In 1989 NCTM published the document Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (The Standards). In response to marked criticism, it has formed a commission to re-examine them, and has asked MAA, with other members of the Conference Board, to appoint committees to offer advice. MAA's committee, called the President's Task Force on NCTM Standards, will be chaired by Past-President Kenneth Ross.
The future of the Standards is one of the most important issues in mathematics today. They may well change education in K to 12 so substantially that students will reach us with a different complex of skills and without the preparation we expect. The potential impact on our college programs is obvious. This is an issue we must take seriously. Through the MAA Task Force we have the opportunity to express our views, and I urge you to do so.
As I near the end of my three-year term, I can report to you, based on my understanding of MAA and its operations, that it is effectively carrying out its historic mission "to promote collegiate mathematics" and intelligently planning the new services that a changing profession requires.
At the moment MAA is having serious growing pains as it develops the structures and procedures best suited to a complex organization. But these are probably to be expected and should be transient.
Speaking of complexity, I might mention that MAA has over 100 committees. I suggest that you consider volunteering for one. You will find, as I have, that the work can have important consequences and also provide a refreshing change in focus.
In closing I want to let you know that I deeply appreciate the honor of having represented Seaway as its governor. It is a session to be very proud of.