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There is no scorn more profound, or on the whole more justifiable, than that of the men who make for the men who explain. Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds.
G. H. Hardy

WVCTM Supports Common Core

The Executive Committee of WVCTM sent the following letter to the members of the legislature on March 2, 2015 in support of the Common Core State Standards:

“As members of the Executive Committee of the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, we ask that you consider the ramifications of a repeal of the West Virginia Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives. These standards were developed over several years by a large group of informed professionals with the goal of identifying the core knowledge and skills students need to master at each grade level in order to graduate career and/or college ready. They are based upon learning progressions that have been researched and provide the foundation for learning. Expert West Virginia educators, from kindergarten through college, have invested over five years in the study and implementation of these standards.
We realize that there is still more work to be done. Teachers continue to need ongoing professional development to understand content and to learn instructional strategies that will reach all West Virginia students. Our teachers are aggressively seeking out this information as shown by the fact that nearly three hundred teachers plan to attend our annual conference this month. As this is the first year of full implementation of these standards, it is too early to see the effects at all grade levels, however a repeal of the standards has the potential to destroy the gains that have been made in student growth and understanding.
As a group of professional mathematics educators, many of whom have more than thirty years of teaching experience, we implore you to make a decision that is in the best interest of the mathematics education of the students of West Virginia. We ask that you do not repeal the West Virginia Next Generation Mathematics Content Standards and Objectives. 
Endorsed by the Executive Committee of the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics”

During the WVCTM Annual Conference, members were invited to a “Conversation on Common Core” to discuss the events that were literally unfolding in the WV State Legislature that very day. A panel of teachers from elementary through college shared ideas, rebutted misinformation, and answered questions from the membership. Those in attendance also shared their opinions and personal experiences with teaching the Common Core State Standards. Members were encouraged to express their views to House and Senate members. The final day of the WVCTM conference was also the closing day of the state legislative session. The House Bill (HB 2934) which would have repealed the Common Core State Standards in West Virginia was amended by the Senate to include a study of the standards rather than a repeal. The bill was then sent to a conference committee, but the report was never taken up in the House, so it died for lack of action.

President's Remarks

Sheila RuddleSheila RuddleChange, it seems is the only constant in education. Something, however, that has been available to West Virginia mathematics teachers since 1948, is the support given to them by WVCTM. WVCTM continues this tradition as teachers around the state work hard to implement the Next Generation Standards. The leadership wholeheartedly supports the Common Core State Standards. Many of your officers have been, and still are involved in all stages of implementation, from preparing the standards for West Virginia’s framework, to writing units, to providing professional development at the school, county, RESA, and state level. Plus, many of us, like you, do the important work daily of addressing the standards in our own classrooms with students just like yours. A major focus of our 2015 conference will be providing rich professional development that supports these standards.

On a personal note, I find myself relying more than ever on information that I receive from NCTM. I encourage you to use its publications as resources. By “liking” NCTM on Facebook, one can read current messages from President Diane Briars, along with other up-to-date news. Remember, when joining NCTM online, a portion of your dues can be returned to WVCTM.

When thinking of WVCTM, many think of the annual conference. However, the work of the organization goes on year-round and there are many opportunities for involvement. The executive committee invites YOU to participate by nominating officers, by making recommendations for Teacher-of-the-Year at each level, and of course, in preparing for the conference by submitting a proposal to present at the conference.