WHEREAS, the rapid pace of change in both the increasingly interdependent global economy and the American workplace demands that students acquire far more rigorous mathematics skills; and
WHEREAS, current data indicates that many children throughout the State of New Jersey are not acquiring the mathematics skills necessary to be successful in the future; and
WHEREAS, results from the 2004 statewide mathematics assessments at grades 4, 8 and 11 demonstrate that far too many students are not performing at the proficient level; and
WHEREAS, results from the 2004 Special Review Assessment summer pilot project for students who did not pass the High School Proficiency Assessment during their junior year indicate that a short-term, intense math program may not provide students with the foundation they need to succeed at higher level math coursework; and
WHEREAS, there are too few qualified math teachers to fill existing vacancies throughout the State of New Jersey; and
WHEREAS, State teacher certification requirements now require standards based teacher preparation and current models for preparing math teachers need to be changed to reflect both the new certification rules and the needs of a complex global society; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has a compelling interest to take the necessary steps to address the problems of teacher shortages, teacher preparation and professional development and math achievement; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey recognizes that efforts to improve math achievement must include a broad base of support from all stakeholders; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has a compelling interest to engage the talent and expertise of experts and practitioners throughout the state to help achieve these goals; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has a compelling interest to begin work immediately to prepare its children for success in the 21st century global economy;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD J. CODEY, Acting Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- The Commissioner of Education shall form a Mathematics Task Force, which will include representatives from the K-12, higher education, business, and foundation communities, and the Legislature.
- The Mathematics Task Force shall be charged developing a collaborative plan that addresses the following:
- Improving the preparation of teachers in the mathematics content area.
- Improving professional development for teachers in the mathematics content area.
- Improving mathematics instruction for grades K to 12.
- Improving student achievement in mathematics for students in grades K to 12, including the gap in minority achievement.
- Increasing recruitment and retention of mathematics teachers.
- Aligning K-12 mathematics instruction with college admission.
- The Task Force shall submit its report to the Governor no later than May 1, 2005.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 10th day
in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand
and Four, and of the Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Twenty-Ninth.
/s/ Richard J. Codey
/s/ Mark J. Fleming
Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor