During my 18 years in urban education, I taught math to elementary and middle school students. I also worked as a district school improvement coordinator and math director. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time asking: How can we make math education more equitable for all students?
The biggest equity issue I’ve seen is low expectations. Too many students feel like they cannot do math. They bring those expectations of themselves into the classroom. Too often, what gets emphasized in education are students’ deficits and gaps, how they don’t meet standards, how they’re behind. This leads to a culture of low expectations and results in students having low expectations for themselves.