provide information to standards committees and other educational organizations about how national standards and policies can be crafted and implemented to insure the inclusion of students with disabilities in standards-based science and math education. Specifically, the project seeks to develop and promote a model of inclusion that is based on an asset rather than deficit perspective on disability.

As part of this project we have conducted a review of the 1998 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards Draft. The review was encouraged by Joan Ferrini Mundy, Chair of the NCTM Standards 2000 Writing Group and Douglas Clements, Member of the Grades Pre-K - 2 Writing Group, who both serve on the Advisory Board of the Assets and Access Project.

The review was performed by project staff and consultants in collaboration with members of our advisory board and colleagues from the field. The review team (a list of the reviewers is included in the Appendix) consisted of math and science educators, scientists, disability advocates, and researchers, and included individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. Reviewers were invited to submit comments on selected sections of the draft. In particular, we asked them to consider what kinds of change may be need in the draft in order to:

  • Recognize and utilize the assets that students with disabilities bring to learning math; and

  • Insure that the standards will be inclusive for children with all types of disabilities (e.g., physical, sensory, cognitive, developmental, emotional, learning disabilities)

This report summarizes and synthesizes individual reviewer's comments. It was prepared by project staff and reviewed by all of the reviewers who submitted comments.

The report is organized in two main sections. The first section includes general comments and the second section contains detailed suggestions for revision of Chapters 1 and 2.