I also think there should be an opportunity to review NCTM’s policy commitments and their relation to equity at the national conference. It’s not at all clear to me that the policies that NCTM gets behind lobbying for in DC help to reduce inequality. This should be a matter for member discussion.
My understanding — just from things that I’ve read — is that much of NCTM’s lobbying happens as part of the STEM Ed Coalition [http://www.stemedcoalition.org/about-us/our-leadership/]. Here are aspects of the STEM Ed Coalition platform that trouble me, from the perspective of equity:
- They call for expanding accountability measures and testing to include science, but testing regimes are frequently used to support inequity in practice.
- They call for private money to flow into education to support STEM education, though in practice private money has been used to support inequity.
- The foundation for their STEM platform is the belief that STEM jobs are necessary for national security and economic reasons. This kind of nationalistic justification is often used to support inequities in education — after all, it’s in the national interest to have our very best students, and only our very best, in STEM.
If NCTM wants to put equity at the center, then NCTM policy needs to be revisited at the conferences.