High School Journal

The High School Journal
Volume 88, Number 4, April-May 2005
Special Issue: Building an Infrastructure for Equity in Mathemetics Education

CONTENTS

    Berry, Robert Quinlyn.
  • Introduction: Building an infrastructure for equity in mathematics education
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- United States.
    • Educational equalization -- United States.
    Thompson, LaTasha R.
    Lewis, Bradford F., 1969-
  • Shooting for the Stars: A Case Study of the Mathematics Achievement and Career Attainment of an African American Male High School Student
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    Subject Headings:
    • Williams, Malik.
    • African American high school students -- Maryland -- Baltimore.
    • Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Maryland -- Baltimore.
    • Role models -- Maryland -- Baltimore.
    Abstract:
      The mathematics success of African American male adolescents has been given limited attention. Most often, African American males are viewed in terms of their failure as opposed to their success. This tendency to focus almost exclusively on African American failure is a debilitating feature of extant literature and it constrains our understanding of African American mathematics achievement. Malik Williams is one case that stands in opposition to the norm. Realizing the importance of advanced mathematics to his college and career goals, Malik petitioned his principal to have a Pre-Calculus/Calculus course offered at his school. This article documents the story of Malik's success and in so doing, identifies key themes that inform current understanding of the mathematics achievement and career attainment of African American male students.
    Rousseau, Celia K.
    Powell, Angiline.
  • Understanding the Significance of Context: A Framework to Examine Equity and Reform in Secondary Mathematics
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- United States.
    • Educational equalization -- United States.
    • Educational change -- United States.
    Abstract:
      The purpose of this article is to outline a framework that can be used to examine issues of equity and mathematics reform. Adapted from an opportunity-to-learn framework proposed by Tate (2004), this model includes factors related to time, quality, and design. This framework is applied to the cases of two secondary mathematics teachers to illustrate how these factors can operate to shape teachers' implementation of reform. The differences between the two cases point to the significance of teaching context with respect to reform. The framework has equity implications insofar as the time and quality factors that constrain change appear to be more likely to impact students of color and students in high-poverty schools, thus denying them access to mathematics reform.
    Bol, Linda.
    Berry, Robert Quinlyn.
  • Secondary Mathematics Teachers' Perceptions of the Achievement Gap
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    Subject Headings:
    • Educational equalization -- United States.
    • Mathematics teachers -- United States -- Attitudes.
    • Discrimination in education -- United States.
    Abstract:
      The purpose of this study was to survey the perceptions of secondary mathematics teachers on factors contributing to the achievement gap and ways to reduce this gap. National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) members were surveyed, and a total of 379 secondary teachers responded. Overall, respondents were most likely to attribute the achievement gap to student characteristics, such as differences in motivational levels, work ethic, and family support. Furthermore, teachers from schools with a higher population of White students were more likely to attribute the gap to student characteristics than were teachers in schools with higher percentages of minority students. Mathematics supervisors and university faculty were less likely to attribute the achievement gap to student characteristics than were middle and high school teachers. Instead, the supervisors and university faculty were more likely to endorse explanations related to curriculum and instruction than were secondary teachers. In terms of attributing the achievement gap to factors related to language, we found that the higher the percentage of Hispanic or Latino students in the respondents' schools, the more likely they were to endorse Language items. Suggestions for reducing the achievement gap centered on professional development for teachers, curricular changes, community building, and policies that included more funding equity and a reduction in class size.
    Matthews, Lou Edward.
  • Towards Design of Clarifying Equity Messages in Mathematics Reform
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    Subject Headings:
    • Educational equalization -- United States.
    • Educational change -- United States.
    • Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- United States.
    • Discrimination in education -- United States.
    Abstract:
      The introduction of the No Child Left Behind has brought renewed national attention to the persistence of achievement gaps in education and, in particularly, has challenged the mathematics education community to revisit its long stated commitment to removing achievement disparities in school mathematics. Longstanding equity messages in mathematics reform as encapsulated in the hallmark slogan, mathematics for all, have been articulated and widely circulated in reform documents over the last 20 years, but not well incorporated into many of the mathematics classrooms comprised of minority students, multi-language speakers, and students with disabilities. Employing an engineering mindset to frame the article, the purpose of this article is to illuminate some of the problematic features of equity articulation over the last 20 years, examine perspectives from two recent national meetings in Maryland and Washington, DC, and offer perspectives towards the design of a reconceptualized, more robust equity message. Seven constraints have been extracted from these perspectives. The constraints range from utilizing an outcome-focused definition of equity and an articulation of condition-based inequities, to incorporating a critical base of research and pedagogy. These constraints are discussed and future directions and applications for design are posed.
    Farmer, Jeff.
    Hauk, Shandy.
    Neumann, Andrew M.
  • Negotiating Reform: Implementing Process Standards in Culturally Responsive Professional Development
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mathematics teachers -- Training of -- United States.
    • Multicultural education -- United States.
    • Educational equalization -- United States.
    • Educational change -- United States.
    Abstract:
      The paper presents the guiding ideas behind our culturally responsive approach to teacher professional development and an overview of how those tenets inform, tacitly and directly, our efforts to realize the promise of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' five Process Standards. A review of the primary obstacles teachers face in implementing these standards in their own teaching and learning is followed by a description of the design elements in a university-based professional development program. Our goal is to provide an example of the foundations upon which an evolving approach to culturally responsive professional development planning has grown. We discuss research on what constitutes effective teacher professional development while noting the paucity of programs that embrace recognized needs. We do not give a prescription for effective teacher development. Instead, we speak as teacher-educators about the necessary philosophical and self-evaluative underpinnings to effective professional development and our approach to creating an environment where it is safe to leave the isolation of forced autonomy and it is valued to be reflective about community, mathematical activity, and intellectual engagement.



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