• It Doesn't Add Up: African American Students' Mathematics Achievement

    Gloria Ladson Billings
    Mathematics education has been heralded for its leadership role in the U.S. school reform effort (Stein, Grover, & Henningsen, 1996; Grant, Peterson, & Shojgreen-Downer, 1996). Prominent in the reform of mathematics education is the call for students not merely to memorize formulas and rules and apply procedures but rather to engage in the processes of mathematical thinking, that is, to do what mathematicians and other professional users of mathematics do. The revamped mathematics education program is based on engaging students in problem posing and problem solving rather than on expecting rote memorization and convergent thinking. These changes in mathematics education suggest that mathematics teaching must build on students' learning and on their ability to pose and solve problems previously considered too difficult for their age-grade levels (Carpenter & Fennema, 1988; Fennema, Franke, Carpenter, & Carey, 1993).