The “We the People” Alliance
This Alliance brings together a network of students, parents and guardians, teachers, community members invested in the social and economic health of their communities, school leaders, mathematics educators, mathematicians, individuals working in higher education, and other collaborators who share the following values.
- We believe that students in grades K – 12 who on state tests perform in the bottom quartile in mathematics should graduate from high school able to do college mathematics without remediation, or pursue careers without their mathematics education being an obstacle. We recognize that achieving this goal requires confronting long-standing issues of social justice and the quality of public education in this country. It requires, as a civil right, a new standard for education in the 21st century and citizenship in a democracy. We believe that meeting this goal requires collective action from organizations, groups and individuals working at the national, state and community levels, inside and outside of formal school environments. We believe this “bottom up” work requires an alliance that can build effective collaborative structures that achieve the greatest shared and collective impact. These structures should be democratic, so that the voices and experiences of alliance members can be heard and acted upon in planning and making decisions. We recognize that some of these voices have historically been marginalized and ignored.
- We understand that empowering our alliance for action will require developing tools and spaces for engaging in analysis and critiques of systems that are obstacles to our goals, identifying critical problems to be solved and producing a repertoire of best practices for measuring progress. Opportunities for empowerment should serve our Alliance in ways that advance collaboration, connectedness, and the transformation we seek in mathematics education producing greater equity and participation in our democracy.
- We value the many innovative approaches necessary to transform education. This transformative education will require growth in educational practices that place the power of learning and teaching in the hands of students. We value students as partners in all aspects of Alliance work. Their success as mathematics learners and teachers, and advocacy for an education that addresses their current and future 21st century lives is essential to the Alliance goal. We value teachers and their continuing professional development using models of excellence that enhance quality interactions with students through positive classroom cultures. “What to teach?”, “How to teach it?” and “What are my students learning?” are understood as fundamental questions of their work. We believe answering these fundamental questions also requires an attention to fair, valid, and equitable ways in which the effectiveness of an educational experience is measured and evaluated.
- We believe that transformative education will also require innovation by those who lead schools and school systems. Shapers of educational policy must create and support pathways for students to achieve the Alliance goal. National experts must be willing to direct their work to achieving the Alliance goal. All of these leaders must see students in the bottom quartile, and those who teach them as valuable assets to their schools and communities.