Lately I've heard lots of talks about equity in education, and in mathematics education in particular. Jeannie Oaks from UCLA gave a very informative talk at UofM last week where she talked about the consequences of Proposition 209 (banning affirmative action) in CA. The reason this was relevant is that almost identical proposition passed last year in Michigan. As a side note, she gave some frightening statistics about math teachers' qualifications, or the lack thereof, in CA schools. Mrc just yesterday said he was going to Math and Social Justice conference. You might want to check out a very good film The Boys of Baraka. It is a documentary about boys from Baltimore's projects who are sent to boarding school in Kenya. A tidbit from the special features, just for math teachers:
I'll go to LA to go to college to become an actor. If the whole actor thing doesn't pan out, I can always be a math teacher,
said one of the boys from the movie.
New: Coincidentally, I just saw this article in NY Times:
A scathing 18-month evaluation of California’s public schools has concluded that the state’s educational system is “broken,” crippled by a complex bureaucracy, flawed teacher policies and misspent school money, leaving it in need of sweeping reforms that could cost billions of dollars.