The National Numeracy Network got its start in 2000 under the leadership of Susan Ganter (at Clemson University) as the outreach component of the National Council on Education and the Disciplines (NCED). Robert Orrill had founded and directed the NCED to promote discussion about core literacies at the transition from secondary to postsecondary education. Quantitative literacy emerged as the primary focus.
The NNN organized a consortium of about 40 numeracy programs and, with NCED grants, established four QL Centers: Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), Trinity College (Hartford, CT), University of Nevada (Reno, NV), and The Washington Center (Evergreen, WA). These centers were to provide technical support in
- helping the consortium facilitate communication on educational practices in numeracy and in translating numeracy from aspiration to practice;
- encouraging cross-sector interest and attention to numeracy among schools, colleges, civic groups, business and industry; and
- supporting research, reports, and publications to increase the understanding and significance of numeracy.
Upon completion of the NCED project, the NNN was established formally as a membership organization. At a June 2004 meeting at Moose Mountain Lodge in NH, the first NNN board of directors spelled out the NNN's Vision and Mission, adopted its by-laws, and incorporated the NNN. In keeping with the goal of connecting numeracy with diverse disciplines, the NNN has held its annual meetings in conjunction with related organizations:
- June 2005. With the MAA's Professional Enhancement Program (PREP) at Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.
- August 2006. With the Joint Statistics Meetings in Seattle, WA.
- April 2007. With the Midwest Sociology Meetings in Chicago, IL, in cooperation with the MAA's special interest group on QL.
- May 2008. With the North East Consortium on Quantitative Literacy (NECQL) at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH, in cooperation with Carleton College's QuIRK initiative on quantitative writing and Colby-Sawyer's QL initiative.
- May 2009. With a workshop: NSF Projects Supporting QL Education at the University of Washington, Bothell.
- October 2010. With the QuIRK-Project Kaleidoscope workshop at Carleton College, Northfield, MN.
- October 2011. With the Appalachian College Association's Annual Summit.
The October 2012 meeting in New York City was the NNN's first stand-alone conference.
For more details on the NNN's history, see Bernie Madison and Lynn Steen's article Evolution of Numeracy and the National Numeracy Network in the premiere edition of our journal Numeracy.