California’s new educational guidelines say math is racist

California is set to adopt new math teaching principles that are based in critical race theory. These changes, which include deemphasizing calculus and pulling programs for academically gifted students, will “apply social justice principles to math lessons.”

These guidelines do not instruct educators to teach critical race theory, but rather use critical race theory as a guide for the formation of teaching principles. Critical race theory is not being taught to students, but taught to teachers, who are then meant to use it to formulate their own practices.

The goal of the new math framework is “to maintain rigor while also helping remedy California’s achievement gaps” for black, Latino, and poor students. the reason for the changes is that California students are falling behind in math.

“We were transforming math education, and change is hard and scary,” Rebecca Pariso, a math teacher at Hueneme Elementary School District told the San Francisco Standard. “Especially if you don’t understand why that change needs to occur. But I didn’t expect it to go this far.” The inspiration for these new guidelines came from San Francisco educational standards.

In the new guidelines, which will up for consideration prior to their potential adoption in July, reading in Chapter 2, “Teaching for Equity and Engagement,” reads that “Cultural relevance is important for learning and also for expanding a collective sense of what mathematical communities look and sound like to reflect California’s diverse history.”

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Bates College eyes revamping calculus, other math courses to focus on ‘colonialism and privilege’

A working group of professors and students at Bates College has recommended the school require all majors to offer two courses on “race, colonialism, white supremacy, power, and privilege,” according to a copy of the plan obtained by The College Fix.

In doing so, according to the group’s recommendations, each department could alter existing classes to fit the racial education requirements.

Bates College is a private liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine. It hosts about 2,000 undergraduate students, and the school estimates tuition and fees to be nearly $78,000 per year.

For instance, the group suggests courses like Math 105 (Calculus I) could “situate race, white supremacy, colonialism, power, and privilege centrally and attend to them throughout the course.”

If the plan is implemented, students would be required to take one introductory course and one advanced course centered on race. For example, STEM majors could satisfy the advanced requirement by taking “Math 233: Mathematics for Social Justice.”

The report recommends that in order to fulfill the racial education requirements, a math class must include “understanding how mathematical methods can expose racial and other injustices, and the role of mathematics as a gatekeeper and driver of injustice.”

In biology, a course must include “the context of a genetics course to understand the social construction of race, and the fact that there is nothing biological supporting these hierarchies and historical injustices.”

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Ancient Tablet Shows Pythagorean Theorem 1000 Years Before His Birth

An almost 4000-year-old clay tablet displays an early form of applied geometry practiced by the ancient Babylonians, thousands of years before the math was initially thought to have been discovered.

Did The Babylonians Have Geometry?

Trigonometry was largely understood to have been first discovered by the Greeks around the second century BCE. The word itself came from a combination of the Greek words for ‘earth’ and ‘measure.’

Prominent figures such as Euclid and Pythagoras created foundations and theorems that were instrumental in advancing the understanding of mathematics throughout the western world. Some of their work is still being used in current modern applications, such as Pythagoras’ theorem regarding right triangles.

While the Greeks may have had the greatest impact worldwide with their mathematical discoveries, it would eventually be revealed that they were not the first. In 2017, researchers at the University of New South Wales found a famous Babylonian tablet from 3,700 years ago, known as “Plimpton 322,” (seen below) that contained a trigonometric table inscribed on it. It had sequences of numbers that are known as Pythagorean triples, despite it being thousands of years before Pythagoras lived when the tablet was used.

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Virginia Department of Education to Eliminate All Accelerated Math Courses as Part of ‘Equity’ Plan

The state of Virginia is set to eliminate all accelerated math courses in the state’s public schools before the 11th grade, ostensibly as part of an “equity” plan to make math classes easier for all races, according to Fox News.

The change was made by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and was announced by multiple county-level school districts and officials. Formally known as the Virginia Mathematics Pathway Initiative (VMPI), this plan essentially removes all options for students who would normally elect to take a more advanced level of math if they have demonstrated a proficiency in the subject, and instead keeps the curriculum at the most basic level for every grade up to 11th grade.

Ian Serotkin, a member of the Loudoun County school board, commented negatively on the change in policy on Facebook Tuesday. “This initiative,” he explained, “will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade. This is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this. All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6. All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7…Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses.”

As such, the plan would eliminate such advanced courses as Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2. VDOE’s website lists as one of its motivations behind the change a determination to “improve equity in mathematics learning opportunities.”

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California Weighs ‘Equitable Math’: Goal of Obtaining Correct Answer Is Racist

The California education department is considering implementing a statewide math framework that promotes the concept that working to figure out a correct answer in math is an example of racism and white supremacy invading the classroom.

The framework, titled “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction,” is intended to be “exercises for educators to reflect on their own biases to transform their instructional practice.”

The “Equitable Math” website states its training manual was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the primary private source of funding for the Common Core State Standards.

“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions,” the document states. “Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.”

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2+2=5: Oregon Department of Education Pushes Course Claiming Math is Racist Because It Requires a Correct Answer

The Oregon Department of Education is promoting an online course that claims math is racist because it requires a correct answer.

The class, called “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction,” describes itself as “an integrated approach to mathematics that centers Black, Latinx, and Multilingual students” that provides “opportunities for ongoing self-reflection as they seek to develop an anti-racist math practice.”

“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions,” the guide states. “Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.”

First reported by Campus Reform,  the“white supremacy culture” cited by the document include a focus on “getting the ‘right’ answer” and requiring students to show their work.

Campus Reform notes that the authors of the program state that “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

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There Is No Such Thing as “White” Math

Mathematics allowed a young Sergiu, who came of age in Ceausescu’s Romania, to escape to a world where right and wrong couldn’t be fudged, and, ultimately, to a life of freedom in the United States. Without math, his life quite literally would not have been possible.

In the piece below he explains how activists are destroying his discipline in the name of progress. Worse, they are robbing poor children of the opportunity to raise themselves up by mastering it — with untold effects on all of us.

Math, with its seemingly unbiased tools — 2 + 2 always equals 4 — has presented a problem for an ideological movement that sees any inequality of outcome as evidence of systemic bias. The problem cannot be that some kids are better at math, or that some teachers are better at teaching it. Like so much else, the basic woke argument against math is that it is inherently racist and needs to be made antiracist. That is accomplished by undermining the notion of right and wrong answers, by getting rid of the expectation that students show their work, by referring to mathematical testing tools as racist, and by doing away with accelerated math classes.

If that sounds like a caricature, I urge you to read this whole document, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which Sergiu writes about below. As the linguist John McWhorter put it in a powerful piece published yesterday: “to distrust this document is not to be against social justice, but against racism.”

Sergiu wrote me in an email that the situation in his field reminds him of this line from Thomas Sowell: “Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.”

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Woke Math Doesn’t Add Up

Last week, the ODE promoted through its newsletter a short course called the “Pathway to Math Equity Microcourse.” The “microcourse” is designed for middle school teachers to teach them to use its toolkit for “dismantling racism in mathematics.”

The toolkit, according to a Fox News report, includes a list of ways “white supremacy culture” supposedly “infiltrates math classrooms.” The ones cited include that the “focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer’,” and students are “required to ‘show their work,’ ” which used to be keys to teaching math to grade-schoolers.

The toolkit says that “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so.” It adds that “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

Objectivity must be banned because its exercise disproves what the wokeist whackos are saying.

The toolkit encourages teachers not to focus on students getting the “right” answer but to come up with more than one answer to questions that are “equally right,” as if that were, ahem, mathematically possible. It also encourages teachers to adopt its guidelines to help “identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views.”

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