**ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)**

(1) State
Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Releases New YouTube Video for Students
Going Back to School

**
****Source: **California Department
of Education - 4 September 2007

**URL**: http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr07/yr07rel112.asp

On Tuesday, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction Jack O'Connell released a new short video on YouTube aimed
at reminding students that learning can be fun.

"This video is meant to be fun but deliver an
important message--that everyone has a stake in the success of our
students, including students themselves," O'Connell said. "School is
where we make friends, gain knowledge, develop creativity and critical
thinking skills, and even learn about exercise and nutrition. I want
every California student to develop a love of learning and enjoy going
to school. California's future depends on the young people in our
schools today. Everyone in our state needs to be concerned about student
achievement, including parents, teachers, administrators, our business
community, and public officials, in addition to our students."

O'Connell's Welcome Back to School YouTube video
is 2 minutes long. It can be viewed on YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnpuxGj5UA8
or on TeacherTube.com at http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=cc463c7d7ecba17cc9de

The video features O'Connell and students at Bret
Harte Elementary School in Sacramento. It shows examples of students
(including O'Connell) enjoying school and also includes a Top Ten list
of ways to enhance learning for students.

##
**ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)**

(1)
Number and Diversity of SAT^{ }Takers at All-Time High, but
Math, Reading, and Writing Scores Decline Slightly

**
****Source**: College Board - 28
August 2007

**URL: **http://www.collegeboard.com/press/releases/185222.html

The College Board recently announced SAT scores
for the class of 2007, the largest and most diverse class of SAT takers
on record. Nearly 1.5 million students in the class of 2007 took the
SAT, and minority students comprised nearly four out of 10 test-takers.

"The record number of students, coupled with the
diversity of SAT takers in the class of 2007, means that an increasing
number of students in this country are recognizing the importance of a
college education and are taking the steps necessary to get there," said
Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board. "I am encouraged by
the greater numbers of students from all walks of life who are taking on
the challenge of the SAT and college.

This year's average score in critical reading is
502, a 1-point decline compared to last year, or a change of 0.20
percent. The average scores in mathematics and writing declined 3 points
each compared to a year ago, bringing the scores to 515 and 494, or a
change of 0.58 percent and 0.60 percent, respectively.

**SAT Takers in the Class of 2007:**

1. More
African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic students in the class of
2007 took the SAT than in any previous class.

2. Hispanic students
represent the largest and fastest growing minority group.

3. There are also more
SAT takers in this year's class for whom English is not exclusively
their first language learned, compared to previous years' SAT takers. In
the class of 2007, 24%did not have English exclusively as their first
language, compared to 17% in 1997, and 13% in 1987.

4. Thirty-five percent
of this year's class will be the first in their families to attend
college.

5. Females comprise 54%
of those who took the SAT this year.

Of additional interest, during the past two years,
among all students taking the SAT, there has been a 31% increase in the
number of students receiving SAT fee waivers. Over the past year among
all students taking the SAT, one out of every nine received a fee waiver
and qualified to take the SAT at no charge. A student's eligibility for
a fee waiver is primarily determined using the USDA income eligibility
chart for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.

**SAT Score Trends and Course Taking**

While the long-term trend for critical reading
scores has been essentially flat, some racial/ethnic groups saw score
increases in critical reading this year. Asian-Americans (+4),
Mexican-Americans (+1), Other Hispanics (+1) and Other (+3) students all
saw gains in critical reading scores compared to last year. Critical
reading scores for females held steady at 502, while scores for males
slipped by 1 point to 504 compared to a year ago. Over the last 10
years, the gap favoring males on the critical reading section has
narrowed from a high of 9 points in 2003 to 2 points this year.

The long-term trend in mathematics scores is up,
rising from 501 twenty years ago to 511 ten years ago. Mathematics
scores hit an all-time high of 520 in 2005, before slipping in 2006 and
2007. This year's math score was 515.

When compared to 10 years ago, more students are
taking precalculus and calculus. In 2007, 53% of students reported
taking precalculus, compared to 40% ten years ago. The percentage of
students taking calculus rose from 23% to 30% during the same time
period. While both males and females are taking more challenging math
courses, a greater proportion of males continue to enroll in these
courses, and the score gap in mathematics persists. In 2007, females
scored 499 on the mathematics section and males scored 533.

