Racism, Assessment, and Instructional Practices: Implications for Mathematics Teachers of African American Students

Julius Davis, Danny Bernard Martin


Couched within a larger critique of assessment practices and how they are used to stigmatize African American children, the authors examine teachers instructional practices in response to demands of increasing test scores. Many mathematics teachers might be unaware of how these test-driven instructional practices can simultaneously reflect well-intentioned motivations and contribute to the oppression of their African American students. The authors further argue that the focus of assessing African American children via comparison to white children reveals underlying institutionally-based racist assumptions about the competencies of African American students. Strategies are suggested for helping teachers resist test-driven instructional practices while promoting excellence and empowerment for African American students in mathematics.


African American students, assessment, instructional practice, racial hierarchy, racism

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