**State University of New York**

**Initial Report:**

*Provost’s MathematicsEducation
Task Force*

February 2004

Vicky Kouba, University at Albany, Co-Chair

Alan Tucker, University at Stony Brook,
Co-Chair

**Executive Summary**

Preparing
teachers for the K-12 schools is a long-standing component of the mission of the State
University of New York, with a number of institutions in the System having been founded
with teacher education as their central mission. Today SUNY’s graduates constitute
a major segment of New York State’s K-12 educators. Recognizing this historical mission and a responsibility for continuing
excellence, the Chancellor and Provost adopted an action plan, *A New Vision in
Teacher Education, *to guide the future of teacher education in the System. The SUNY Provost’s Mathematics Education
Task Force (METF) is an outgrowth of the action plan’s charge to engage faculty
in seeking enhancements in the preparation of teachers and, ultimately, in the improvement
of instruction in the K-12 schools.

The
METF, formed by campus’s recommendations of more than 100 mathematics and mathematics
education faculty and administrators from across the System, was organized into three
working groups: (1) pre-service teacher education; (2) professional development and
in-service teacher education, including graduate programs; and (3) articulation issues
between K-12 and post-secondary education. The
task force set the goal to interact extensively with the State Education Department
on its work and invited SED staff to participate as full members of the group. Initial work was carried out by a steering
committee and three small core-working groups which identified four focus areas and
prepared an interim report. The focus areas form the headings for the recommendations
in this report. The interim report was circulated to the full task force membership.
The results of a plenary session of the task force led to drafting and revision of
the report, the recommendations of which follow.

**Focus A: Bachelor’s Degree Programs **

**Recommendation A: **Increase the number of mathematics credits in the Bachelor’s degree coursework
of future early childhood and childhood teachers. Added coursework should be directly
connected to how that mathematics should be taught and learned in school classrooms.

**Recommendation A-1: **Students entering their first course in a teacher
preparation program should be given a placement examination or competency test.**
**

**Recommendation A-2: **Mathematics courses should be taken in Associate
Degree programs for transfer to baccalaureate teacher education programs. Such courses
should be carefully planned to facilitate acceptance at senior colleges.

**Recommendation
A-3: **To allow
for increases in specific required content and content-related pedagogy courses in
early childhood and childhood education programs, consideration must be given to reducing
the number of education courses of a general (non-content-specific) nature, such as
curriculum development.** **

**Focus B: Master’s Degree Programs **

**Recommendation B: **Mathematics and/or mathematics pedagogy courses should be required in the Master’s
Degree programs of in-service early childhood and childhood teachers as well as in
Master’s programs for in-service teachers of middle childhood and adolescence
education.** **

**Recommendation B-1: **Master’s Degree programs for in-service early childhood and childhood
teachers should require a minimum of three credit hours of mathematics and three credit
hours of mathematics integrated with appropriate pedagogy in addition to requirements
for initial certification.

**Recommendation B-2**: Master’s Degree programs for middle childhood and adolescence education
should require a minimum of 12 credit hours of mathematics and at least 3 credit hours
of mathematics integrated with appropriate pedagogy. Generalist Master’s Degree
programs for middle childhood and adolescence teachers of mathematics should be prohibited.

**Recommendation B-3: **Master’s Degree programs in Education/Mathematics
Education should contain a research project that focuses on standards -based practice
in a classroom setting, and that examines the role of student and teacher in the meaningful
learning of mathematics.

**Focus C: Teacher Certification Through Transcript Evaluation **

**Recommendation C: **Specific mathematics courses, covering the areas
that are essential for teaching mathematics in secondary schools, should be included
among the 30 credits (under new proposed regulations) of mathematics required for
alternative adolescence certification through transcript evaluation.** **

**Focus D: Professional Development for In-service Teachers **

**Recommendation D: **Guidelines should be formulated for professional
development opportunities for teachers of mathematics to assist them in teaching to
the state’s standards in grades K-12.

**Recommendation D-1: **SUNY should encourage research on what constitutes
effective professional development and should provide funding for innovative professional
development programs such as SUNY Fredonia’s Professional Resources in Mathematics
Education (Project PRIME). “Conversations in the Disciplines” is one potential
source of funds**. **

**Recommendation D-2: **SUNY faculty and administrators should work cooperatively with professional
organizations such as the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the New York
State Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC), the National Council
of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New
York State (AMTNYS), and other affiliated organizations to actively support faculty
who organize professional** development programs for K-12 teachers. **

**Recommendation D-3: **Faculty who participate in professional development
of teachers should receive recognition, commensurate with their contributions, for
professional service and scholarly activity.

**Recommendation D-4: **Teachers at the childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence levels who are
specialists in mathematics should be required to have a minimum of 100 Continuing
Education Units (of the 175 required over a five-year period) in mathematics and mathematics
pedagogy. Early childhood and childhood generalist classroom teachers should be required
to have a minimum of 20% of the 175 required Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in
mathematics and/or mathematics pedagogy.

**Recommendation D-5: **Individual professional development plans for teachers
should consist of at least three different acceptable activities at least one of which
should include a more in-depth professional development experience.

