Math Education for America?: Policy Networks, Big Business, and Pedagogy Wars, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Math Education for America?

Policy Networks, Big Business, and Pedagogy Wars, 1st Edition

By Mark Wolfmeyer


194 pages

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Math Education for America? analyzes math education policy through the social network of individuals and private and public organizations that influence it in the United States. The effort to standardize a national mathematics curriculum for public schools in the U.S. culminated in 2010 when over 40 states adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Rather than looking at the text of specific policy documents, this book complements existing critical reviews of the national math education curriculum by employing a unique social network analysis. Breaking new ground in detailing and theorizing the politics of math education, Wolfmeyer argues that the private interests of this network are closely tied to a web of interrelated developments: human capital education policy, debates over traditional and reform pedagogy, the assumed content knowledge deficit of math teachers, and the proliferation of profit-driven educational businesses. By establishing the interconnectedness of these interests with the national math education curriculum, he shows how the purported goals of math education reform are aligned with the prevailing political agendas of this social network rather than the national interest.


“… An extremely important book. The extensive network analysis linking the math pedagogies to particular institutional interests is valuable for understanding the complicated picture of who supports particular policy movements and why.”

Kenneth Saltman, DePaul University, USA

"Wolfmeyer takes on the tasks of identifying who is behind the move toward the nationalization of mathematics education as well as making transparent their vision of mathematics for the citizens of the United States. He argues that math-ematics education is being skewed toward the interests of corporations by corpo-rate proxies and academics. Wolfmeyer shows the intermingling of the corporate representatives, academics, and government agencies behind the nationalization of mathematics education through a critical analysis of the policy networks, or social network analysis (SNA)."

Jeff Barger, NSTA Recommends

Table of Contents




1. Introducing Math Education for America and its Historical Context

2. Social Network Analysis and National Math Education

3. Human Capital: Math Education for America’s Purpose

4. Pedagogy Wars and Human Capital

5. The Content Knowledge Deficits of Math Teachers

6. Achieving Efficiency? The Testing Industry in Math Policy

7. The Failure of Math Education for America


About the Author

Mark Wolfmeyer, Assistant Professor, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, USA

About the Series

Sociocultural, Political, and Historical Studies in Education

This series focuses on studies of public and private institutions, the media, and academic disciplines that contribute to educating--in the broadest sense--students and the general public. The series welcomes volumes with multicultural perspectives, diverse interpretations, and a range of political points of view from conservative to critical. Books accepted for publication in this series will be written for an academic audience and, in some cases, also for use as supplementary readings in graduate and undergraduate courses.

Topics to be addressed in this series include, but are not limited to, sociocultural, political, and historical studies of

Local, state, national, and international educational systems

Elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities

Public institutions of education such as museums, libraries, and foundations

Computer systems and software as instruments of public education

The popular media as forms of public education

Content areas within the academic study of education, such as curriculum and instruction, psychology, and educational technology

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General