Reading the World With Math

How Much Does it Cost? 
by Marilyn Frankenstein

pp. 19-28 in Rethinking Mathematics:  
Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers

The article in Rethinking Mathematics was adapted from a version that originally appeared in Beyond Heroes and Holidays, edited by Enid Lee, Deborah Menkart and Margo Okazawa-Rey. Here are the original notes and references as they appeared with that article. (Teaching for Change, 2002)


  1. Thanks to my friend, UMass/Lowell economist Chris Tilly, for this problem.
  2. This situation has changed in Massachusetts, which now has a flat rate structure, and my reference did not contain real data for Michigan. So although the context-setting data are real, the numbers used to understand the concept of declining block rates are realistic, but not real.
  3. Grossman (1994) argues that “Europe has always been a political and cultural definition. Geographically, Europe does not exist, since it is only a peninsula on the vast Eurasian continent.” He goes on to discuss the history and various contradictions of geographers’ attempts to “draw the eastern limits of ‘western civilization’ and the white race” (p. 39).


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