The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recently elected Robert Berry, professor of elementary math education at the Curry School of Education, president of their organization.
The NCTM is a national organization dedicated to promoting math education in K-12 schools throughout the country. The organization supports math teachers through conferences and professional development and also regularly publishes five journals.
The organization also recently formed the High School Task Force in order to focus on current issues surrounding math education in high schools, particularly issues that impact students’ pathways, such as the types of courses that are offered.
“Not all schools have seminar offerings for students in high school which creates inequities, so some students don’t have access to calculus in rural areas and even in some urban areas, that is also the case as well,” Berry said.
Berry’s colleagues at the University expressed their excitement for his new position, acknowledging what an honor being elected as president of the NCTM is for both him and the Curry School of Education.
“Clearly it says a lot about Curry and the reputation and the abilities of our faculty members, but I think it speaks more to Prof. Berry’s reputation and what he’s done with his own career as well in terms of the research he’s done and the way he has made a name for himself in the field of teaching mathematics,” said Linda Boone, administrative manager for the teacher education program at the Curry School.
Curry School Dean Robert Pianta echoed Boone’s sentiments regarding the honor of holding this position.
“It is an extraordinary honor for a faculty member to be named head of a large and influential national organization, and Prof. Berry’s appointment as President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics reflects his strong leadership as a scholar and his influential voice in policymaking in the teaching of mathematics, which is arguably one of the most pressing matters on the education reform agenda,” Pianta said.
Pianta said he believes Berry will do well as president of the organization.
“Prof. Berry is a talented and respected leader,” Pianta said. “I am confident he will bring a forward-looking perspective to the issues the organization faces, and I know he has a fundamental commitment to ensuring that all students receive the very highest quality education, which means ensuring that an effective teacher is in every classroom.”
Pianta also said Berry’s tenure as president will help him garner more tools as a teacher, and will ultimately help him strengthen the elementary education program at the University.
“Prof. Berry will bring that wide view back to U.Va. when he resumes his work here,” Pianta said. “His leadership, ability to engage diverse constituencies, presence on a national stage, and his experiences in working to advance improvements in education will no doubt contribute to our students’ experiences and to the Curry School’s ability to attract and recruit the best faculty and students.”
Prof. Berry will sit as president-elect for the rest of 2017 and will begin his tenure as president of the NCTM next April.