This year marks the second year of scores for the
writing section on the SAT, thus it is too soon for a long-term trend to
be established. Sixty-six percent of 2007 college-bound seniors
reported taking English Composition in high school. The average writing
score for these students is 521, 27 points higher than this year's
average writing score. The score gap on the writing section favors
females by 11 points, with females scoring 500 and males scoring 489.

**New College Enrollment Data**

The College Board, in partnership with National
Student Clearinghouse, is now able to track college-enrollment patterns
of SAT takers at the state and national level.

Available for the first time this year is the
percentage of 2006 college-bound seniors from public schools enrolled in
college and the percentage that chose to enroll in-state or
out-of-state. Information on enrollment by race/ethnicity and type of
institution attended (two year, four year, public, private) is also
available. The College Board will be able to follow each class of SAT
takers so that in future years, additional information, including the
percentage of students successfully completing each year of college, as
well as graduation rates, will be available.

"Not only is it important for students to gain
admission to college, they must also have the tools to succeed when they
get there," said Caperton. "This data will be invaluable as we continue
our efforts to address concerns about college retention rates
nationwide."

(2)
Future Career Path of Gifted Youth Can be Predicted by Age 13

**
****Source: **Vanderbilt University

**URL**: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/news/releases?id=37167
The future career path and creative direction of
gifted youth can be predicted well by their performance on the SAT at
age 13, a new study from Vanderbilt University finds. The study offers
insights into how best to identify the nation's most talented youth,
which is a focus of the new $43 billion America Competes Act recently
passed by Congress to enhance the United States' ability to compete
globally.

"Our economy depends upon the creative
sector--science, technology, the arts, medicine, law and entertainment,"
David
Lubinski, study co-author and professor of
psychology at Vanderbilt's Peabody College of education and human
development, said. "Our research finds that differences in creative
potential among highly gifted youth can be identified at age 13,
offering opportunities for educators and policymakers to develop
programs to cultivate these individuals based on their unique strengths
and abilities."

The research was drawn from the Study of
Mathematically Precocious Youth or SMPY, which is tracking 5,000
individuals over 50 years identified at age 13 as being highly
intelligent by their SAT scores. Lubinski and Camilla Benbow,
Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development at
Peabody College, lead the study. Their co-author on the new report,
published online by *Psychological
Science* Sept. 7, was Gregory Park, a
doctoral student in Peabody's Department of
Psychology and Human Development.

The current study looked at the educational and
professional accomplishments of 2,409 adults who had been identified as
being in the top 1 percent of ability 25 years earlier, at age 13.

"We found significant differences in the
creative and career paths of individuals who showed different ability
patterns on the math and verbal portions of the SAT at age 13," Benbow, a
member of the National Science Board and vice chair of the National
Mathematics Advisory Panel, said. "Individuals showing more ability in
math had greater accomplishments in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics, while those showing greatest ability on the verbal portion
of the test went on to excel in the humanities--art, history,
literature, languages, drama and related fields."

Overall, the creative potential of these
participants was extraordinary. They earned a total of 817 patents and
published 93 books. Of the 18 participants who later earned tenure-track
positions in math/science fields at top-50 U.S. universities, their
average age 13 SAT-M score was 697, and the lowest score among them was
580, a score greater than over 60%of all students who take the SAT.

Benbow believes the latest findings from SMPY may
be relevant to the ongoing public discussion about education and
competitiveness.
"SMPY has already shown that highly achieving adults
can be identified at an early age. These results now show us that we can
also predict in which areas they are most likely to excel," she said.
"The policy question becomes: how best can we support individuals such
as these, especially during their formative years, to help promote their
development and success?"

The findings contradict recent reports that the
SAT has no predictive value.

"The key factor in our study is that the SAT was
administered at a young age," Lubinski said. "When students take the
test in high school, the most able students all score near the top, and
individual differences are harder to see. Using the test with gifted
students at a young age allows us to easily identify differences in
strengths and abilities that could potentially be used to help shape
that person's education."

........................................................

