To the detriment of young African American learners, racial achievement gap rhetoric impacts social constructs in American classrooms. In my opinion, recent mathematics education reforms, despite equity-oriented rhetoric expressing concern for all children (NCTM 1989, 2000; RAND Mathematics Study Panel 2003), have instead helped foster an environment where African American children continue to be viewed as intellectually inferior and mathematically illiterate, usually in relation to children who are identified as white or Asian.
Danny Bernard Martin, email@example.com, is chair of curriculum and instruction and an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He is interested in the mathematics education of African-American learners and pays particular attention to issues of race and identity. TCM welcomes submissions, limited to 600 words, to consider for the “in my opinion” department. Access tcm.msubmit.net. Detailed submission guidelines for all departments are available at www.nctm.org.tcm/departments.