Mathematics is a discipline whose basic ingredients are numbers, shapes, and algebraic relationships. Logical reasoning is used to study the properties of these objects and to develop connections between them. The results can then be used to understand and analyze a vast array of phenomena arising in all of the sciences, in engineering, and in everyday life. For this reason, mathematics is often called the "language of science.”

The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Mathematics are grounded in the belief that all students can and should be mathematically proficient. All students need to learn important mathematical concepts, skills, and relationships with understanding. The standards describe a connected body of mathematical knowledge students learn through the processes of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representation. The standards are grouped by strands: 1) Number and Operation; 2) Algebra; 3) Geometry and Measurement; 4) Data Analysis and Probability.

The Minnesota Department of Education supports mathematics achievement for all learners by providing guidance and technical assistance on implementation of academic standards, current best practices, and multi-tiered systems of intervention.

Standards, Assessments, and Graduation Requirements
The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Mathematics were revised in 2007, with full implementation by the 2010-11 school year. They are scheduled to be revised in 2015-16.

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) III Mathematics exam assesses the mathematics standards in grades 3-8, and 11. There are also standards for literacy in science and technical subjects contained in within the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts (2010).

The graduation requirements for mathematics include credit requirements and standards requirements. All students are required to satisfactorily complete three credits in mathematics encompassing the high school academic standards. Visit the graduation requirements page to learn more.

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and alternate assessments (MCA-Modified and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MCA-Modified or the MTAS. The MCA mathematics tests are administered each year in grades 3-8 and in grade 11. More information on MCAs and statewide assessments is available on the Test Administration page.

Special Projects

MN Math Leaders Networking Meetings
These meetings provide support for leaders, and include sharing and celebrating what is working, "hot topics" discussion based on participants interests, and self-identified group work time. Join us as we share ideas and collaborate with other leaders, receive updates on mathematics education policy, and discover new resources together.

Administrators and teacher leaders who are passionate about leading change in mathematics education for all students are encouraged to attend! View the MDE Calendar for more information and to register for these upcoming sessions:

  • February 12, 2015 - Assessments and Interventions
  • May 14, 2015 - Coaching, Cognitively Guided Instruction, and Problem Solving

Mathematics Webinars 2014-15
MDE, in partnership with the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM), is offering webinars designed specifically for K-12 mathematics teachers.February 24, 2015 Webinar -- “Identity and Its Impact on Math Success”, presented by Nicole Bridge, Middle School Math Coordinator, Minneapolis Public Schools. 

Description: “So often we hear people say things like "I am not a math person," or "I actually liked math in high school."  How are these identities formed?  How can we help to students to develop positive identity around learning and doing math?  This session is meant to be a start to helping teachers think about their own identity around mathematics and the identities of their students.  The goal is for participants to leave with a deeper understanding of how to examine their own instructional practices, and strategies to help their students create a positive math identity.”  Note: Typically the math webinars are for K-6 and 6-12 grades; in this case, the same webinar is offered twice, from 2:45-3:30 p.m. and again from 3:45-4:30 p.m.

The Minnesota Mathematics and Science Academy (MSTA) is a year-long professional development program for teachers. It is delivered at regional centers throughout the state. Learn more on the MSTA web page.

The Frameworks for Minnesota Mathematics and Science Standards is an online resource for use by educators for planning instruction, professional development, curriculum design and assessment. It provides instructional resources directly connected to each standard and sections focused on best practices and standards implementation. The website is a collaboration of Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and SciMathMN, and reflects the expertise of teachers in identifying resources. View the frameworks.

getSTEM is a web portal that connects more than a thousand Minnesota educators and businesses. The website provides a sharing network, allowing schools to request materials and human resources such as equipment, volunteers, speakers and judges. Businesses, in turn, offer materials, programs, and presentations to schools. getSTEM is a collaborative project of MDE and the Minnesota High Technology Council. Visit getSTEM and get started!

The Minnesota STEM Network is a project to improve STEM education in Minnesota by addressing critical issues and forming collaborations across the state. The project is sponsored by SciMathMN. Go to to read more.

Recognition and Awards Programs
The Minnesota Department of Education provides state coordination for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Two teachers from each state receive the award annually. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Honorees receive a monetary award as well as a week-long professional development opportunity in Washington, D.C. Visit the Presidential Awards for Excellence website.