Related story:

**"Gifted Children are Being Left Behind**"
by Susan Goodkin and David G. Gold

**Source: ** *San Diego Union
Tribune* - 29 August 2007

**URL**: http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070829/news_lz1e29goodkin.html

(3)
"What is Conceptual Understanding?" by Keith Devlin

**Source: ***MAA Online*
- September 2007

**URL: **http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_09_07.html
Mathematics educators talk endlessly about
conceptual understanding, how important it is (or isn't) for effective
math learning (depends what you classify as effective), and how best to
achieve it in learners (if you want them to have it).

Conceptual understanding is one of the five
strands of *mathematical proficiency*, the overall
goal of K-12 mathematics education as set out by the National Research
Council's 1999-2000 Mathematics Learning Study Committee in their report
titled *Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics*,
published by the National Academy Press in 2001.

I'm a great fan of that book, so let me say up
front that I think achieving conceptual understanding is an important
component of mathematics education. That appears to pit me against one
of the two opposing camps in the math wars--the skills brigade--so let
me even things up a bit by adding that I think many mathematical
concepts can be understood only after the learner has acquired
procedural skill in using the concept. In such cases, learning can take
place only by first learning to follow symbolic rules, with
understanding emerging later, sometimes considerably later. That
probably makes me an enemy of the other camp, the
conceptual-understanding-first proponents.

I do agree with practically everyone that
procedural skills that are not eventually accompanied by some form of
understanding are brittle and easily lost. I believe that the need for
rule-based skill acquisition before conceptual understanding can develop
is in fact the norm for more advanced parts of mathematics (calculus
and beyond), and I'm not convinced that it is possible to proceed
otherwise in all of the more elementary parts of the subject...

My problems are, I don't really know what others
mean by [conceptual understanding]; I suspect that they often mean
something different from me (though I believe that what I mean by it is
the same as other professional mathematicians); and I do not know how to
tell if a student really has what I mean by it.

*Adding It Up* defines
conceptual understanding as "the comprehension of mathematical concepts,
operations, and relations," which elaborates the question but does not
really answer it.

**Whatever it is, how do we teach it?**

The accepted wisdom for introducing a new concept
in a fashion that facilitates understanding is to begin with several
examples...

This idea is appealing, but not without its
difficulties, the primary one being that the learner may end up with a
concept different from the one the instructor intended! The difficulty
arises because an abstract mathematical concept generally has
fundamental features different from some or even all of the examples the
learner meets. (That, after all, is one of the goals of
abstraction!)...

Whereas conceptual understanding is a goal that
educators should definitely strive for, we need to accept that it cannot
be guaranteed, and accordingly we should allow for the learner to make
progress without fully understand the concepts.

The authors of *Adding It Up*
seem to accept this problem. Rather than insist on full understanding of
the concepts, the committee explained further what they meant by
"conceptual understanding" this way (p.141), "... conceptual
understanding refers to an integrated and functional grasp of the
mathematical ideas."

The key term here, as I see it, is "integrated and
functional grasp." This suggests an acceptance that a realistic goal is
that the learner has sufficient understanding to work intelligently and
productively with the concept and to continue to make progress, while
allowing for future refinement or even correction of the learner's
concept-as-understood, in the light of further experience. (It is
possible I am reading something into the NRC Committee's words that the
committee did not intend. In which case I suggest that in the light of
further considerations I am refining the NRC Committee's concept of
conceptual understanding!)

**Enter "Functional Understanding"**

I propose we call this relaxed notion of
conceptual understanding *functional understanding*.
It means, roughly speaking, understanding a concept sufficiently well to
get by for the present. Because functional understanding is defined it
terms of what the learner can do with it, it is possible to test if the
learner has achieved it or not, which avoides my uncertainty about full
conceptual understanding.

Since the distinction I am making is somewhat
subtle, let me provide a dramatic example. As the person who invented
calculus, it would clearly be absurd to say that Newton did not
understand what he was doing. Nevertheless, he did not have (conceptual)
understanding of the concepts that underlay calculus as we do today -
for the simple reason that those concepts were not fully worked out
until late in the nineteenth century, two-hundred-and-fifty years later.
Newton's understanding, which was surely profound, would be one of
functional understanding. Euler demonstrated similar functional
understanding of infinite sums, though the concepts that underpin his
work were also not developed until later.

