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January 11, 2019
Education justice Economic justice Democracy

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Education Justice and Mathematics

Almost 65 years after the US Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v Board of Education, public education in this country remains fundamentally separate and unequal. In general, white children from affluent backgrounds receive a world-class public education (OECD), while Black and brown children from low-income backgrounds, on average, receive a poor quality public education by almost every measure. The problems facing public schools in the US – disinvestment, privatization, the over-reliance on standardized testing – are seen vividly in the mathematics classroom

We focus on math education in particular for three reasons: 1) the inequities in math education reflect the broader state of public education in this country 2) 21st century jobs will, increasingly, require mathematical proficiency. Math illiteracy in this country is a matter of life and death and 3) mathematics is, more than any other subject, associated with notions of fixed intelligence and therefore the mathematics classroom is a breeding ground for racialized myths of superiority and deficiency.