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Equity, Mathematics Reform, and Research

William F. Tate, Beatriz S. D'Ambrosio 

December 1997, Volume 28, Issue 6, Page 650

In 1984, the JRME published a special edition entitled "Minorities and Mathematics" and edited by Westina Matthews. She described the set of authors as a "rainbow coalition of researchers," referring to a larger political movement devoted to social justice. Today, the Rainbow Coalition is stalled, in part because of a period of political retrenchment. Moreover, rhetoric about the cognitive abilities--including mathematical ability--of culturally, linguistically, and racially diverse students has been a part of this political retrenchment, which is focused on eliminating race-based academic policies. Thus, the question "Do race, class, gender, and language ability matter in mathematics teaching and learning?" is a political question as well as an educational question.