One of the principal reason why mathematics majors
students progress far, far more slowly in learning new mathematical
techniques at university than do their colleagues in physics and
engineering, is that the mathematics faculty seek to achieve full
conceptual understanding in mathematics majors, whereas what future
physicists and engineers need is (at most) functional understanding.
(Arguably most of them don't really need that either; rather what they
require is another of the five strands of mathematical proficiency, *procedural
fluency.*) I have taught at universities where the
engineering faculty insisted on teaching their own mathematics,
precisely because they wanted their students to progress much faster
(and more superficially) through the material than the mathematicians
were prepared to do.

Teaching with functional understanding as a goal
carries the responsibility of leaving open the possibility of future
refinement or revision of the learner's concept as and when they
progress further. This means that the instructor should have a good
grasp of the concept *as mathematicians understand and use it.*
Sadly, many studies have shown that teachers often do not have such
understanding, and nor do many writers of school textbooks.

I'll give you one example of just how bad school
textbooks can be. I was visiting some leading math ed specialists in
Vancouver a few months ago, and we got to talking about elementary
school textbooks. One of the math ed folks explained to me that teachers
often explain whole number equations by asking the pupils to imagine
objects placed on either side of a balance. Add equal numbers to both
sides of an already balanced pairing and the balance is maintained, she
explained. The problem then is how do you handle subtraction, including
cases where the result is negative? I jumped in with what I thought was
an amusing quip. "Well," I said with a huge grin, "you could always ask
the children to imagine helium balloons attached to either side!" At
which point my math ed colleagues told me the awful truth. "That's
exactly how many elementary school textbooks do it," one said. Seeing my
incredulity, another added, "They actually have diagrams with colored
helium balloons gaily floating above balances." "Now you know what we
are up against," chimed in a third. I did indeed.

I suspect that I am not alone among MAA members in
my ignorance of what goes on at the elementary school level. My
professional interest in mathematics education stretches from graduate
level down to the top end of the middle school range, with my level of
experience and expertise decreasing as I follow that path. Sure, I can
see how the helium balloon metaphor can work for the immediate task in
hand of explaining how subtraction is the opposite of addition. But talk
about a brittle metaphor! It not only breaks down at the very next
step, it actually establishes a mental concept that simply has to be
unlearned. This is surely a perfect example of using a metaphor that is
not consistent with the true concept, and hence very definitely does not
lead to anything that can be called conceptual understanding.

**A Request**

As regular readers probably know, I am a
mathematician, not a professional in the field of mathematics education.
I know many mathematicians, but far fewer math ed specialists. But I am
interested in issues of mathematics education, and I have long felt
that mathematicians have something to contribute to the field of
mathematics education. (Getting rid of those floating helium balloons
would be a valuable first step! Stopping teachers saying that
multiplication is repeated addition would be a good second.) In fact, it
strikes me as surprising that having mathematicians part of the math ed
community was for long not a widely accepted no-brainer, but thankfully
that now appears to be history. In any event, the above was written
from my perspective as a mathematician, and I would be surprised if I
have said anything that has not been put through the math ed wringer
many times. Accordingly, **I would be interested in receiving
references to work that has been done in the area.**

...............................................

Mathematician Keith Devlin (email: devlin@csli.stanford.edu)
is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Language and
Information at Stanford University and The Math Guy on NPR's Weekend
Edition. Devlin's most recent book, *Solving Crimes with Mathematics:
THE NUMBERS BEHIND NUMB3RS,* is the companion book to
the television crime series NUMB3RS, and is co-written with Professor
Gary Lorden of Caltech, the lead mathematics adviser on the series.

(4)
Math is More: Toward a National Consensus on Improving
U.S.
Mathematics Education

**
****URL: **http://www.mathismore.net/index.html
The following individuals have been meeting to
"frame a view on the importance of mathematics education" that they
desire to share widely. Below the name/affiliations is their statement,
as well as links to related Web pages.