**Other Recommendations **

**Recommendation E: **The Mathematics Education Task Force should continue to address issues of K-16
articulation, including development with interested institutions of a mathematics
placement test** that can be pilot-tested on participating campuses. **

**Recommendation F:
**SUNY
should collaborate with the New York State Education Department (SED) on issues of
mutual concern, including compatibility between expectations of mathematics learning
in K-12 schools and in SUNY colleges and universities.

The Mathematics
Education Task Force recognizes the complexity of curriculum change and innovation,
especially given the diversity of institutions within the State University and competing
demands in the preparation of teachers. The METF has endeavored to work through a
collegial process with open invitation to membership and consultation among both mathematics
educators and mathematicians. Considerable strength of consensus accompanies the recommendations
of this report, and the task force believes that, if implemented, these recommendations
can have positive impact on mathematics teaching and learning, not just within the
State University, but across the state.

**Mathematics Education
Task Force Report**

**Introduction **

Teacher Education is a mainstay of the State University of New York, several
member institutions of which were founded in the nineteenth century specifically to
educate teachers. SUNY’s graduates constitute a major segment of New York State’s
K-12 educators. Acknowledging that highly qualified teachers are a prerequisite for
quality in the education of the nation’s children, and thus to its future, SUNY
rededicated itself to continuing improvement of its programs for preparing the educators
of tomorrow. An Advisory Council on Teacher Education (ACTE) was empanelled by the
system’s Provost, Peter D. Salins, as part of this high-priority initiative. The group’s recommendations culminated
in Chancellor Robert King’s formulation in 2001 of an action plan, *A New
Vision in Teacher Education: Agenda for Change in SUNY’s Teacher Education Programs,*
to guide the future directions of teacher education in the system. The SUNY Board
of Trustees strongly endorsed the plan.

**Background **

The SUNY Provost’s Mathematics Education Task Force is an outgrowth of
the advisory council’s recommendation that a series of forums be convened to
address best practices in preparing teachers.

As a first step, the Provost called a meeting of mathematics and mathematics
education faculty from across SUNY in April 2002. At that meeting, the Provost challenged
the group to work collectively to improve the education of future teachers of mathematics,
to ultimately help improve the mathematics instruction in New York’s K-12 classrooms,
and to consider steps leading to more effective articulation between high school and
college level mathematics.

Discussion at the initial meeting led to the creation of a Mathematics Education
Task Force and to the formulation of an agenda for such a group. Based on early discussions,
the task force was organized into three working groups: one on pre-service teacher
education, one on professional development and in-service teacher education, and one
on articulation issues between K-12 education and post-secondary education. The task force’s agenda is attached as Appendix I.

Following
up on the initial meeting, Provost Salins forwarded to all SUNY campus Presidents
and Chief Academic Officers a copy of the initial task force agenda and invited recommendation
of faculty from their institutions to serve on the task force. Response to the call for participation was excellent, with more
than 100 faculty and administrators recommended from almost every campus with basic
mathematics instruction and a role in the preparation of teachers.

Special Assistant to the Provost, Dr. W. Hubert Keen, coordinated and oversaw
follow-up efforts to organize the SUNY-wide task force of mathematicians and mathematics
educators. Distinguished Teaching Professor Alan Tucker, of the University at Stony
Brook’s Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department, and Professor Vicky Kouba
of the University at Albany’s School of Education, were appointed co-chairs. Professor Tucker was the lead author of the
2001 report, *The Mathematical Education of Teachers *(the MET Report, 2001),
issued by the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, a consortium of professional
mathematics organizations. The MET Report has been widely cited for setting high standards
for the preparation of teachers of mathematics. Professor Kouba is recognized for
her research on results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress reports.

Two co-chairs were named for each of the task force’s working groups,
one each from mathematics faculty and mathematics education faculty. Additionally,
to facilitate the work of this broad group, approximately eight members were enlisted
to serve on core working groups to refine and focus the task force’s work. Members
of the core-working groups were convened in December 2002. The results of that meeting,
along with subsequent work, led to formulation of an interim report that served as
the basis for a plenary session in October 2003. This report incorporates the results
of the task force’s work to date.

**Overview **

After
extensive discussion including during the December 2002 meeting of the task force
leadership, the decision was made to focus initially on four areas:

A.
Increasing the number of mathematics credits in the Bachelor’s degree
coursework of future early childhood and childhood teachers;

B.
Requiring mathematics courses in the Master’s degree coursework of early
childhood, childhood and adolescence teachers;

C.
Specifying particular mathematics courses in the 30 (under new proposed regulations)
credits of mathematics that may be used for obtaining certification as a secondary
teacher of mathematics through the state’s transcript evaluation route; and

D.
Developing guidelines for the professional development of in-service teachers
of mathematics to assist them in teaching to the New York State Mathematics Learning
Standards (Standard 3 – Math-Science-Technology Learning Standards).

While
concentrating on these four areas, the task force planned from its inception to take
up other issues as deemed appropriate by the group. It also set out to work closely
with

the New York State Education Department, both to articulate its work with the
needs of the K-12 schools and to aim for substantial impact of its recommendations.

