NCTM Denver 2013: Business Meeting

Annual Meeting - Friday, April 19, 12:30 pm

I had no idea what to expect at the NCTM Business Meeting. It was scheduled to be in one of the larger rooms, so I was surprised to see only a dozen or so people there, huddled up and down the sides of the center aisle. Kichoon Yang, NCTM's soon-to-retire executive director, was about the only one standing. I walked in, then out, then back in the room again, and had to make sure the meeting was open to the public before sitting down.

The meeting was quick. There was some review of prior business and some quick votes on some proposed motions. The item of most interest to me was discussion of possibly moving the NCTM Annual Meeting to the summer. NCTM sent out a survey a few months ago to gauge interest in the move, as attendance at the Annual Meeting has declined as more states require testing in April. According to Yang, NCTM has many contractual agreements for the Annual Meeting stretching out five years or more, making rescheduling the Annual Meeting a possible, but non-trivial matter.

The person seated in front of me asked if the new Common Core-based consortia tests, PARCC and Smarter Balanced, would also have conflicting test dates in April. Yang said that would be a good thing to investigate. Shortly after I talked to the person who asked the question and realized it was Shirley Frye, Past President of NCTM in 1989, the year the first Standards were released. I think she was impressed that I knew that, and I explained to her my connections to Bonnie Litwiller (author of the Addenda project) and Ed Rathmell (co-author of the elementary standards, and someone I was happy to spend time with at the conference) at Northern Iowa. She was proud of how successful some of that work had been, particularly in the Addenda's ability to generate revenue for NCTM that was needed after taking a financial risk to produce the Standards. We didn't talk long, but as someone with an interest in the history of math education I think meeting Shirley Frye was among the true highlights of my week.