October 8, 1999

Math department's leadership in K-12 curriculum is honored

A program developed at UC Davis for middle-school and high-school students was honored this week by the U.S. Department of Education as an Exemplary Program in Teaching Mathematics.

Called College Preparatory Mathematics, the program was developed by mathematics professor Tom Sallee with input from hundreds of teachers. It includes a series of workshops for teachers, newsletters and guides for parents. It now operates as a non-profit organization based in Sacramento and dedicated to improving student learning of mathematics and to supporting math teachers.

Each College Preparatory Mathematics course focuses on six to eight core threads, such as graphing, writing equations and mathematical reasoning, as do the high-scoring countries in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study.

College Preparatory Mathematics has been used for 10 years by more than 2 million students. The 1998 SAT9 results in the 214 California high schools using the program (out of 813 total) were slightly higher than the state averages for 9th, 10th and 11th grades. Other studies that assess student understanding have shown even greater differences.

The designation of Exemplary Program in Teaching Mathematics is new. It was established by the U.S. Department of Education to mark successful programs worthy of consideration by teachers, schools and districts for adoption. College Preparatory Mathematics was one of five programs selected from 61 nominees.

More information about College Preparatory Mathematics is available online at http://www.cpm.org.

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Dateline UC Davis is the faculty and staff newspaper for the University of California, Davis.