Jere Confrey -- North Carolina State University,
Raleigh

Midge Cozzens -- Knowles Science Teaching
Foundation

John Ewing -- American Mathematical Society

Gary Froelich -- COMAP

Sol Garfunkel -- COMAP

James Infante -- Vanderbilt University (Emeritus)

Steve Leinwand -- American Institutes for Research

Joseph Malkevitch -- York College, CUNY

Henry Pollak -- Teachers College, Columbia

Steve Rasmussen -- Key Curriculum Press

Eric Robinson -- Ithaca College

Alan Schoenfeld -- University of California,
Berkeley

**.........................**

**Statement:**

Whether you are a parent or a politician, whether
you work in business, industry, government or academia, the state of
U.S. mathematics education is of fundamental importance to you and those
you care about. As the importance of mathematical and quantitative
thinking increases, we must become more focused as a nation on providing
our children a better mathematical education. This is not simply about
economic competitiveness or getting higher scores on international
comparisons. Rather it is about equipping our children with the
necessary tools to be effective citizens and skilled members of the
workforce in the twenty-first century. Mathematics as a discipline and
the applications of mathematics to the world around us have grown and
changed significantly in the past 50 years. Our system of mathematics
education must reflect that growth and change. Quite simply, math is
more.

We want to do the best job possible with the most
children possible. We are a group of mathematics educators,
mathematicians, and concerned individuals committed to real and
significant improvement in the performance of the complex system of
mathematics education. To achieve this goal, however, we must be clear
about what we mean. In this document, we specify ten planks that
represent our beliefs and guide the direction of our efforts. It will
take years of hard work by many people--teachers, administrators, policy
makers, parents and students, mathematicians and mathematics educators,
academics and practitioners across a wide spectrum--to achieve the goal
of universal mathematical literacy and proficiency. The signers of this
report commit ourselves to that effort.

**Plank 1: Students need to see mathematics and
the people who use mathematics in the broadest possible light.**

What do we mean by mathematical literacy? First,
math is more than dividing decimals or solving equations. It is more
than algebra or geometry as defined by a particular syllabus or set of
textbooks. Math is the use of a graph to model a street network to solve
traffic snarls; it is finding the ‘distance' between two strands of DNA
to improve our understanding of the human species. It is about
deduction, visualization, statistical and probabilistic reasoning,
representation, and modeling. It is what enables our cell phones to
work, and our MRIs to function. It gives us insight into medicine,
biology, economics, business, engineering, and the ways we reason and
make decisions. Mathematics education at all levels and in all courses
must engage students with the practicality, the applicability, the power
and the beauty of mathematics. This can be accomplished when students
see mathematics as including skills, conceptual understandings and a way
of reasoning.

**Plank 2: Mathematics education must be viewed
as a complex system requiring coherent coordination and a long-term
investment in the quality of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.**

We do not believe that there are quick fixes or
magic bullets that will lead to significant improvements in mathematics
education. Rather, we believe that improvements in this complex system
will be the result of a series of substantive changes that are informed
by research and guided by experimentation with the proper and rigorous
evaluation of the results. But change of this magnitude takes time.
Among other things, both established and new teachers need to learn and
experience mathematics as the rich discipline we know it to be.
Professional working conditions for teachers must allow time and
opportunity for developing new understandings about mathematics, its
applications and the teaching of mathematics.

**Plank 3: Mathematics education at all levels,
including advanced college programs, is a form of vocational and
professional preparation.**

We must recognize that there is a compelling
national (and local) interest in the state of mathematics education.
While we do not see this as a zero-sum game, with our country (or state)
vying to do better than another, our overall mathematical literacy and
competence is important to our economic health. Industry, in addition to
government, needs to be heavily involved. Employers are after all
parents and vice versa. Surely, having good high school math grades or
SAT scores must be about more than getting into a good college. Being
able to analyze and solve problems using quantitative reasoning is an
increasingly necessary job skill. We believe that not enough emphasis
has been placed on the needs of students. Their future will involve many
different jobs. They will need to master current and emerging
technologies. We know that they will need creativity, independence,
imagination and problem-solving abilities in addition to skills
proficiency. In other words, students will increasingly need advanced
mathematical understanding and awareness of the tools mathematics
provides to achieve their career goals.