**Areas of Focus and Recommendations **

**Focus A: Bachelors Degree Programs **

**Recommendation A: **Increase the number of mathematics credits in the
Bachelor’s degree coursework of future early childhood and childhood teachers.
Added coursework should be directly connected to how that mathematics should be taught
and learned in school classrooms.

The task force recommends that students completing teacher preparation programs
for early childhood (grades Pre-K - 2) or childhood (grades 1 - 6), including those
seeking dual certification as special education teachers, take a minimum of nine credit
hours in three separate courses. Implementation of this requirement will lead to the
addition of a course in most programs and, in some cases, reorganization of topics.
The recommended additional hours should be tied to the New York State Mathematics
Learning Standards, the school mathematics curriculum, and the National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) *Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
(2000). *

The aim of additional instruction is to allow appropriate mathematical content
to be taught for deeper levels of understanding. Additional content in advanced mathematics
may not be necessary for most elementary classroom teachers. However, faculty and
departments should make a concerted effort to recruit students to undertake a concentration
in mathematics. The number of early childhood and childhood teachers in New York’s
schools with some specialization in mathematics is exceedingly small.

In addition to this overarching recommendation, following are other related
recommendations:

**Recommendation A-1: **Students entering their first course in a teacher preparation program should
be given a mathematics placement examination or competency test.** **

The results of this examination would be used to determine the course into
which students are placed as they begin the program. Such a test could prevent classes
from becoming bogged down in teaching basic skills and could enable a focus on the
mathematics justifying the arithmetic algorithms. Some institutions already use the
national placement test Acuplacer for this purpose.

**Recommendation
A-2: **Mathematics
courses should be taken in Associate Degree programs for transfer to baccalaureate
teacher education programs. Such courses should be carefully planned to facilitate
acceptance at senior colleges.** **

Courses accepted by senior colleges to fulfill program requirements should
focus on the mathematics, although not necessarily the pedagogy, needed for students
pursuing programs leading to elementary teacher certification. By taking appropriate
courses, students can avoid additional requirements after transfer and can engage
productively in mathematics pedagogy courses. For students not transferring directly
from two-year programs, courses should have been taken not more than five years prior
to entry to the program.

**Recommendation A-3: **To allow for increases in specific required content and content-related pedagogy
courses in early childhood and childhood education programs, consideration must be
given to reducing the number of education courses of a general (non-content-specific)
nature, such as curriculum development.

The task force recognizes that requirements for students in teacher preparation
programs already press the limits of baccalaureate program credits, and, in addition,
that adding a course may be a resource issue on most campuses.

New York State Education Department regulations for teacher certification programs
are relatively unspecific with respect to the mathematical preparation of early childhood
and childhood teachers. Representatives of the SED have acknowledged the need for
attention to this concern, and the task force hopes to gain broad support for attention
to this issue.

A survey by the task force’s working group on Pre-service Education for
Teachers found that SUNY teacher preparation programs typically require two courses
totaling six or eight credits for future teachers in the Pre-K-6 grade levels. Virtually all had a two-course mathematics
sequence specifically designed for future childhood and early childhood teachers.

SUNY’s requirements are more rigorous than those of public institutions
in many states where taking generic mathematics courses—such as College Algebra—suffices
for fulfilling degree requirements. College Algebra is not an essential prerequisite
for students preparing to be teachers. The breadth of content, types of reasoning
and skills of Math A in the state’s high school curriculum provide a solid foundation
for designing courses for prospective elementary teachers. The report *The Mathematical
Education of Teachers* (CBMS, 2001), cited above in the Background section, recommends
nine credits and gives guidance about content of the coursework.

Several other factors prompt the recommendation of additional coursework in
mathematics. Future teachers develop reading and writing skills in almost all their
college courses, while mathematics skills are typically developed only in mathematics
courses. Today, mathematics proficiency in K-12 education is receiving increased attention
along with the traditional concerns about reading and writing. Yet another major stumbling
block for many future elementary teachers is the apprehension about—even aversion
to— mathematics. Some have serious deficiencies in their mathematical skills
and reasoning. More coursework in mathematics
is essential in preparing early childhood and childhood teachers capable of meeting
the heightened expectations for school mathematics instruction necessary to prepare
students for adolescence mathematics courses.

A related issue is that SUNY Associate Degree granting institutions should
offer mathematics courses designed for future early childhood and childhood teachers,
because a large number of students who complete teacher preparation programs at senior
campuses in New York State start their higher education in SUNY associate degree granting
institutions. Offering such courses at two-year colleges requires careful planning
to articulate smoothly with senior college program structure and practices, as well
as to comply with state regulations. The
task force strongly encourages ongoing dialogue between these sectors to facilitate
student transfer to senior institution programs.

**Focus B: Master’s Degree Programs **

**Recommendation B: **Mathematics and/or mathematics pedagogy courses should be required in the Master’s
Degree programs of in-service early childhood and childhood teachers as well as in
Master’s programs for in-service teachers of middle childhood and adolescence
education.

**Recommendation B-1: **Master’s Degree programs for in-service early childhood and childhood
teachers should require a minimum of three credit hours of mathematics and three credit
hours of mathematics integrated with appropriate pedagogy in addition to requirements
for initial certification.** **

**Recommendation B-2**: Master’s Degree programs for middle childhood and adolescence education
should require a minimum of 12 credit hours of mathematics and at least 3 credit hours
of mathematics integrated with appropriate pedagogy. Generalist Master’s Degree
programs for middle childhood and adolescence teachers of mathematics should be prohibited.

