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Title: "Simply a matter of numbers": Public Commentators' Construction of a Mathematical Model of Equality Perpetuating the Myth of Mathematic as Objective and Neutral
Within the larger narrative of mathematics as the key to both individuals' and society's economic prosperity (Jones, 2022; Shah, 2019), lies the commonly held perception that mathematics is an emotionless and objective subject (Goldin & DeBellis, 2006; Taylor, 1996). In the public political sphere quantitative measures have long been used to provide a mirage of logic and objectivity to arguments, and end conversations because one can only argue numbers with other numbers (see e.g., Ewing, 2018, Mudry, 2009). Additionally, the use of mathematics in political spaces cloaks the individual in a guise of neutrality because the numbers suggest a nonpartisan perspective of phenomena. These myths of mathematics as objective and neutral (i.e., acultural, ahistorical) are weaponized to divert responsibility such that the perpetuation of injustice goes unremedied and irremediable (see e.g., Bonilla-Silva, 2010). In this paper, we use a critical race spatial perspective (Morrison et al. 2017; Solórzano & Vélez, 2016; Vélez & Solórzano, 2017) to demonstrate how the myth of mathematics as objective and neutral provides opportunities to use those narratives to maintain and perpetuate white supremacy. We reveal this by focusing on the discourse of public comments given during a series of school board meetings on the redrawing of Wilhelm elementary school’s attendance zone (all names are pseudonyms). Through the public comments, mathematics was evoked by those advocating for the proposed attendance zone to move 311 students, the majority of which are South Asian and Latinx, as a way to position themselves as neutral. Understanding how mathematics is used in public spheres, particularly in local political spaces like school board meetings, can provide insight into how racism is present in these conversations, yet not explicitly discussed.  more » « less
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Electronic journal for research in science mathematics education
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1 - 17
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    The Terrestrial Parasite Tracker (TPT) project began in 2019 and is funded by the National Science foundation to mobilize data from vector and ectoparasite collections to data aggregators (e.g., iDigBio, GBIF) to help build a comprehensive picture of arthropod host-association evolution, distributions, and the ecological interactions of disease vectors which will assist scientists, educators, land managers, and policy makers. Arthropod parasites often are important to human and wildlife health and safety as vectors of pathogens, and it is critical to digitize these specimens so that they, and their biotic interaction data, will be available to help understand and predict the spread of human and wildlife disease.

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    The creation of this archive was made possible by the National Science Foundation award "Collaborative Research: Digitization TCN: Digitizing collections to trace parasite-host associations and predict the spread of vector-borne disease," Award numbers DBI:1901932 and DBI:1901926

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    Datasets under review:
     - University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Insect Division. Full Database Export 2020-11-20 provided by Erika Tucker and Barry Oconner. accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:02:48.801Z
     - Academy of Natural Sciences Entomology Collection for the Parasite Tracker Project accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:04:22.091Z
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     - Texas A&M University, Biodiversity Teaching and Research Collections accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:06:40.154Z
     - Brigham Young University Arthropod Museum accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:06:51.420Z
     - California Academy of Sciences Entomology accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:07:16.371Z
     - Clemson University Arthropod Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:07:40.925Z
     - Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) Parasite specimens (DMNS:Para) accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:08:00.730Z
     - Field Museum of Natural History IPT accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:18:51.995Z
     - Illinois Natural History Survey Insect Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:19:37.563Z
     - UMSP / University of Minnesota / University of Minnesota Insect Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:20:27.232Z
     - Milwaukee Public Museum Biological Collections Data Portal accessed via on 2022-06-24T14:20:46.185Z
     - Museum for Southern Biology (MSB) Parasite Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T15:16:07.223Z
     - The Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:09:40.702Z
     - Ohio State University Acarology Laboratory accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:10:00.281Z
     - Frost Entomological Museum, Pennsylvania State University accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:10:07.741Z
     - Purdue Entomological Research Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:10:26.654Z
     - Texas A&M University Insect Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:10:58.496Z
     - University of California Santa Barbara Invertebrate Zoology Collection accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:12:29.854Z
     - University of Hawaii Insect Museum accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:12:41.408Z
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     - US National Museum of Natural History Ixodes Records accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:13:45.666Z
     - Price Institute of Parasite Research, School of Biological Sciences, University of Utah accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:13:54.724Z
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     - Giraldo-Calderón, G. I., Emrich, S. J., MacCallum, R. M., Maslen, G., Dialynas, E., Topalis, P., … Lawson, D. (2015). VectorBase: an updated bioinformatics resource for invertebrate vectors and other organisms related with human diseases. Nucleic acids research, 43(Database issue), D707–D713. doi:10.1093/nar/gku1117. accessed via on 2022-06-24T16:14:11.965Z
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    Note that all files ending with .tsv are files formatted 
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    Included in this review archive are:

      This file.

      Summary across all reviewed collections of total number of distinct review comments.

      Summary by reviewed collection of total number of distinct review comments.

      Summary of number of indexed interaction records by institutionCode and collectionCode.

      All review comments by collection.

      All indexed interactions for all reviewed collections.

      All indexed interactions for all reviewed collections selecting only sourceInstitutionCode, sourceCollectionCode, sourceCatalogNumber, sourceTaxonName, interactionTypeName and targetTaxonName.

      Details on the datasets under review.

      Program used to update datasets and generate the review reports and associated indexed interactions.
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