**Plank 4: A coherent set of broad national
curricular goals allowing for new results from educational research
should be created.**

While we believe in accountability and we
recognize the need for curricular coherence, we worry about the Babel of
‘Standards' being designed by individual states, districts, and more
nationally-based organizations and think tanks. National standards in
the spirit of curricular goals can serve a unifying purpose. Standards
must, however, be generic enough to allow for the evolution of content
and pedagogy. Although there must be room for trying new ideas,
standards should increasingly be grounded in robust research
demonstrating student learning of important mathematical ideas.
Standards at the grain size of individual skills must be avoided. We
also believe that the present multiplicity and specificity of standards
is a barrier to innovation by both the authors and publishers of
mathematics materials.

**Plank 5: The quality of instruction continues
to be of critical importance to the improvement of student achievement.**

The mathematics classroom is more than where
students encounter formal mathematics. It is where students decide if
mathematics is "for them" and where the ideas must inspire and engage.
Active learning produces life-long learning. There is no substitute for
curiosity, engagement, pursuit of ideas, use of prior knowledge followed
by exploration, experimentation, practice and mastery. The use of
applications, the design of rich interactions among students, and the
creative use of technologies have produced promising results when
accompanied by careful attention to students' progress through
well-understood learning progressions. Accountability is hollow if it is
not accompanied by robust efforts to improve instruction, by using
exciting materials, by including opportunities for teachers to be
learners and to experience broader views of mathematics. Our task is to
introduce students to the wonders of mathematics, while providing the
discipline to regulate their own learning and to ensure proficiency and
mastery. Students should not be viewed simply as consumers of
mathematics education, but as active participants with the most to gain
or lose. Their voices should be solicited and taken into serious
consideration.

**Plank 6: Programs must be developed to help
all students, recognizing their diverse needs, interests, talents, and
levels of motivation.**

"Mathematics for All" is an important rallying
cry. But to be meaningful, it requires that we recognize and act on the
fact that different student populations need to be provided for
differently. For a multitude of reasons, some students may be more
motivated to learn than others. Some students have stronger background
knowledge than others and some learn more quickly. One size does not fit
all. There is research that can be brought to bear on these issues—and
we need to know and do more. We cannot afford a mathematics education
system that works for the few and not the many.

**Plank 7: We must test what we value, both
locally and nationally.**

Mathematical literacy is becoming a survival
skill. We strongly believe in accountability to a rich set of
mathematical goals. We want students to master core facts and
procedures, but this is not enough. We want conceptual understanding,
problem-solving, and flexible use of the mathematics to solve both pure
and applied problems. Like standards, assessments must reflect our
goals—most importantly, the ability to apply mathematical reasoning to
analyze and attack real-world problems. If mathematical literacy
includes the ability to make use of mathematics, and we believe in the
importance of mathematical literacy, then we must align our testing
accordingly. Testing must not be about punishment for failure, but about
giving students and teachers a clearer understanding of what they do
and do not know. Testing should inform instruction, not determine it.

**
Plank 8: We must continue to develop and
research new materials and pedagogies and translate that research into
improved classroom practice.**

Education, as a scientific discipline, is a young
field with an active community focused on R&D—research on learning
coupled with the development of new and better curriculum materials. In
truth, however, much of the work is better described as D&R—informed
and thoughtful development followed by careful analysis of results. It
is in the nature of the enterprise that we cannot discover what works
before we create the what. Curriculum development, in particular, is
best related to an engineering paradigm. In order to test the efficacy
of an approach, we must analyze needs, examine existing programs, build
an improved model program, and test it—in the same way we build scale
models to design a better bridge or building. This kind of iterative
D&R leads to new and more effective materials and new pedagogical
approaches that better incorporate the growing body of knowledge of
cognitive science. We understand that educational research has not yet
provided all of the answers to how to best help children learn
mathematics. However, there is a great deal that we do know about the
motivational power of applications, the effectiveness of appropriate
learning technologies, the use of collaborative learning with children,
and the use of lesson- and case-study programs with teachers.

