Seattle Schools Proposal Would Turn Math Into a Social Justice-Driven 'Ethnic Studies' Course


The study of politics and history is necessary and good. And any honest look at those topics will include a discussion of the role of racial discrimination in America’s past.

Yet the left doesn’t seem to be interested in honesty when it comes to these discussions. Just take a look at The New York Times’ 1619 Project, in which an allegedly objective outlet seeks to indoctrinate its readers on how racism is part of the very foundation of our country.

Unfortunately, the state of Washington is seeking to do something similar.

A new “Math Ethnic Studies Framework” published by the Seattle Public Schools’ Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee attempts to shoehorn the topics of racism and oppression into perhaps the most apolitical school subject there is.

Yes, Seattle may just be trying to educate its impressionable students on how racist math is, according to Jason Rantz of KTTH-AM.

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The framework document itself is broken down into four themes for K-12 “Math Ethnic Studies.” The themes are “Origins, Identity, and Agency,” “Power and Oppression,” “History of Resistance and Liberation” and “Reflection and Action.”

The four themes contend that math is “rooted in the ancient histories of people and empires of color,” that racist white people used math to “disenfranchise” others, that communities of color were liberated through math and that coursework should foster “a sense of advocacy, empowerment, and action in the students.”

The specifics of the framework are even more dreadful.

For example, the entire “Power and Oppression” section is extremely troublesome. Learning targets listed under that theme include identifying “how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color” and identifying “the inherent inequities of the standardized testing system used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.”

Do you think math should be taught within an ethnic studies framework?

There may be legitimate problems with standardized testing, but it seems racist to assume that minority children are inherently incapable of performing well in tests when they’ve been learning in the same classroom as white children.

That just goes to show the racism inherent in a leftist worldview. The real way to combat racism is to move past using race as a qualifying factor for anything, but that’s not what the left insists on doing.

Instead, leftism teaches children that they are disadvantaged because they aren’t white.

Focusing on race isn’t the only issue, though. Turning math into a social science also poses real problems when it comes to the factual nature of mathematics.

One of the great things about math is that it is generally inarguable. Two plus two will always equal four, by definition. Hard facts like that can provide much-needed relief from the subjective nature of politics.

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The Seattle schools’ framework, however, apparently seeks to throw out objectivity and replace it with the opinions and feelings of unqualified students.

For instance, staying within the “Power and Oppression” theme, one of the “Essential Questions” on the document deals with how oppression rears its ugly head in the math classroom.

In fact, the framework poses the question, “Is there a place for power and authority in the math classroom?”

That’s an easy one. Yes. (Hint: The teacher should be the one with power and authority.)

Here’s another: “Who gets to say if an answer is right?” That’s also easy. Logic defines what is correct about math, and the person with enough expertise to reach the logical conclusion gets to say which answer is right.

One would think that a 15-year teaching veteran with a master’s degree, for example, would have plenty of qualifications to be the authority in a freshman math class, but that might just be too oppressive for Seattle schools.

Imagine how terrible it would be if that teacher were white and teaching black students, perpetuating the discrimination inherent in the system, or something like that.

Hopefully, teachers won’t be labeled “oppressive” when they correct students that get answers wrong, but reading this document doesn’t inspire much confidence in that.

These developments are massive problems within our education system and leftism in general.

The two are unfortunately intertwined, and there are too many leftists doing their best to raise our children in a world of relative truth. They’ve conflated truth and opinion so much, they’ve been able to cleverly disguise their opinions as facts and opposing facts as opinions.

A society can’t survive if we can’t even agree on what is fact. There must be some guiding principles in our discourse, and the factual nature of math is one of those things.

Make no mistake: Plans like Seattle’s are all part of the left’s ulterior motive to control thought and shove truthful, sincere discussion out of the mainstream.

They are trying to raise a generation of useful idiots, and the right cannot let that happen.

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Cade graduated Lyon College with a BA in Political Science in 2019, and has since acted as an assignment editor with The Western Journal. He is a Christian first, conservative second.
Cade graduated Lyon College with a BA in Political Science in 2019, and has since acted as an assignment editor with The Western Journal. He is a Christian first, conservative second.
BA Political Science, Lyon College (2019)