June 12, 2006
U-M education dean to advise White House on math policy
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean of the University of Michigan School of Education, has been appointed to the 17-member National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Its members include several prominent figures in mathematics education, mathematics, psychology and education policy from across the nation.
The panel, modeled in part after the National Reading Panel, is charged to advise President Bush and U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on wise use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics.
The panel 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. Its interim report is due in January 2007 and a final report must be submitted by Feb. 28, 2008.
"To keep America competitive in the 21st century, we must improve the way we teach math and we must give more students the chance to take advanced math and science courses in high school," Spellings said. "America's high school graduates need solid math skills, whether proceeding to college or going into the work force."
The panel is chaired by former University of Texas President Larry Faulkner, who currently serves as president of the Houston Endowment. Panel members were sworn in and had their first meeting in late May.
Ball, who began her career as an elementary school teacher, became dean of U-M's School of Education in 2005. She is one of the world's leading scholars on mathematics education, teacher knowledge and teacher education—work advanced through several research projects that she directs at U-M. She is the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor in Education and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor.
"This country can—and must—build a much stronger system of educating our citizens in mathematics, and it must do so now," Ball said. "The panel is charged with undertaking an even-handed review of the research base and articulating a clear direction for sensible policy. This will be a big task. I hope we can do it well."
The panel's work is aimed at identifying what we know and what we need to know about effective ways to teach mathematics to the full diversity of American students, who are increasingly falling behind their peers in other countries. The panel also is expected to provide more guidance for effective ways to implement the Bush Administration's $250 million program for improving mathematics education.
For more on Ball, visit: http://www-personal.umich.edu/%7Edball/.
For a fact sheets on the NMP and the American Competitiveness Initiative please visit:
Contact: Joe Serwach