Moving Math Educators

I gave a speech to about five hundred math educators last Friday in Monterey, California, USA, on the "social and political context of educational reform." It was very well received.

I talked about the history and political and social context of the United States, describing the class privilege impeding reforms (one percent of the U.S. population owns forty percent of the wealth-the greatest concentration of wealth in our history), and I laid out the elements of a strategy for reform. This strategy included large pieces of RC theory. I acknowledged it as such and told them how important it has been to me. I knew there were opponents to reform in the audience, but I did not hesitate at all in being bold and public about my ideas.

The situation in California is quite bad. The political right has control of the educational apparatus at the state level and is adopting policies and passing legislation that are extremely repressive. It is likely that bilingual education will be abolished by a state referendum next spring. Several school boards have already done that. The curriculum and pedagogical policies that led to more respect for young people over the past twenty years are being rolled back. I have been supporting many of the leaders attempting to resist this. I will be proposing to them that they try and organize the teachers' unions to resist the repression and stand up for progressive policies.

I appreciate all that I have learned. My work continues to gain respect. I was invited by someone I do not even know to speak to the math and science supervisors from each of the fifty states' departments of education about equity in mathematics and science education. (Equity is an educational jargon term for what we call ending oppression.)

Julian Weissglass
Santa Barbara, California, USA

(Present Time No. 110, January 1998)

Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07