The Serious Games of Racial Accounting in Schools


  • Martha Irene Martinez


race/ethnicity, racial measurement, Latinos, multi-racial students, racial disparities


Educational disparities are frequently framed in racial comparisons that are based on data generated by sorting and counting racial subgroups. Our reliance on these data, and the sorting and counting mechanisms entailed therein, is fundamental to debates about racial inequalities. What is largely ignored in achievement gap discourse is how racial data collection procedures naturalize and legitimize what counts as race and what doesn’t. The contested racial status of Latinos illustrates the tension within and political significance of government-sanctioned racial classificatory schemes. By situating race discourse within actual race data collection practices, particularly as they relate to Latinos in the U.S. and other racial misfits, this study explores how technologies of truth re-create racial (arti)facts. It also considers the implications of recent changes to racial accounting procedures in schools.

Author Biography

Martha Irene Martinez

Martha I. Martinez recently received her Ph.D. in Educational Methodology, Policy and Leadership from the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on K-12 policies and practices that promote or undermine educational equity for underserved populations, especially English language learners, racial/ethnic minorities and low-income populations.




How to Cite

Martinez, M. I. (2011). The Serious Games of Racial Accounting in Schools. Current Issues in Education, 14(3). Retrieved from