Kichoon Yang begins work this week as the new executive director of the 100,000-member National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which holds significant sway over the math strategies used in American classrooms. He replaces Jim Rubillo, who last year announced his intention to retire from the post.
Yang comes to NCTM having most recently served as provost and professor at Northwest Missouri State University, positions he has held since 2005. Before that, he was dean of the College of Natural Sciences and professor of mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa from 2001 through 2004. He was also a program director in the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation for three years. Earlier, he served for 12 years on the mathematics faculty at Arkansas State University.
The new exec director, in a statement, said he was both thrilled and “humbled by the opportunity, knowing how important mathematics education is to the future of our nation.”
NCTM, based in Reston, Va., publishes voluntary national standards that have shaped instruction and curriculum around the country. In 2006, the organization released “Curriculum Focal Points,” a document that spells out priorities for teaching math in elementary and middle school. The organization is planning to release a similar document for upper grades later this year. NCTM had voiced concerns about not being included in ongoing discussions about creating common standards in reading and math, but the group’s president, Hank Kepner, is one of several people who will serve on an advisory panel for the group, as this EdWeek story explains.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.