In our response to the NCTM's earlier series of questions, we were guided by a couple of principles in the hopes of being as helpful as possible. First, we tried to make our responses relatively brief and to the point. Second, we worked hard, and successfully, to obtain consensus on our reports. Consensus did not mean that every task-force member supported every statement with enthusiasm, but it did mean that they were all able to live with the reports.
Our assignment now is to respond to PSSM, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. It seems that we cannot operate on the principles enunciated above because of the nature and magnitude of this assignment. Thus this report will be a union of responses, but with an aim to avoid repetition and to supply the responses in some logical order. It is simply impossible to expect each task-force member to study and approve of all the statements made here, so this will not be a consensus report. On the other hand, since we have worked together for two years, most of the statements are consistent with the group's views. Conflicting statements are rare and are highlighted.
More specific comments and suggestions for specific changes made by individual members of the task force will be sent as a separate document.
Thomas R. Berger, who is also chair of the MAA Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM), will be submitting a separate report. Hung-Hsi Wu has been unable to participate in this response to PSSM.
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