chapter  48
9 Pages

Developing Social Justice Mathematics Curriculum from Students’ Realities: A Case of a Chicago Public School

ByERIC (RICO) GUTSTEIN

In May 2001, fed up with what they perceived as evasive stalling tactics from city offi - cials about their promise of a new high school for Chicago’s Little Village community, 14 neighborhood residents started a hunger strike (Russo, 2003; Stovall, 2005). Nineteen days later, they called off the strike for health reasons. Within weeks, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) administration found the funds they had allocated and promised to Little Village in 1998. At that time, the CPS Board was also committed to building two collegeprep, selective-enrollment high schools in whiter, more affl uent Chicago communities. CPS built those schools, on time and without community struggle, leading many in Little Village (and elsewhere) to view the situation as the “rich getting richer.” But activists in this Mexican immigrant community did not let up easily; the hunger strike culminated a decade-long struggle for a new school in the densely populated neighborhood where many students attended a nearby, overcrowded high school.