Topics Affecting Mathematics Education Today

by Kathryn Kozak, VP of the Southwest Region of AMATYC

I was hoping to write an informative article about a topic that is currently important in mathematics education, such as common core standards changes, developmental education redesign, or availability of open source books.  However, I have to admit that I haven’t been able to concentrate on any of these topics.  Currently, I am on sabbatical and sitting at my brother and sister-in-law’s farm in New South Wales, Australia, and watching the Grand Final of Australian League Football.  So I am a bit distracted, and these topics are not on my mind right now.  However, all of these topics and more are immensely important today.

Forty-five states have adopted the common core standards.  When students who are being taught using these standards come to community colleges, there may be some changes of what community colleges need to teach.  I realize that not all states in the southwest region have adopted the common core standards, but their existence affects all of us.  So schools may want to start looking at the standards and see what curriculum changes could be recommended.

Developmental education redesigns are being proposed all over the country.  Some of the redesigns are accelerated courses, emporium models, and student mentors.  You can find out more about redesign models at an AMATYC conference, such as the Annual AMATYC meeting in Anaheim, October 31 through November 3, 2013.  If you cannot attend the conference, there are webinars that AMATYC offers and also conference proceedings are posted on the website.  Members of AMATYC receive emails with information about webinars and conferences, so become a member of AMATYC to keep informed.  Information on being a member can be found at

With the rising price of textbooks, many faculty are looking for better options for textbooks.  Some of these faculty are writing textbooks and publishing them as open source books.  There is even an open source homework system that exists.  When choosing textbooks, you may consider reviewing the many open source textbooks out there.  Please note, AMATYC doesn’t have a position statement on open source textbooks, and my suggestion to use an open source textbook is my own opinion and not AMATYC’s.

There are many other topics that are important to faculty at community colleges.  Many of these have been addressed by AMATYC.  Consider being a member so you can be a more active voice in mathematics education.  More information can be found at