Who is Robert Q. Berry III?
In August 2020, Robert Q. Berry, a professor of mathematics education, was named associate dean of a newly formed Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. The University of Virginia said, the office would focus on “improving the school’s efforts to address racism and other forms of social injustice, both internally and externally, and on contributing to the competence of professionals and applications of scholarship that serve diverse stakeholders in schools, clinics, community, and government agencies.”
From April 2018 through April 2002, he was the president of The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which registered as a nonstock corporation, with the Virginia Secretary of State on Feb. 21, 1995, based in Reston, Virginia.
He included the hashtags #blackmenteachmath and #blackkidsdomath in his Twitter profile.
His online profile said: “Equity issues in mathematics education are central to Berry’s research efforts within four related areas: (a) understanding Black children’s mathematics experiences; (b) measuring standards-based mathematics teaching practices; (c) unpacking equitable mathematics teaching and learning, and (d) exploring interactions between technology and mathematics education.”
Berry co-edited a book, “High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice,” published in 2020, focusing on “teaching mathematics for social justice,” his online profile said.
What K-12 work has Robert Q. Berry III done?
On Feb. 19, 2021, Oakland Schools, Michigan, signed a contract to pay Robert. Q. Berry III, a professor at the University of Virginia, $1,000 for a 90-minute virtual presentation, “Tracking and recommendations for de-tracking,” on May 13, 2021, from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., for “mathematic educators.” The actual event, “De-Tracking Mathematics: Impacts of Tracking and Recommendations for De-Tracking,” was advertised for one hour starting at 10 a.m.
The presentation was part of an “Oakland County Math Leadership – Speaker Series.”
It said: “Drawing from NCTM’s Catalyzing Change series, Dr. Berry will discuss the impacts of tracking and share recommendations for de-tracking.”
The advertisement quoted a blog post that Berry wrote as president of The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 2018, stating: “There is a compelling body of research dating back nearly 40 years documenting the consistently inequitable impacts of tracking and the role it plays in perpetuating and exacerbating biases and inequities found in American society. Given the body of research and the negative effects of tracking, we must wonder why many schools continue to engage in tracking.”
On March 31, 2021, as part of the speaker series, Berry co-presented a presentation, “Teaching Math for Social Justice.” The promotion said “Teaching Math for Social Justice” is “much more than the lessons teachers might implement in their classrooms.” It said: “It is about the relationships they build with and among students; the teaching practices that help them do that; and the goals to develop positive social, cultural, and mathematics identities—as authors, actors, and doers.” It isn’t clear if Berry was paid separately for that program.
The other presenters were Basil M. Conway IV, Brian R. Lawler and John Staley, coauthors with Berry of a book, “High School Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice.”