Working for meaningful mathematical change in the schools isn’t easy. There are issues of politics, turf, and sometimes unreasonable expectations on the part of the school district and the volunteers who work with it. But with good intentions, goodwill, and tenacity, there are ways to make a difference. This paper describes some of the ups, the downs, and the ultimate progress in a collaboration between U.C. Berkeley and the Berkeley Unified School district. It offers lessons to mathematicians who want to understand and/or work with their local schools.
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