This recommendation is in accord with the report *The Mathematical Education
of Teachers *(CBMS, 2001, p.11). Ideally, many of these courses would be “linking”
courses that integrate mathematical content with pedagogical strategies.

Mathematics in the middle grades (grades 5-8) should be taught by mathematics
specialists. Current attention in New York State to deficiencies in the preparedness
for Math A in high schools is focusing on the fact that a substantial proportion of
students were taught in the middle grades by teachers with minimal preparation to
teach mathematics.

**Recommendation
B-3: **Master’s
Degree programs in Education/Mathematics Education should contain a research project
that focuses on standards -based practice in a classroom setting, and that examines
the role of student and teacher in the meaningful learning of mathematics.

Currently, there is no mathematics content requirement for coursework in the
Master’s degree programs for early childhood and childhood teachers leading
to the professional teaching credential. States across the U.S. vary on whether a
Master’s Degree is required at all for teachers, and thus national standards
are lacking. The working group on In-service
Education and Professional Development for K-12 Teachers surveyed the requirements
across SUNY campuses for Master’s Degree programs in early childhood, childhood,
middle childhood and adolescence education. There seems to be a growing trend away
from content-specific programs to generalist programs, perhaps due in part to the
SED requirement that programs contain a minimum of 12 credit hours that link content
and pedagogy. Because of current resource limitations, it appears that the generalist
approach discourages the offering of content-specific mathematics courses and mathematics
education degree programs. In particular, this requirement is being interpreted in
a way that programs __need not__ require content courses.

The task force believes this trend is a serious mistake, and it recommends
at least one mathematics course in the Master’s Degree program for early childhood
and childhood teachers. This course would develop more deeply the core mathematics
topics, such as operations on numbers, measurement, and algebraic thinking that are
the focus of undergraduate mathematics courses for future elementary teachers. A conceptual
framework and rationale for such courses are convincingly presented in the National
Research Council’s report *Adding It Up *(2001*)*. Master’s
Degree programs for middle childhood and adolescence teachers of mathematics should
contain a minimum of 12 credit hours of mathematics. In future work, the task force
will develop more specific recommendations about the content in these 12 credits,
building on the middle school recommendations in the MET Report.

Recommendation B-3 aims to inculcate in teachers an orientation toward research. Teachers should be comfortable with reading
and analyzing the results of research on the teaching and learning of their subjects,
as well as being able to develop and carry out research projects. Introspective, action
research projects are valuable for classroom teachers as the profession seeks to base
teaching on research-verified methodology.

**Focus C: Teacher Certification Through Transcript Evaluation **

**Recommendation C: **Specific mathematics courses, covering the areas
that are essential for teaching mathematics in secondary schools, should be included
among the 30 credits (under new proposed regulations) of mathematics required for
alternative adolescence certification through transcript evaluation.

The Mathematical Association of America’s Committee on the Undergraduate
Program in Mathematics recommends the following (recommendation 4.2 in the MAA’s
report):

“In
addition to the skills developed in programs for K-8 teachers, departments should
ensure that mathematical sciences majors preparing to teach secondary mathematics:

Learn to
make appropriate connections between the advanced mathematics they are learning and
the secondary mathematics they will be teaching, including a senior-level experience
that makes these connections explicit;

Fulfill their
requirements for a mathematics major by including topics from abstract algebra, analysis
(advanced calculus or real analysis), geometry, probability and statistics with an
emphasis on data analysis, discrete mathematics, and number theory;

Experience
many forms of mathematical modeling and a variety of technological tools, including
graphing calculators and geometry software;

Learn about
the history of mathematics and its applications, including recent work.”

The Mathematics Education Task Force recommends that the minimum requirements,
derived from the common courses across all SUNY adolescence mathematics education
programs, should be:

1
Single-Variable
and Multivariable Calculus

2
Linear Algebra

3
Probability
and Statistics

4
Geometry

5
Abstract
Algebra or Applied Algebra

Additional courses discussed for inclusion in the list were Discrete Mathematics,
Logic and Real Analysis, but there was no clear consensus on these. Courses numbered
3, 4 and 5 above, with the possible exception of probability and statistics, should
be at the junior or senior undergraduate level. Additional hours, to complete the
30 required, should also be above the introductory college mathematics level. In addition,
the task force considers a capstone course addressing the mathematics curriculum of
the secondary schools to be highly desirable. Such courses are the most essential
component of some undergraduate programs, bridging the gap between the content of
the mathematics major and its relationship to the school curriculum. Capstone courses
are not widely available, however, and if required at present may be an insurmountable
obstacle to candidates.

The task force recognizes that certification through transcript evaluation
is an issue that reaches beyond SUNY and affects all college graduates who seek certificates
through this route in New York State. Currently,
a college graduate with 30 credits of college-level mathematics and appropriate pedagogy
coursework and experience, may seek provisional certification to be a secondary school
mathematics teacher. The Regents’ earlier decision to eliminate this ‘backdoor’
route to teacher certification has been reversed because the state is confronted with
critical shortages of certified teachers in high demand areas, such as mathematics,
and the discontinuation of the alternative route would exacerbate the problem.

