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Connected Mathematics Project

CMP Authors and Principal Investigators: Glenda Lappan (Professor Emeritus), Elizabeth Phillips

Co-Principal Investigator: Alden J. Edson

CMP Professional Development Specialist: Yvonne Grant

Postdoctoral Research Associates: Taren Going, Sunyoung Park

Current Graduate Students: Ashley Fabry, Michael Quail, Ahmad Wachidul Kohar, Sasha Rudow, Samantha Wald
Communications Specialist: Christopher Waston

Undergraduate Student Workers: Sarah Ingemunson and Cora Haddad

Funding: National Science Foundation (development), royalties (current)
Website: http://connectedmath.msu.edu/
Consortium Coordinator: Elizabeth "Billie" Lozen

CMP Staff Fall 2019 Photo

Left to Right:  Amie Lucas, Tyler Knowles, Chuck Fessler, AJ Edson, Yvonne Slanger-Grant, Billie Lozen, Taren Going, Merve Nur Kursav, Betty Phillips, Sunyoung Park, Kate Appenzeller Knowles

Not pictured: Amit Sharma, David Bowers, Emma Herrera, Maggie Ozias, and Shannon Mchugh.

The Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1991 to develop a mathematics curriculum for grades 6, 7, and 8 that reflected the 1989 NCTM Standards and Evaluation (NCTM 1989). Based on extensive input and review of the 1989 Standards, NCTM published the 2000 Standards and Principles (NCTM 2000). In 2000 NSF funded a revision of CMP that reflected the 2000 Standards and information gained from the field during the first six years of implementation of CMP in schools. The result was Connected Mathematics 2 and like CMP 1, it is a complete curriculum that develops both students’ and teachers’ understanding of important concepts, skills, procedures, and ways of thinking and reasoning in number, geometry, measurement, algebra, probability and statistics.

Glenda Lappan & Betty Phillips
Glenda Lappan & Betty Phillips


CMP was developed at Michigan State University under the direction of Glenda Lappan, Elizabeth Phillips, and the late William Fitzgerald with support from James Fey at the University of Maryland and Susan Friel at the University of North Carolina. Due in part to the long record of curriculum development and professional development by the authors, CMP has been enthusiastically received by the public. It is estimated that CMP has approximately 20-25% of the market share for middle schools mathematics curriculum. CMP a substantial impact on mathematics education here at MSU as well as across the country.


The overarching goal of CMP is: All students should be able to reason and communicate proficiently in mathematics. They should have knowledge of and skill in the use of the vocabulary, forms of representation, materials, tools, techniques, and intellectual methods of the discipline of mathematics, including the ability to define and solve problems with reason, insight, inventiveness and proficiency.

The royalties due MSU and the MSU authors have created two endowment funds that have funded:

  • The Lappan, Phillips, Fitzgerald Endowed Chair of Mathematics Education
  • A research grant to Horizons Research to study the effectiveness of CMP 2.
  • A research grant to Edward Silver at the University of Michigan to create and study a professional development model that helps CMP teachers develop students’ understanding of mathematics
  • Four annual graduate fellowships for PhD candidates in mathematics education
  • The Phillips Distinguished Lectureship in the Department of Mathematics
  • Start-up research funds for young MSU faculty and graduate students in mathematics education.
  • Continued support of CMP activities including professional development, efficacy of CMP 3, and research

A substantial body of research and evaluation has been and is being conducted on CMP. These doctorial studies and other research projects are centered on aspects of CMP that have added important information to research on teacher knowledge, student understanding, and professional development. Currently, there are three national research studies being conducted on the effectiveness of CMP on student achievement. No other mathematics curriculum has had as much focused research and study as CMP.

CMP has been recognized nationally as seen in the following awards:

  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999), in its review of twelve nationally available middle school mathematics curricula, ranked Connected Mathematics highest, stating that it “contains both in-depth mathematics content and excellent instructional support.”
  • Connected Mathematics was the only middle school mathematics curriculum awarded “exemplary” status by the U.S. Department of Education’s Mathematics and Science Education Expert Panel (1999). Of the 61 elementary, middle school, and high school curricula submitted for review, only five received this exemplary status.

Since 1997 we (CMP office at MSU) have conducted an annual Getting to Know CMP week-long workshop and one annual CMP Users’ Conference which bring approximately 800 – 900 teachers, administrators and teacher educators annually to the MSU campus. In 2008 we conducted our first CMP Leadership Conference. We collaborate with other universities and school districts to conduct similar conferences in their regions. Currently, we are working on leadership training models to accommodate the growing need for math coaches and teacher leaders in CMP schools. We maintain an extensive website and consult daily with teachers, administrators, teacher educators, researchers and parents about activities related to CMP.

During the period of 2010 – 2013, CMP was reviewed, revised, and field-tested. CMP 3 was available for the fall of 2013 (copyright of 2014.) CMP 3 is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The CMP philosophy on teaching and learning embodies the Standards for the Mathematical Practices. The extensive teacher support for CMP 3 is delivered electronically and in print. The student book is available in paper as well as an interactive electronic student edition. The new CMP website has been rebuilt and includes on-going professional development and teacher support.
The CMP staff has several development and research projects underway.  AJ Edson is a new post-doctoral fellow with CMP. His work at CMP is related to his dissertation research involving digital instructional materials with design features that leverage the affordances of digital technologies for teaching and learning mathematics. He will develop one or two deeply digital CMP 3 units which will inform the future of CMP as well as the role of technology in teaching and learning.
In addition to the development of on-line professional development activities, CMP is developing the Arc of Learning Tasks Framework that describes the opportunities to develop understanding of important mathematical ideas across a set of tasks in a problem-centered curriculum. The Arc consists of five task types: Introductory, Exploratory, Analytic, Synthesis, and Reflection. This piece of work will help teachers and teacher leaders to unpack the mathematics embedded in a problem-centered curriculum. Additionally, it will help future curriculum writers including revision of CMP 3.