This project is engaged in an effort to pull together a diverse set of experts to make research-based recommendations on how to implement massive professional development that is needed to effectively employ the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in a way that will reform classroom instruction in mathematics for grades K-12. Thirty-five states have adopted the CCSS in mathematics, and there is a need to help teachers and the public learn about the standards and how to use them to increase mathematics learning. The project is convening a meeting of experts to recommend how to design, implement, and assess large-scale professional development systems that have the potential to reform mathematics instruction. A final report with recommendations and reactions from professional organizations will be disseminated through the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

The work of the project is assisted by the following organizations: Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, Mathematics Association of America, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, and the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics.

Project Report

The project "Articulating Research Ideas that Support the Implementation of the Professional Development Needed for Making the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) Reality for K-12 Teachers" was carried out over the course of three years. Its goal was to impact professional development practice by generating recommendation for scaling up professional development that supported the implementation of the CCSSM. Project PIs organized and facilitated collaborative work among approximately 40 experts from different fields of research (mathematics, professional development, equity, assessment, policy, and system research, as well as "high leverage" practitioners). The experts were selected because of the contributions their special knowledge within their fields could make to mathematics teacher professional development at scale. PIs and experts generated a critical and timely set of documents to address the nation-wide problem of needing to provide high quality mathematics professional development at scale to support the implementation of the CCSSM. The main result of this project is a set of nine recommendations for creating, sustaining, and assessing professional development systems for practicing mathematics teachers to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), which could be used in the design and implementation of large-scale professional development systems for all teachers who are being asked to put the CCSSM into practice. These nine recommendations are: Emphasize the Substance of CCSSM-PD: Professional development provides opportunities for practicing mathematics teachers to engage with both the CCSSM content and the CCSSM practices in a focused and integrated way. Create and Adapt Materials for Use in CCSSM-PD: Professional Development materials are needed that explicitly address the mathematics content and practices of the CCSSM and provide vivid images of teaching and learning that are consistent with CCSSM. Design CCSSM-PD Based on Features that Support Teacher Learning: Professional development takes into account existing knowledge about effective ways to organize learning experiences for teachers of mathematics. Build Coherent Programs of CCSSM-PD: Programs of professional development provide a continuous and coherent set of experiences in which practicing mathematics teachers engage over an extended period of time. Prepare and Use Knowledgeable Facilitators for CCSSM-PD: Professional development uses expert facilitation to ensure teacher learning of CCSSM at scale. Provide CCSSM-PD Tailored to Key Role Groups, in Addition to Teachers: Strong programs of professional development target a variety of role groups within the education system and attend to the professional needs of each group as the system builds capacity at all levels. Educate Stakeholders about the CCSSM: Members of the general public need to be apprised on how the CCSSM will impact instruction and learning in our nation’s classrooms. Continuously Assess CCSSM-PD: Professional development programs are regularly assessed to provide formative information for program improvement and revision and to establish the effectiveness of the programs. Create CCSSM-PD Consortia: Professional development consortia are needed to oversee and improve the role professional development plays in successful implementation of the CCSSM. These recommendations emphasize that attending to the professional development of practicing mathematics teachers in light of the CCSSM is a requirement for the successful implementation of the new standards. They summarize knowledge in the field and also indicate important next steps for practitioners. The recommendations can help districts and states in creating, sustaining, and assessing professional development systems for practicing mathematics teachers that support their implementation of the CCSSM, and ultimately, the learning of all K-12 students. Project results were disseminated through the printing of the Final Report and its distribution to key stakeholders. The project report and an Executive Summary that presented major findings were distributed to the professional community by partner organizations: Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM), Mathematical Association of America (MAA), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM). Additionally, Project PIs presented the findings at a variety of meetings that reached out to diverse audiences. Further, PIs have disseminated findings from the study to the larger educational research community (beyond mathematics educators) and to the international mathematics education community. This work was aimed at augmenting the broader impact of the project. The publications that this project has generated include: Marrongelle, K., Sztajn, P., & Smith, M. (2013). Scaling up professional development in an era of common state standards. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(3), 202-221. Sztajn, P, Marrongelle, K. & Smith, M. (2013). Providing professional development at scale: Recommendations from research to practice. In Lindmeier, A. M. & Heinze, A. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Kiel, Germany: PM Sztajn, P., Marrongelle, K., Smith, P. & Melton, B. (2012). Supporting implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: recommendations for professional development. Raleigh: College of Education, NCSU.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
North Carolina State University Raleigh
United States
Zip Code