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Valerie N. Faulkner, Lee V. Stiff, Patricia L. Marshall, John Nietfeld, and Cathy L. Crossland

This study is a longitudinal look at the different mathematics placement profiles of Black students and White students from late elementary school through 8th grade. Results revealed that Black students had reduced odds of being placed in algebra by the time they entered 8th grade even after controlling for performance in mathematics. An important implication of this study is that placement recommendations must be monitored to ensure that high-achieving students are placed appropriately, regardless of racial background.

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Addressing Racism

JRME Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel

Beatriz D'Ambrosio, Marilyn Frankenstein, Rochelle Gutiérrez, Signe Kastberg, Danny Bernard Martin, Judit Moschkovich, Edd Taylor, and David Barnes

This is a dialogue extracted from a conversation among some members of the Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel (Beatriz D'Ambrosio; Marilyn Frankenstein; Rochelle Gutiérrez, Special Issue editor; Signe Kastberg; Danny Martin; Judit Moschkovich; Edd Taylor; and David Barnes) about racism in mathematics education. It raises issues about the use of terms such as race and racism; understanding fields of research outside of mathematics education; the kinds of racialization processes that occur for students, teachers, and researchers; the social context of students; the achievement gap; and the role of mathematics education in the production of race.

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Introduction to the JRME Equity Special Issue

JRME Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel

Beatriz D'Ambrosio, Marilyn Frankenstein, Rochelle Gutiérrez, Signe Kastberg, Danny Bernard Martin, Judit Moschkovich, Edd Taylor, and David Barnes

This article provides an introduction to the JRME Equity Special Issue. It includes a rationale for the special issue, the process for selecting articles, and a description of the kinds of articles that will appear in the special issue. It concludes with a set of questions that teachers and researchers can and should ponder as they read the articles in the special issue.

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Mamokgethi Setati Phakeng and Judit N. Moschkovich

This article shares the authors' views on language-diversity issues in research in mathematics education. Described are tensions, questions, and myths that they have regularly faced as researchers. They use similarities and differences in two settings (multilingual classrooms in South Africa and U.S. mathematics classrooms with Latino/a students) to illustrate the complexity of this work and illuminate research findings.

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Susan A. Gregson

This case study examines the practice of a full-time mathematics teacher and social activist working in a secondary school with the twin missions of college preparation and social justice. Findings detail how this teacher views the relationship between mathematics education and social justice and how her conception of teaching for social justice is enacted in her mathematics classes. Interview data and excerpts of classroom practice are used to describe how the teacher negotiates 2 dilemmas in her teaching: the challenge of fostering students' independence/interdependence and the problem of dominant mathematics as a necessity/obstacle to social justice.

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David W. Stinson

This article shows how equity research in mathematics education can be decentered by reporting the “voices” of mathematically successful African American male students as they recount their experiences with school mathematics, illustrating, in essence, how they negotiated the White male math myth. Using post-structural theory, the concepts discourse, person/identity, and power/agency are reinscribed or redefined. The article also shows that using a post-structural reinscription of these concepts, a more complex analysis of the multiplicitous and fragmented robust mathematics identities of African American male students is possible—an analysis that refutes simple explanations of effort. The article concludes, not with “answers,” but with questions to facilitate dialogue among those who are interested in the mathematics achievement and persistence of African American male students—and equity and justice in the mathematics classroom for all students.

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Positioning Oneself in Mathematics Education Research

JRME Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel

Beatriz D'Ambrosio, Marilyn Frankenstein, Rochelle Gutiérrez, Signe Kastberg, Danny Bernard Martin, Judit Moschkovich, Edd Taylor, and David Barnes

This dialogue, also extracted from a conversation among members of the Equity Special Issue Editorial Panel, involves the role of a researcher's position in mathematics education. It raises issues about the non-neutrality of research; the relationship between a researcher's identity and the design, analysis, and conclusions of a research study; the benefits for researchers and participants in positioning oneself; and the role of mathematics education in this endeavor.

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Margaret Walshaw

In an era when familiar categories of identity are breaking down, an argument is made for using post-structuralist vocabulary to talk about ethical practical action in mathematics education. Using aspects of Foucault's post-structuralism, an explanation is offered of how mathematical identifications are tied to the social organization of power. An analysis of 2 everyday instances is provided to capture the oppressive conditions in which ordinary people involved in mathematics are engaged. Describing how systemic constraints become lived as individual dilemmas offers a way of understanding what we might do to effect change, and what we might do to produce tangible results.

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Danny Bernard Martin

Critical scholars have argued that mathematics education is in danger of becoming increasingly influenced by and aligned with neoliberal and neoconservative market-focused projects. Although this larger argument is powerful, there are often 2 peculiar responses to issues of race and racism within these analyses. These responses are characterized by what the author sees as an unfortunate backgrounding of these issues in some analyses or a conceptually flawed foregrounding in others. These responses obscure the evidence that, beyond being aligned with the market-oriented goals of these projects, mathematics education has also been aligned with their prevailing racial agendas.

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Rochelle Gutiérrez

Over the past decade, the mathematics education research community has incorporated more sociocultural perspectives into its ways of understanding and examining teaching and learning. However, researchers who have a long history of addressing anti-racism and social justice issues in mathematics have moved beyond this sociocultural view to espouse sociopolitical concepts and theories, highlighting identity and power at play. This article highlights some promising conceptual tools from critical theory (including critical race theory/Latcrit theory) and post-structuralism and makes an argument for why taking the sociopolitical turn is important for both researchers and practitioners. Potential benefits and challenges of this turn are also discussed.