**Plank 9: Our country must make a major
investment over the coming decade to sustain and rejuvenate the ranks of
mathematics teachers in our nation's
schools.**

Many mathematics classrooms are staffed with
unqualified teachers. This is because school administrators can neither
find enough qualified teachers nor provide adequate resources to upgrade
staff qualifications. Mandates that every teacher be qualified won't
improve the situation until there is a sufficient supply of mathematics
teachers to meet the demand. To stave off this foreseeable crisis in our
math classrooms, our nation needs to act to increase the numbers of
young people entering mathematics and mathematics education disciplines
in our universities and to significantly improve the continuing
education of existing teachers. We must ensure that their education
prepares them for current educational realities and that their working
conditions as teachers permit them continuous mathematical and
pedagogical improvements. We need to find more ways to support new
teachers through the difficult induction years, especially young people
who commit to teach in our least successful schools.

**Plank 10: We must build a sustainable system
for monitoring and improving mathematics education.**

Perhaps the most important point is that our work
must be sustainable. Just as with our students, we need to be there
throughout the learning process—watching out for necessary course
corrections and building with a long-range view. Too often in the past
we have reacted to crises, whether it be Sputnik and fear of losing the
space race, being overtaken economically by Japan, or out-sourcing our
manufacturing jobs to China and India. Reports are written decrying the
current state of affairs and funding is made available. But the need for
excellent mathematics education will always be with us. We must build
an infrastructure that recognizes this fact, and devotes consistent
attention and resources to addressing the challenge of high quality
mathematics for all, rather than a cycle of investment, neglect,
investment…

The authors of this document share many
beliefs--that mathematics is important as a discipline, as a field full
of wonder and beauty, as a tool for modeling our world, as a
prerequisite for knowledgeable citizenship in a participatory democracy,
and as a means to better jobs and a better quality of life. We hold
strong views on the importance of education in general and mathematics
education in particular. We do not agree on all things, but we are, and
intend to remain, inclusive. Clearly there is much substance and detail
that can be added to these planks. We need many voices and many hands
and we call on you to join with us to ensure that every child receives
the best mathematics education possible and recognizes that in their
future, math *is* more.

__________________

**Frequently Asked Questions**: http://www.mathismore.net/faq/index.html

**Supporters**: http://www.mathismore.net/support/index.html

**CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS, AND MEETINGS**

(1) California
Mathematics Council (CMC) Conferences

**
****URL (CMC-South): **http://www.cmc-math.org/PS

**URL (CMC-North): **http://www.cmc-math.org/ASIL

**URL (CMC-Central):** http://www.cmc-math.org/SLO

Each year, the California Mathematics Council (CMC) hosts
three regional conferences: one in Palm Springs (CMC-South), one on the
Asilomar Conference Grounds (CMC-North), and one in the Monterey area
(CMC-Central).

**CMC-S: **"This is the largest of our
three fall conferences. It is held the weekend after the first Thursday
of November. [This year's dates are November 2-3.] The Palm Springs
Convention Center is the hub of the conference, along with the Hilton,
Spa, Wyndham, and Hyatt Hotels." NOTE: Full-time college students are
eligible to attend the conference free of charge and also receive a free
one-year membership to CMC if they serve as Student Hosts. The
application form is available at http://faculty.fullerton.edu/mellis/CMCStudentHost.htm
Contact Mark Ellis at CSU-Fullerton (mellis@fullerton.edu)
for more information.

**CMC-N:** "This is the oldest of
our three fall conferences; we've had 60 CMC North conferences and 50
have been at this one venue. It is held one week after Thanksgiving, the
weekend surrounding the first Saturday in December. The beautiful,
historic Asilomar Conference Grounds on the Monterey Peninsula has been
the setting for 50 years. This year's theme is *'Making the Most of
Golden Opportunities: Our 50th Celebration.'" * The
dates of this conference are November 30-December 2, 2007.

**CMC-Central**: "This symposium [Pre-K to
12 Algebra Symposium] is presented in a format which has garnered much
praise from the participants each year. It is an all 'workshop' format;
everyone at a particular grade level is assigned to a single session for
an all-morning, intensive workshop, and to another session for the
afternoon." The next symposium will be held on March 7-8, 2008 at the
Embassy Suites in Seaside (Monterey Bay Peninsula).

......

Programs for the CMC-South and CMC-North conferences were
mailed to CMC members this past week, and Web-based registration
information is expected to be available next week on the above Web
sites.