National Mathematics Advisory Panel: Strengthening Math Education Through Research 


"You've got to know math if you're going to compete in this 21st-century world."

– President George W. Bush


"It is more important than ever that our students receive solid math instruction in the early grades to prepare them to take and pass algebra and other challenging courses in middle and high school."

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings


On April 18, 2006, President Bush issued an Executive Order creating the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. The Panel will advise the President and the Secretary of Education on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics.


  • Modeled after the influential National Reading Panel, the National Mathematics Panel (NMP) will examine and summarize the scientific evidence related to the teaching and learning of mathematics, with a specific focus on preparation for and success in learning algebra.
  • The NMP will issue two reports containing policy recommendations on how to improve mathematics achievement for all students.


Today, Secretary Margaret Spellings announced the 17 expert panelists and six ex-officio members who will comprise the National Math Panel.


  • The NMP will be chaired by Dr. Larry Faulkner, president of the Houston Endowment and President Emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin. Other panelists:
    • Dr. Deborah Ball, Dean, School of Education and Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan
    • Dr. Camilla Benbow, Dean of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Peabody College
    • Dr. A. Wade Boykin, Professor and Director of the Developmental Psychology Graduate Program in the Department of Psychology, Howard University
    • Dr. Francis "Skip" Fennell, Professor of Education, McDaniel College (Md.); President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
    • Dr. David Geary, Curators' Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri at Columbia
    • Dr. Russell Gersten, Executive Director, Instructional Research Group; Professor Emeritus, College for Education, University of Oregon
    • Nancy Ichinaga, former Principal, Bennett-Kew Elementary School, Inglewood, Calif.
    • Dr. Tom Loveless, Director, Brown Center on Education Policy and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
    • Dr. Liping Ma, Senior Scholar for the Advancement of Teaching, Carnegie Foundation
    • Dr. Valerie Reyna, Professor of Human Development and Professor of Psychology, Cornell University
    • Dr. Wilfried Schmid, Professor of Mathematics, Harvard University
    • Dr. Robert Siegler, Teresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
    • Dr. Jim Simons, President of Renaissance Technologies Corporation; former Chairman of the Mathematics Department, State University of New York at Stony Brook
    • Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Independent researcher and consultant in education; former Senior Associate Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Education
    • Vern Williams, Math Teacher, Longfellow Middle School, Fairfax, Va.
    • Dr. Hung-Hsi Wu, Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Berkeley
  • Ex-officio members:
    • Dan Berch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
    • Diane Jones, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
    • Tom Luce, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
    • Kathie Olsen, Deputy Director, National Science Foundation
    • Raymond Simon, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
    • Grover "Russ" Whitehurst, Director, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
  • All meetings of the NMP will be open to the public and will be announced in the Federal Register.


The NMP will issue an interim report to the President and Secretary by January 31, 2007. A final report will be issued no later than February 28, 2008. Topics to be addressed by the NMP include:


  • The critical skills and skill progressions needed to learn algebra and prepare for more advanced courses;
  • The proper role and design of standards and assessment in promoting student competence in math;
  • The processes by which students of various abilities or backgrounds learn math;
  • Institutional practices, programs and materials that have proven effective in improving math learning;
  • How the training, selection, placement and professional development of math teachers affect student achievement; and
  • Research needs in support of math education.


The need for action is clear. To gain an edge in the 21st century global economy, America's high school graduates need solid math skills, whether proceeding to college or going into the workforce. The rest of the world is "gathering strength" and forcing us to catch up.


  • "Tomorrow's jobs will go to those with education in science, engineering, and mathematics and to high-skill technical workers."—The Looming Workforce Crisis, National Association of Manufacturers, 2005.
  • "The scientific and technical building blocks of our economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength."—Rising Above the Gathering Storm, National Academies, 2005.
  • Students who take advanced mathematics courses in high school are far more likely to earn a bachelor's degree in college (College Board).
  • Students from low-income families who acquire strong math skills by the 8th grade are 10 times more likely to finish college than peers of the same background who do not (National Center on Education Statistics).
  • America's 15-year-olds ranked 24th out of 29 developed nations in mathematics literacy and problem-solving, according to the 2003 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test.
  • Less than half of America's high school graduates are prepared for college-level math and science (ACT).


The National Mathematics Panel is part of President Bush's agenda to strengthen math education in order to give our students the skills to succeed in the 21st century. Included in his FY 2007 budget request is $260 million to allow the National Mathematics Advisory Panel to continue its work and to help states implement its recommendations. Key to this effort are two new programs:

  • Math Now for Elementary School Students — Modeled after the innovative Reading First program, it would utilize the NMP's recommendations to promote scientifically based practices in math instruction so students are prepared for success in algebra and more advanced math as they move into middle and high school.


Math Now for Middle School Students — Similar to the Striving Readers Initiative, it would diagnose older students' deficiencies and provide intensive, systematic instruction to enable them to take and pass algebra.





   据《科学》杂志在线新闻报道, 2006年4月18,美国总统布什签署总统行政命令:成立国家数学委员会,委员会的职责是就如何最好地利用有关数学教学和学习的研究成果向总统和教育部长提供建议。5月15,美国教育部长玛格丽特·斯柏灵斯宣布,17位数学家、认知学家和数学教育家被任命为国家数学委员会成员。


在签署成立国家数学委员会命令的同一天,布什和斯柏灵斯等到位于马里兰州的Parkland Magnet中学视察,并就美国竞争力计划发表演讲。布什说:为了确保美国成为世界的领袖,我们将持续关注高标准、负责任的教育,而且特别注意数学和科学教育。”“今天上午,我签署了一份总统行政命令:成立国家数学委员会。这是我们实现为孩子们奠定数学和科学基础的目标的战略措施之一。2007130,国家数学委员会将向我们报告什么是最好的数学教学法。


布什在演讲中指出:我们必须让美国人民清楚地知道,为了保证美国的竞争力,我们必须确保我们的孩子掌握竞争21世纪工作机会的技能。” “今天的时代已经不同于20世纪50年代,那时没有全球竞争的意识,在今天,你要明白,如果孩子们没有与印度或中国孩子竞争的技能,那么他们就会失去工作机会。








得克萨斯大学的荣誉退休教授、化学家Larry Faulkner出任国家数学委员会主席;副主席是范德比尔特大学的教育心理学家Camilla Benbow,他同时担任一项天才数学学生纵向研究项目的共同主任委员会成员,他将于下周开始工作。




Faulkner将自己称为是一个解决争议的诚实的斡旋者。国家数学委员会的成员包括在目前的课程改革问题中持相反意见的几位著名学者,争论的焦点是该改革方案是否在为学生提供严格的数学训练的同时又培育了他们对这一学科的深刻见解。其中一个阵营的代表是哈佛大学的Wilfried Schmid和加州大学伯克利分校的Hung-His Wu,另一个阵营的代表是美国国家数学教师委员会主席Francis Fennell,以及密歇根大学的数学教育家Deborah Loewenberg Ball。但BallSchmid同时是一个寻找改革派和反对派共同点的小组的成员。