Re: Gender equity in math

Date: Tue Aug 17 1999 - 11:08:30 EDT

As parents we feel a great ''renewal of hope'' when we encounter teachers who
are aware of the importance of reaching equitable levels in math and science for
girls. These, aside from sports, are the areas we concentrate on on insuring
that our daughter does well and that the levels of ''biases'' are eliminated.

In our daughter's 6th grade advanced math this year it really became a struggle.
The teacher was not very sympathetic. It was a fight mainly because the boys in
that class were very disruptive and they (the whole class was constantly being
''punished'' by being assigned extra math work!!! Our daughter was placed in the
advanced class at our request (ONLY) because her standarized test scores were
never high enough but we knew and insisted she could do the work...once she was
given the chance she has become one of the best in math.

It seems clear to us that a great deal of children, specially girls,are
''falling through the cracks'' thanks to standarized testing and will never have
the chance to learn to their full potential. That is an area that must be
mobilized and unfortunally the forces for standarizing (measuring) all areas of
learning are gaining force by the minute and those opposing it, like us, are
very much the minority and loosing ground by the minute too. One of the most
important things that math teachers can do for their female students is to
encourage them...encourage them and support them. They need it.

Also I think that is important to pay a great deal of attention at the lower
grades (elementary school) and see the curriculum and the statistics because it
is there that problems begin to form and not one is paying much attention.


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