Institutions are being gutted in the pursuit of racial equity, but none so badly — and consequentially — as the public school system.
While many parents are fighting back against the overtly destructive critical race theory agenda, a more dangerous and subtle subversion of education is taking place using the same principles to poison academic subjects.
This is what’s happening at the California Department of Education, where an update to its Mathematics Framework has begun to chip away at the idea of achievement and giftedness while also discouraging students’ access to higher math — all to advance equity.
The documents for the revision to the curriculum, approved in January, immediately give away the department’s leftist bent with a note on the table of contents advising that the “use of the non-binary, singular pronouns they, them, their, theirs, themself, and themselves in this framework is intentional.”
And the madness of leftist philosophies flows seamlessly from there.
The document starts by taking umbrage with any labeling of a child’s abilities in math and asserts that minority students who receive “deficit-oriented labels” are further damaged “by acceleration programs that stratify mathematics pathways for students as early as sixth grade.”
Rather than wonder why certain racial groups aren’t doing as well as others and how the schools could help, the solution is to simply abolish any of these potentially helpful labels.
“An important goal of this framework is to replace ideas of innate mathematics ‘talent’ and ‘giftedness’ with the recognition that every student is on a growth pathway,” the document admits.
It asserts that the labeling of a gifted student is not only something that causes “fragility among students” who might feel pressure to achieve to keep that status (God forbid), but it’s also racist.
“In California in the years 2004-2014, 32 percent of Asian American students were in gifted programs compared with 8 percent of White students, 4 percent of Black students, and 3 percent of Latinx students,” the document says.
But the second chapter is where the math-as-racism argument really takes root against such bigoted ideas as solving for “x” and instead encourages a soft, mealy-mouthed approached to the most cut-and-dry of all academic disciplines.
“To encourage truly equitable and engaging mathematics classrooms we need to broaden perceptions of mathematics beyond methods and answers so that students come to view mathematics as a connected, multi-dimensional subject that is about sense making and reasoning, to which they can contribute and belong,” the chapter’s conclusion says.
“To achieve this, we need to change classroom approaches from work on short questions to instruction that engages students in rich, deep tasks that honor students’ ideas and thinking and draws on their cultural backgrounds as resources.”
It seems progressives don’t understand that mathematics is supposed to mold a child’s mind into analytical thinking rather than the discipline itself being warped and watered down to match the “students’ ideas and thinking.”
If artificially leveling the playing field and replacing equations with feel-good discussions weren’t enough to ruin mathematics education, the department said the “push to calculus in grade twelve is itself misguided.”
Instead, it advances alternatives to higher math because encouraging calculus for 12th-graders “results in highly unequal opportunities — and to very inequitable outcomes — for California students.”
The document went on to note that students often end up taking introductory calculus classes in college anyway because of the deficiency of their high school education.
But rather than use this admonition to improve the quality of instruction, it simply becomes the justification for getting rid of calculus altogether.
This philosophy in education has far-reaching consequences that will rob children — especially minority students — of future opportunities.
The children who aren’t taught proper math or challenged enough have no hope of becoming doctors, engineers, scientists or any other occupation that requires the skill.
Conversely, the students for whom the sky’s the limit in math skills are crippled by a lack of opportunity to move past others because it might make students who are less gifted feel bad.
Rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to teaching math according to skill level, educators should work on bringing all students to their maximum level of achievement in the subject.
Instead, they seek to bring every student down to the lowest common denominator, which helps nobody.
The left is always tinkering with education and reinventing the wheel when it comes to teaching children as they insist U.S. students’ low status in math skills compared with the rest of the world is a result of the way we teach it.
But Americans put the first man on the moon using mathematic equations solved using little more than a pencil, paper and math skills that began with the basics the men and women of NASA were taught as schoolchildren.
Students of every skin color and ethnic background have varying degrees of capabilities, and it’s not racist to separate them according to skill.
But the true aim of progressives is to bring everyone down to the same level of misery in one homogenous cohort of mediocrity.
People are different in many ways, including natural mathematics ability, but that’s not racist, nor is it even problematic — it’s just part of the diversity of human beings.
However, leftists only value diversity when it applies to the least significant difference among people: skin color.
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