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Twenty Five Years of Focus and Coherence

Release Date: March 5, 2015

The overarching goal of CMP is to help students and teachers develop mathematical knowledge, understanding, and skill along with an awareness of and appreciation for the rich connections among mathematical strands and between mathematics and other disciplines. The CMP curriculum development has been guided by our single mathematical standard:

All students should be able to reason and communicate proficiently in mathematics. They should have knowledge of and skill in the use of the vocabulary, forms of representation, materials, tools, techniques, and intellectual methods of the discipline of mathematics, including the ability to define and solve problems with reason, insight, inventiveness, and technical proficiency. A Guide to Connected Mathematics 3, p.4

The Connected Mathematics curriculum design, text materials for students, and supporting resources for teachers have been progressively refined over a period of 25 years with advice and contributions from master teachers, curriculum developers, mathematicians, and mathematics education researchers and with feedback from the experiences of millions of middle grades students and teachers in thousands of classrooms. Results of extensive research into use of Connected Mathematics show consistent positive effects on student conceptual understanding and problem solving ability without sacrificing achievement in traditional factual knowledge and skills.

The current third edition of Connected Mathematics has been carefully constructed to reflect new expectations of the full set of Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. CMP3 underwent the same rigorous development process that is a hallmark of the program. As with prior editions of this work Michigan State University preserves a tradition of devoting the royalties from this publication to support activities sponsored by the MSU Mathematics Education Enrichment Fund. Money from this fund supports several ongoing research projects, professional development activities, and evaluation related to CMP. The focus and coherence of the Connected Mathematics curriculum and the consistent results from research provide clear evidence that CMP3 offers mathematical content and pedagogy that help students develop both conceptual and procedural fluency and the inclination and ability to solve mathematical problems.

Despite the extensive record of Connected Mathematics effectiveness and the great care with which CMP3 was constructed to match Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), a recent review by EdReports.org claims that CMP3 does not meet expectations for alignment with CCSSM. The Connected Mathematics authors believe that conclusion is based on inappropriate interpretations of the CCSSM and deeply flawed and incomplete analyses of the CMP3 instructional materials.

To set the record straight, we offer below a summary of our major concerns and expanded grade-by-grade replies to the EdReports evaluation of CMP3. We believe that those analyses of the review raise serious doubts about the validity of the ‘does not meet expectations’ judgment and that reconsideration of the rating is in order.