Project: K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Center at Education Development Center (EDC)

Authors: Mark St. John, Pamela Tambe, Kasi Allen Fuller, Judy Hirabayashi

With the assistance of: Dawn Huntwork, Mary Regan

Type: Report

Publication: February 2004

Mathematics Curricular Decision-Making: The National Landscape – Survey Highlights (pdf, 28 pages)


Inverness Research Associates has served as the external evaluator for the K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Center (K-12MCC) at EDC for the past three years. As the sole implementation and dissemination center supporting all twelve of the NSF-funded mathematics curricula for grades K-12, the K-12MCC offers a diverse menu of services related to the selection and use of “standards-based” mathematics curricula. The focus of the evaluation has been two-fold: 1) to study the nature and impact of the Center’s work, and 2) to document the realities of the field the Center serves. As part of the latter focus, Inverness conducted a nation-wide survey of mathematics curriculum decision makers for grades K-8 in the spring of 2001. The study was designed to complement a similar one that focused on curricular decision-making in high school mathematics, conducted under the auspices of the COMPASS implementation center, which has a similar mission to the K-12MCC but serves only grades 9-12.

In both studies–K-8 and high schooL–Inverness Research designed a survey instrument aimed at documenting the status of the mathematics education across the United States in terms of mathematics curricula and the curricular decision-making process. In particular, the surveys posed questions about how school and district leaders think about curricular decisions, how curricula are actually chosen, who makes these decisions, what factors contribute to these choices, and what values or beliefs influence the process. The data enable us to portray what we refer to as the “mathematics curricular decision-making landscape.”

This report summarizes the general findings from the survey conducted for the K-12MCC, targeting grades K-8. It also includes references and comparisons to the COMPASS high school study whenever the inclusion of high school data is feasible and affords a more complete perspective on the topic at hand. Survey graphs clearly identify which data sources they represent.

Intended Audience

District and School Administrators, Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) Education Leaders, Foundations, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research, Inc.

Distribution Policy

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