On Wednesday, October 6, 1999, the U.S. Department of Education issued the following press release. The Core-Plus Mathematics Project curriculum, Contemporary Mathematics in Context, was one of five programs designated as Exemplary.

Expert Panel Selects Exemplary,
Promising Mathematics Programs

Assistant Education Secretary Kent McGuire announced today the selection of 10 mathematics education programs as exemplary and promising. The K-12 programs were chosen for their outstanding quality and demonstrated effectiveness, following a national search.

Five of the programs were designated "exemplary" because they provided convincing evidence of their effectiveness in multiple sites with multiple populations. Five were designated "promising" based on preliminary evidence of effectiveness in one or more sites. The 10 programs were selected from 61 programs voluntarily submitted by the developers or publishers of the program. Four of the 61 programs need further review.

"The exemplary programs have met the highest standards set by our nation's leading mathematics experts and educators," McGuire said. "These programs work, and we encourage teachers, administrators, and policymakers to learn more about them as potential additions to their curriculum. The promising programs have great potential and strong but preliminary evidence that they too can serve our students well."

The search for quality mathematics programs began in 1994 when Congress directed the department's Office of Educational Research and Improvement to establish "panels of appropriate qualified experts and practitioners" to evaluate educational programs and recommend the best to the secretary of education. The Expert Panel in Mathematics and Science is comprised of 15 mathematicians, scientists, educators, and policymakers from around the country.

The expert panel began its search by assessing the status of mathematics education in the U.S. Their study showed that 43 states have adopted or substantially incorporated recommendations from the national standards documents into their own standards and curriculum frameworks.

The panel also found that educators are seeking curriculum materials and programs that translate the standards into a useful form for their classrooms. Consequently, the panel decided to focus its first year's search on programs that exemplify the standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science benchmarks.

The selection process encouraged applications from any program that would meet the review criteria and 61 programs applied for voluntary review. Nearly 100 experts were involved in the review process. First, submissions were evaluated by field-based reviewers for program quality, usefulness to others, and educational significance. Evaluation experts then assessed the claims of effectiveness made by the developers of programs that received high ratings in the initial review. The full expert panel then reviewed all of the programs along with ratings and comments from the review teams.

The Expert Panel's report "Exemplary & Promising Mathematics Programs" provides additional information about the 10 programs identified for recognition in 1999. For free copies of the Panel's report, call the U.S. Department of Education at 877-433-7827. See the U.S. Department of Education Press Release. For more information, contact core-plus@wmich.edu.

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