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Equity for All Students of Mathematics: Aligning Beliefs and Practices

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"A major issue for mathematics educators is helping students with disabilities; minorities, females, and low socioeconomic groups become proficient mathematicians. Although teachers voice a belief that all children can learn mathematics, their practices are not consistent with that belief. In order to achieve equity, it is essential that teachers carefully examine this "disconnect" and align beliefs and practices. The many gaps in achievement can only close by narrowing the teaching gap and by using instructional strategies that accommodate the needs of each student of mathematics and provide equitable access, opportunity, high expectations, appropriate support, and challenge for ALL students (Principles and Standards for School Mathematics [PSSM], 2000). There must be school-based and system-wide support that bridges beliefs and practices with expenditures of time and money, structures of operation, and deep understanding of and commitment to change if each student is to receive equitable treatment and opportunity to learn mathematics."