CDSP Content




Do you have a role in meting out social justice in your college?

(A) What ideas do these images evoke?

Newsweek cover of Presidential Election 2000
Man inspects punched ballot for hanging chads
Graphic showing percentage of votes not counted in Florida precincts.
Ballot illustrating how to analyze punches on ballots.
Cartoon of confusing Florida ballot
Hanging chads, punches that did not entirely disconnect from the ballot and will not be counted.
        • Unfair, unjust

        • System rigged so one loses in spite of merit

        • Individuals exercised right in good faith, actions discarded, result of right denied

        • Genuine actions & intentions are not counted

        • Outcome is not representative of actual behavior, intent, & expectation

        • Biased judges discard effort because it does not meet unreasonable standards

        • Scandal & corruption

        • Arbitrary selection of winners and losers, not a fair contest

        • User looses confidence in the system once deemed fair and predictable

(B) These same feelings of injustice are experienced by math LD students

when told they cannot graduate because they have not passed college algebra

in spite of many earnest tries!


          1. Student presents to college with history of math failure.

          2. Student takes college placement exam.

          3. Student places into remedial college math.

          4. Student pays $1,000., is enrolled and works through remedial course.

          5. Student fails remedial course in spite of tutoring, help, extra effort.

          6. Student pays $1,000 . to repeat remedial math course.

          7. Student utilizes all math support resources on campus.

          8. Student enrolls in basic college math course, $1,000.

          9. Student utilizes all math support resources and exerts extraordinary effort.

          10. Student fails first attempt at basic college math class: WD or F.

          11. Student seeks advising, is directed to reattempt class.

          12. Student enrolls in basic college math course, 2nd time @ $1,000.

          13. Student is encouraged to persist beyond WD deadline, student fails course.

          14. Student fulfills all degree requirements (except math).

          15. Student is $4,000. in debt for skills courses promised to impart, but did not.

          16. Student acted in good faith, enrolling in courses, doing all and partaking of resources and supports with the expectation of mastering a math skill set.


          • Injustice: College has $4,000; Student doesn't have promised skill set.

          • Injustice: College advised student to persist in inappropriate course formats

          • Injustice: College knows Student lacks prerequisite skills, yet enrolls Student in courses.

          • Injustice: College withholds degree, graduation, transcripts, demanding math requirement.

          • Injustice: Student's investment of 4-5 years, $120,000+, effort is useless without a degree credential; student cannot advance to career or grad school.

image of horse with horseshoe on hoof from
Image of aa battle lost to a horseshoe: source:



In 1758 Ben Franklin gave us a bit of old wisdom in his Poor Richard' s Almanac:

"For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;

For want of a shoe, the horse was lost;

For want of a horse, the rider was lost;

For want of a rider, the battle was lost;

For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost;

....all for want of a horseshoe nail."

This neglect of small things to great detriment, applies to the dyscalculic student.

For want of a diagnosis, the solution was lost;

For want of a solution, the instruction was lost;

For want of instruction, the knowledge was lost;

For want of knowledge, opportunity was lost;

For want of opportunity, success was lost;

For want of success; independence was lost.

President Obama gives graduation address.