Given this reality, the task force proposes that specific courses be required
among the 30 credits of college-level mathematics. Because of the shortage of mathematics
teachers, applicants for alternative certification may be temporarily certified for
one or two years during which time they complete specified courses to remove deficiencies.

This recommendation will require extensive discussions with SED and other interested
parties before it is ready to be publicly announced. Note that SED, rather than SUNY,
would be implementing this recommendation.

**Focus D: Professional Development for In-Service Teachers **

**Recommendation D: **Guidelines should be formulated for professional
development opportunities for teachers of mathematics to assist them in teaching to
the state’s standards in grades K-12.** **

**Recommendation D-1: **SUNY should encourage research on what constitutes
effective professional development and should provide funding for innovative professional
development programs such as SUNY Fredonia’s Professional Resources in Mathematics
Education (Project PRIME). “Conversations in the Disciplines” is one potential
source of funds.

**Recommendation D-2: **SUNY faculty and administrators should work cooperatively with professional
organizations such as the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the New York
State Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC), the National Council
of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New
York State (AMTNYS), and other affiliated organizations to actively support faculty
who organize professional development programs for K-12 teachers.** **

**Recommendation D-3: **Faculty who participate in professional development
of teachers should receive recognition, commensurate with their contributions, for
professional service and scholarly activity.

**Recommendation D-4: **Teachers at the childhood, middle childhood, and
adolescence levels who are specialists in mathematics should be required to have a
minimum of 100 Continuing Education Units (of the 175 required over a five-year period)
in mathematics and mathematics pedagogy. Early childhood and childhood generalist
classroom teachers should be required to have a minimum of 20% of the 175 required
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in mathematics and/or mathematics pedagogy.** **

**Recommendation D-5: **Individual professional development plans for teachers should consist of at
least three different acceptable activities (see below), at least one of which should
include a more in-depth professional development experience.** **

To place in perspective the importance of high quality professional development
for in-service teachers, consider the question posed by a task force member: “What
percent of a teacher’s career is post-baccalaureate?” Because the answer to this question is “A very large percent,”
and because of the ever-greater impetus in New York State to teach to higher standards,
SUNY institutions should take an active role in the continuing professional development
of teachers. The MET report (CBMS, 2001, p.9) states: “Teacher education must
be recognized as an important part of mathematics departments’ mission at institutions
that educate teachers.” SUNY Fredonia’s Project PRIME (Professional Resources
in Mathematics Education) is an example of such a program.

High quality professional development is essential for both new and continuing
teachers. SED recently mandated that all K-12 teachers receiving initial certification
after 2004 “complete 175 clock-hours of acceptable professional development”
every five years after attaining professional certification. In addition to this requirement,
other factors providing strong motivation for professional development are new standards
for learning in the K-12 schools, followed by statewide mathematics assessments, and
generally poor mathematics achievement in most U.S. schools. The weight of these factors
has however not led to a surge of professional development activity in mathematics.
Unfortunately, there still are very few professional development opportunities for
teachers in mathematics, sponsored either by local school districts or by statewide
organizations. Anecdotal evidence indicates that many local school administrators
prefer general professional development that encompasses all teachers and not subject-specific
programs.

SUNY System Academic Affairs and individual institutions should urge the State
Education Department to establish Continuing Education Units (CEU) as a means to judge
teachers’ involvement in professional development activities. Such activity
is normally measured in Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and these units should
be equated with the state’s requirement—to be phased in beginning in 2004—of
175 hours of professional development every five years for in-service teachers.

Local determinations of number of CEUs assigned to each activity should be
based on the individual teacher’s professional development needs and plan, and
should be in accord with the teacher’s time, effort and quality of each type
of experience. Following is a list of activities that would qualify for professional
development credit.

a.
Graduate courses in mathematics, mathematics pedagogy and related areas. Appropriate
undergraduate courses, such as a computer science course that expands the candidate’s
scope of knowledge, may also qualify

b.
Supervision of student teachers and hosting of pre-student teaching field

experiences

c.
Professional membership in appropriate organizations

d.
Engaged attendance at national, state, and local professional meetings

e.
Speaking at national, state, and local professional meetings

f.
Participation in introspective research

g.
Authoring an article published in a professional journal

h.
Participation in officially organized mathematics study

i.
Working with university faculty on classroom research projects related to the
teaching of mathematics. By giving teachers a reward for working cooperatively with
university faculty, such activities would support research in schools. This also supports
integration of ongoing research into best practices in mathematics teaching.

j.
Presenting or co-presenting an in-service workshop of at least an hour’s
duration to other teachers

The more challenging content and Regents tests associated with the new Math
A and Math B courses are putting pressure on many secondary mathematics teachers to
strengthen their own mathematical knowledge and instructional skills to teach more
demanding mathematics to all their students. Thus, in the professional development
arena, the task force has chosen to focus initially on helping secondary school mathematics
teachers with the new Regents Math A and Math B courses. The task force’s working
group on In-service Education and Professional Development for K-12 Teachers has been
discussing a variety of activities to help these teachers. This professional development
planning will draw in representatives of interested parties such as teacher organizations
and the state associations of boards of education and administrators.

