United STATES Coalition for World Class Math

 Standard Algorithms

Standard Algorithms were gradually developed many centuries ago for their efficiency, accuracy, and generality-that is, they work is all situations.  They are theoretically and practically important methods for computing. They contain in their very structure all the basic properties of the base-ten place-value system, set forth in as an efficient a manner as possible.  An understanding of how and why they work, as well as the ability to use them fluently provides the foundation for mathematical competence. (Source: A White Paper on Computational Fluency (K-12) 2007 OSPI January Conference)

A 15-member group of mathematicians, appointed by the Mathematical Association of America to respond to a set of questions posed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Commission on the Future of Standards, stated that "standard mathematical definitions and algorithms and algorithmic thinking serve as a vehicle of human communication" and that they should be taught to all children. (Ross, 1997)

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