[RUME] Jo Boaler has asked people to share this

Edward A Silver easilver at umd.umich.edu
Mon Oct 15 15:29:42 EDT 2012

I believe the dispute to which I referred was well known in the "math wars" circles 15 years ago. Given that there are many more and different social networks today, it may appear that this is brand new. My intent in sending the note was not to announce something new, but rather as a bit of history for those who may not have been engaged at that time. 


----- Original Message -----


Why did it take you so long to “come out’ about this? 

From: Rume [mailto:rume-bounces at betterfilecabinet.com] On Behalf Of Portnoy, Neil 
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2012 7:16 AM 
To: Edward A Silver 
Cc: <mathedgrads at umich.edu>; Mary J. Schleppegrell; <coconnor at umich.edu>; Margaret Smith; Mary Kay Stein; <Rume at betterfilecabinet.com>; Elizabeth Moje; <joboaler at stanford.edu>; <MSU-MATHED at LIST.MSU.EDU> 
Subject: Re: [RUME] Jo Boaler has asked people to share this 

Thanks, Ed, for sharing your history with Wayne Bishop. I, too, am sad to see the dirt that is still being spread and the impacts of it. 

It seems that some people, to paraphrase Norman Fisher (Everyday Zen Foundation - http://www.everydayzen.org/ ), do not understand the inviolability of karma. That the power of our words, thoughts, and deeds the impact of which is our responsibility. He asks, "Do we recognize our awesome responsibility to act for the good in a troubled world?" 

We are fortunate, indeed, that Jo Boaler and all of the folks who stand with her against this dirt, recognize their responsibility. 


On Oct 13, 2012, at 7:50 PM, Edward A Silver wrote: 

Wayne Bishop engaged in very similar misbehavior back in the mid-1990s when we began publishing results from the QUASAR project. He tried to unearth the identity of participating schools, teachers and students, despite being informed that individuals were protected by signed IRB agreements. He did identify one QUASAR school in California and harassed the principal and teachers there on several occasions, including trying to get the school board to dismiss the principal and teaching staff. He also engaged in scurrilous attacks on the credibility of our findings and analysis, choosing to ignore almost everything we reported regarding changes over time and trends, and focusing instead on one anomalous one-time counter-directed result that was due to a change in state testing procedure. Much of what he wrote at the time could properly be classified as ad hominem attacks and attempts at character assassination. He also engaged in similar character assassination attempts on Tom Romberg, and other people and projects in the progressive wing of math education. 

I am deeply saddened to see that his bad behavior continues to this day and that Jo Boaler has been soiled in the process. Nevertheless, I recommend to all the following quotation that was passed along to me at the time when I was wrangling with Bishop: "Never wrestle with a pig. You'll just get dirty. And the pig loves it!" 
----- Original Message -----

I strongly recommend every read this: 
It is about 'persecution' of Jo Boaler's work, which focuses on math education reform and equity. It is unfortunate and sad to hear that this goes on (and at a highly respected university), but I think it is important that we are aware of this both as individuals engaging in research and as a community. 


---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
From: "Beth Herbel-Eisenmann" < bhe at msu.edu > 
Date: Oct 13, 2012 8:04 AM 
Subject: Jo Boaler has asked people to share this 
To: < MSU-MATHED at list.msu.edu > 

Below is a link to a post by Jo Boaler, who has decided to share her story. I think it's important for our community to read and to (hopefully) talk about: 




B E T H H E R B E L - E I S E N M A N N 

Associate Professor, Mathematics Education 

620 Farm Lane 

Teacher Education, 316 Erickson Hall 

Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI, 48824 

(517) 432-9607 

fax (517) 432-5092 


If you do not use the power of who you are in the service of what you say you believe, someone else will use you and most likely to my detriment 

-Audre Lorde, activist 

Monograph Editor, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 

Board Member, Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators ( www.amte.net ) 

co-PI, Learning About New Demands in Schools: Considering Algebra Policy Environments [LANDSCAPE] (with Janine Remillard & Michael Steele) 

co-PI, Mathematics Discourse in Secondary Classrooms (M-DISC): A Case-Based Professional Development Curriculum (with Michael Steele & Michelle Cirillo), http://www.mdisc.org/ 

co-Investigator, Authority and Positioning in Mathematics Classrooms (with David Wagner) 

Edward A. Silver 
Dean & William A. Brownell Collegiate Professor of Education 
School of Education 
University of Michigan-Dearborn 
Fairlane Center, 19000 Hubbard Drive 
Dearborn, MI 48128 
(o) 313-593-5435 
(f) 313-583-6746 

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