**Other Recommendations **

**Recommendation E: **The Mathematics Education Task Force should continue to address issues of K-16
articulation, including development with interested institutions of a mathematics
placement test that can be pilot-tested on participating campuses.** **

The task force has explored the concept of the development of a common SUNY-wide
mathematics placement test. Such tests (Acuplacer is one example) are widely used
throughout the country—and indeed on many SUNY campuses—to place entering
college students in the appropriate first college course in mathematics, or to determine
if students have met general education mathematics requirements. Placement tests are
also valuable for determining level of preparedness in math of individuals re-entering
teacher preparation programs after a period away from academics. Because many students transfer each year from one SUNY institution
to another, largely from two-year to four-year institutions, they are subjected to
different placement tests that give different assessments of what mathematics they
know and what mathematics course is at the appropriate level. The SUNY Board of Trustees
has mandated a general education mathematics requirement, although the content has
been determined only within broad guidelines.

A common placement test has both positive and negative implications. Positive aspects of a SUNY-wide test are:

·
Facilitating
transfer of mathematics course credit among SUNY campuses. Institutions are more likely
to give credit for, say, a college algebra course when there is confidence that all
courses start at the same level.

·
Providing
an assessment of how well students are retaining mathematics taught in high school
and, by pooling results from across SUNY, giving a basis for general feedback to high
schools about the strengths and weaknesses in preparation of students for college
mathematics. The prevalence of low-level remedial mathematics courses in American
colleges and universities, covering topics like addition of fractions and basic algebra,
is clear evidence of this problem.

·
Accurately
measuring the mathematical mastery of what is being taught in the state’s high
schools. Locally designed tests may, over time, cease to retain alignment with high
school curriculum or to national standards set by the MAA, NCTM, or with tests designed
for national use.

Concerns with a system-wide placement test are:

·
The range
of diagnostic testing across the system may be too great for a single instrument.
Some institutions are concerned about skills or reasoning that students use subsequently
in a broad range of academic disciplines, while others need to determine the level
within the calculus sequence into which students should be placed.

·
A single
test might be inadequate to both determine level of placement in college courses and
to measure high school learning.

·
Faculty may
resist relinquishing autonomy on an institutional curriculum matter and choose to
design and administer its own placement test.

·
While the
focus of such a test might be for diagnostic and research purposes, once having been
administered it provides a database that could be used for unintended purposes.

Related to these issues on placement tests is the concern over whether such
a test should be designed to focus on skills, on reasoning or on a mix of the two. Two-year institutions are increasingly concerned
with approaches that stress reasoning for students who would employ that facility
in many contexts, perhaps in preference to high emphasis on skills, whereas university
centers tend to be more concerned with level of skills.

The issue of reasoning versus skills highlights differences between the current
high school Math A and B, which give greater attention to reasoning than the previous
Math I, II and III, and the more traditional skills-oriented college algebra and precalculus
courses in many colleges. Math A is considered by some to be much like the reform
calculus which has not been universally accepted by college mathematics faculty.

**Recommendation F: **SUNY should collaborate
with the State Education Department on issues of mutual concern, including compatibility
between expectations of mathematics learning in K-12 schools and in SUNY colleges
and universities.** **

Deliberations
on issues of mathematics in the state’s K-12 schools and in colleges and universities
reveal considerable lack of consistency between expectations of SUNY mathematics departments
and the content and instruction in secondary school mathematics courses. For this
reason, it is desirable to continue to address questions of K-16 articulation. Thus, the task force should build on its working
relationship with the State Education Department, including active participation by
SED staff on the task force’s working group and steering committee. SED invited
the task force to have one of its members participate last summer in each of the four
range-finding meetings for state-wide assessments.
In these meetings, the detailed frameworks are established for giving full
or partial credit to answers on the various state-wide mathematics tests, from 4^{tth}grade up to Regents Math B.
The input of college mathematics and mathematics education faculty should help to
develop grading standards for these important tests.

**References: **

Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. (2001).
*The Mathematical Education of Teachers*.

Kilpatrick, J., Swafford, J., and Bradford,
F. (2001*). Adding it Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics.* National Academy
Press. Washington, D.C.

Mathematical Association of America. (2004). *Undergraduate
Programs and Courses in the Mathematical Sciences, CUPM Curriculum Guide: A Report
of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics.* MAA, Washington,
D.C.

National Council of Teachers
of Mathematics. (2000). *Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.* NCTM,
Reston, VA.

