Policy to Improve Math Teaching and Learning in Adult Basic Education: A Perspective from Massachusetts
The author has long been an advocate for improvement in ABE instruction, content standards, instructor standards (both subject matter knowledge and pedagogy), and assessment. His long-term career goals and actions lead to the necessary improvement of numeracy instruction. He knows of what he speaks. This well-written article provides both an overview of the current (2011) national situation and the recipe for improvement by the implementation of knowledge, curricular content, and pedagogical standards. His suggestions will take time, money, and intentional commitment to improvement. Some of the suggestions (testing of instructor knowledge in math) will perhaps be threatening to ABE instructors, but the suggestions are valid and necessary. This is a very valuable paper. It highlights the essential characteristics of ABE educators and the methods that states must introduce to encourage those characteristics among teaching staff. The references highlighting the efforts that have been made by Massachusetts should be a helpful beginning to other states and local program administrators.