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The Mathematics of Opportunity: Designing for Equity Convening

The Mathematics of Opportunity: Designing for Equity convening on October 22, 2019 brought together educators, advocates, policy leaders, and researchers from around California. We put on our “architects of math opportunity” hats to build on Just Equations’ Principles for Equitable Math Pathways To and Through College. 

We learned about the profound effect math experiences can have on students’ life choices, and how disadvantages or biases experienced early in life can have powerful psychic effects. And we surfaced promising approaches to disrupt those injustices.

Daisy Gonzales, Deputy Chancellor of the California Community Colleges shared her math trajectory and conversed with two students whose options were expanded through the chance to take college statistics courses with just-in-time support instead of traditional remedial math courses. Watch a video of their conversation.

Elisha Smith-Arrillaga, Executive Director of the Education Trust-West, led a compelling conversation about math equity with Robert Q. Berry, III (President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) and Benjamin Duran, (Executive Director of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium). Besides the math teacher shortage, they tackled the need to stop tracking in mathematics classes and “weaponizing assessments” as well as the importance of intersegmental coordination.

Another highlight of the day was the discussion of Just Equations’ new report, Branching Out: Designing High School Math Pathways for Equity, by Phil Daro and Harold Asturias, which outlined a new vision for high school mathematics: advanced math pathways that align with students’ areas of interest. Kyla Johnson-Trammel and Jorge Aguilar, superintendents of the Oakland and Sacramento school districts reflected on the range of challenges in adopting such sweeping changes, ranging from collective bargaining to professional development to higher education incentives

And we explored dilemmas around ensuring that postsecondary math pathways, college admissions policies, and high school math pathways are implemented in ways that advance social and racial equity.

Watch a highlights video of the event.

Explore the convening materials and presentations below.

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