**Mathematics Education Task Force Co-Chairs
**

__Task Force __

Vicky L.
Kouba Alan Tucker Professor, Department of Distinguished Teaching Professor

Educational Theory and Practice and Undergraduate Director
School of Education Department of Applied Mathematics University at Albany and Statistics
University at Stony Brook

__Pre-Service Teacher Education Working
Group __

Carol
J. Bell Margaret W. Groman Associate Professor and Coordinator Associate Professor
and Chair of Adolescence Mathematics Education Department of Mathematics Department
of Mathematics SUNY College at Oswego SUNY College at Cortland

__In-Service and Professional Development
Working Group __

Constance
Feldt-Golden Stephen F. West Associate Professor and Chair Distinguished Teaching
Professor Department of Elementary Education and Chair and Reading Department of Mathematics
SUNY College at Oneonta SUNY College at Geneseo

__K-16 Alignment Working Group __

Douglas
Clements Timothy Lance Professor, Learning and Instruction Distinguished Service Professor
Graduate School of Education and Chair University at Buffalo Mathematics and Statistics
Department University at Albany

**APPENDIX I**

**Provost’s Mathematics Education
Task Force Task Force Agenda (July 2002)**

1.
Alignment of K-12 mathematics in New York with teacher education and college
mathematics generally Sample Issues:

a.
How does time spent on different topics in K-12 mathematics curriculum compare
to time spent on these topics in college teacher preparation?

b.
With what K-12 topics do teachers feel they need more preparation?

c.
How can better alignment, if needed, be obtained?

d.
How well does K-12 mathematics instruction prepare students to succeed in college
mathematics courses? In particular, what factors in K-12 mathematics education are
related to good performance on freshman mathematics placement tests?

2.
Improving pre-service education of teachers

Sample Issues:

a.
Assess the readiness of new teachers to assume responsibility of teaching math.
Include assessment of effectiveness of programs leading to different teacher certification
levels (i.e., grades K-2, 1-6, 5-9, 7-12, the New York State certification “bands.”)
in preparing teachers for their specific teaching levels.

b.
Work to increase the amount of college mathematics required for elementary
teachers to 9 credit hours.

c.
Work to bring close alignment between pre-service mathematics instruction and
effective K-12 mathematics teaching. As an example, design special sections of introductory
mathematics courses, like college algebra, that both cover the traditional scope of
such courses and articulate with the mathematical concepts that underlie elementary
school curriculum in the state. As another example, design a “capstone course”
for pre-service secondary mathematics teachers that articulate with the mathematical
concepts that underlie the secondary school curriculum in the state.

3.
Improving in-service education and professional development for K-12 teachers.
Sample Issues:

a.
Assess the effectiveness of master’s degree programs (as required by
New York State Education Department regulations for professional certification) in
advancing the effectiveness of novice teachers’ skills toward master-teacher
levels at each of the certification levels in the state.

b.
Develop models for courses that will serve different levels of K-12 teachers
in their master’s programs.

c.
Assess the effectiveness of specific course or content requirements, in both
pre-service and master’s degree programs, in bringing K-12 students to higher
levels of mathematics competency.

d.
In collaboration with partner school districts, develop guidelines and materials
for the mathematics components of the required 175 hours every five years of professional
development for professionally certified teachers. Guidelines should establish minimum
hour requirements for mathematics as teachers fulfill the in-service requirement.

**APENDIX II **

**Mathematics Education
Task ForceMembership by Campus**

**State
University at Albany **

Professor Lindsay N. Childs Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Professor Abbe H. Herzig Educational Theory and Practice

Professor Vicky Kouba Educational Theory and Practice

Dr. Tim Lance Distinguished Service Professor Chair, Mathematics and Statistics
Department

**State
University at Binghamton **

Professor Ben Brewster Chair, Math Sciences Department

Professor Patricia McAuley Mathematics Department

Professor Jean Schmittau Mathematics Department

**State
University at Buffalo **

Professor Douglas Clements Learning and Instruction Graduate School of Education

Mr. Mark Marino Mathematics Education: Adolescence

Dr. Bruce Pitman Vice Provost for Educational Technology and Math

Professor Julie Sarama Mathematics Education Department

Professor
Samuel Schack Chair, Mathematics Department

**State
University at Stony Brook **

Dr. Thomas Liao Distinguished Teaching Professor Department of Technology and
Society

Professor Bernard Maskit Mathematics Department

Professor Anthony Phillips Undergraduate Teacher Preparation

Dr. Alan Tucker Distinguished Teaching Professor Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Department

**College
at Brockport **

Professor Dawn Jones Mathematics Department

Professor Lynae Sakshaug Department of Education and Human Development

Professor Conrad Van Voorst Education and Human Development

Professor Osman Yasar Chair, Computer Sciences Department

**College
at Buffalo **

Professor Daniel Cunningham Mathematics Department

Professor Betty Krist School of Education

Professor Sue McMillan Mathematics Department

Professor Fred Reiner Mathematics Department

Professor
Robin Sanders Chair, Mathematics Department

**College
at Cortland **

Professor Carol J. Bell Coordinator of Adolescence Mathematics Education Mathematics
Department

Professor
Susana Davidenko Childhood and Early Childhood

Education

Professor Andrea LaChance School of Education

**College
at Fredonia **

Professor Jamar Pickreign School of Education

Professor Robert Rogers School of Education

Professor Joseph Straight Chair, Mathematics Department

**College
at Geneseo **

Professor Mary Ellen Schmidt School of Education

Professor Stephen F. West Distinguished Teaching Professor Chair, Mathematics
Department

**College
at New Paltz **

Dr.
David Clark Distinguished Professor Associate Dean of Science,

Engineering and Mathematics

Professor Kees Degroot Department of Elementary Education

Professor Maria Shavalier Department of Elementary Education

**College
at Old Westbury **

Professor Arlene Blasius Chair, Mathematics Department

Professor
Velta Clarke Department of Education

Professor Myong-Hi Kim Mathematics Department

Dr. Jong Pil Lee Distinguished Service Professor Mathematics Department

Professor Kathleen Miranda Mathematics Department

Professor Sharon O’Connor Department of Education

**College
at Oneonta **

Professor Deborah Farro-Lynd Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Statistics

Professor Constance Feldt-Golden Chair, Elementary Education and Reading

Professor Virginia Harder Secondary Education Department

Professor David Hildreth Secondary Math Education Department

**College
at Oswego **

Professor Margaret Groman Mathematics Department

Professor Michel Helfgott Mathematics Department

Dr. Jack Narayan Distinguished Teaching Professor Dean of Graduate Studies

Professor Audrey Rule Mathematics Department

Dr. Suzanne Weber Associate Dean of Education

**College
at Plattsburgh **

Professor Donald Blais Elementary Education

Professor David Kenoyer
Chair, Mathematics Department

Professor Margaret Morrow Mathematics Department
**College at Potsdam **Professor Peter Brouwer Department of Information
and Communication Technology

**Institute
of Technology at Utica/Rome **

Professor William Thistleton Department of Mathematics

**College
of Technology at Delhi **

Professor Monica Gabriel Liddle Division of Arts and Sciences

**College
of Technology at Morrisville **

Dr. Patricia Elko Interim Dean of Science and Technology

**Cornell
University **

Professor Susan Piliero Department of Education

Professor Deborah Trumbull Department of Education

**Adirondack
Community College **

Professor Diane Doyle Mathematics

Professor Maryann Faller Mathematics

**Broome
Community College **

Professor Paul O’Heron Mathematics Department

Professor Mary Woestman Mathematics Department

**Cayuga
Community College **

Professor Donald Fama Math/Computer Sciences **Cayuga
(cont’d **) Professor Kathy Gross Mathematics Department

Professor Paul Richardson Mathematics Department

**Corning
Community College **

Professor Lori Barrett Math/Physics/Technology Division

Professor Pat Keeler Math/Physics/Technology Division

**Dutchess
Community College **

Professor Johanna Halsey Mathematics Physical & Computer Sciences

Professor Ellena Reda Mathematics Physical & Computer Sciences

**Erie
Community College **

Professor Michael Delaney Mathematics Department

Professor Maryann Justinger Mathematics Department

Professor Mary Beth Orrange Mathematics Department

Professor Denise Prince Mathematics Department

**Finger
Lakes Community College **

Professor Timothy Biehler Mathematics and Computer Sciences

Professor Leonard Malinowski Mathematics and Computer Sciences

**Fulton-Montgomery
Community College **

Professor Marlene Glaser Mathematics Department

Professor Patrick Grande Mathematics Department **Genesee Community
College **Professor May Knappen Mathematics Department

Dr. Dehlly Porras Dean of Liberal Arts

Professor Michael White Chair, Mathematics Department

Professor Norayne Rosero Mathematics Department

Professor Tim McNamara Mathematics Department

Professor Ann Marie Pagnotta Math/Statistics/Computers

Professor Theresa Vecchiarelli Math/Statistics/Computers

**Niagara
County Community College **

Professor Anne Jowsey Mathematics Department

Professor
Salvatore Sciandra Mathematics Department

**Onondaga
Community College **

Professor Michelle Gelsomin Mathematics Department

**Rockland
Community College **

Professor Bill Baker Chair, Division of Math and Sciences

**Schenectady
County Community College **

Professor Kathryn Tomaino Developmental Studies

**Suffolk
County Community College **

Professor Dennis Reissig Mathematics Department

Professor Jane-Marie Wright Mathematics Department

**Ulster
County Community College **

Professor Jennifer Davis Math and Physical Sciences

Professor Maureen Nicholson Math and Physical Sciences

**Westchester
Community College **

Professor Mel Bienenfeld Mathematics Department

**New York
State Education Department **

Ms. Teresa Calabrese-Gray Curriculum Instructiona l Support

Ms. Anne Schiano Assistant Director Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional
Technology

**Cambridge
Central School District **

Ms.
Carmen Nelson-Parker Mathematics Department **SUNY System Administration
**

**Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor
for Academic Affairs **

Dr. W. Hubert Keen Special Assistant to the Provost

Ms. Penny LaRocque Technical Advisory Group (Provost’s Applied Research
Group)

**Provost’s Office of Academic Affairs **

Mrs. Ginette F. Chambers Campus Liaison, Faculty Awards and Development

Dr. A. Jennifer Clarke Campus Liaison, Comprehensive
Colleges

Dr. Anne Huot Campus Liaison, Doctoral Institutions

Dr. Patricia Pietropaolo Campus Liaison, Community Colleges

Ms. Kathryn Van Arnam Program Review and Assessment

**Office of Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges **

Dr. Preston
Pulliams Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges

**University Faculty Governance Organizations Faculty Council
of Community Colleges **

Professor Kimberley Reiser (Nassau) President

**University Faculty Senate **

Professor Joseph Hildreth (Potsdam) President