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Woke Educators Release Letter Declaring Objective Math a Form of ‘White Supremacy’

This article was originally published by Kerry McDonald at The Foundation for Economic Education. 

Mandatory teaching standards that focus on critical theory and identity politics to the detriment of liberalism and individualism are already working their way through state legislatures.

Now, math education itself has been deemed “racist.” A group of educators just released a document calling for a transformation of math education that focuses on “dismantling white supremacy in math classrooms by visibilizing the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math.”

Among the educators’ recommendations, which officials in some states are promoting, are calls to “identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views,” “provide learning opportunities that use math as resistance,” and “encourage them to disrupt the disproportionate push-out of people of color in [STEM] fields.”

Beyond activism, these recommendations also argue that traditional approaches to math education promote racism and white supremacy, such as requiring students to show their work or prioritizing correct answers to math problems. The document claims that current math teaching is problematic because it focuses on “reinforcing objectivity and the idea that there is only one right way” while it “also reinforces paternalism.”

This week, some prominent university professors spoke out against these new woke math education recommendations. Princeton mathematics professor Sergiu Klainerman wrote a guest post on the topic on journalist Bari Weiss’s website. He says: “Attempts to ‘deconstruct’ mathematics, deny its objectivity, accuse it of racial bias, and infuse it with political ideology have become more and more common — perhaps, even, at your child’s elementary school.”

Klainerman, who grew up in communist Romania, warns that this current classroom dogma is dangerous. He writes: “When it comes to education, I believe the woke ideology is even more harmful than old-fashioned communism.”

Columbia University English professor John McWhorter also chimed in against this math education document and its recommendations.

“This lovely pamphlet is teaching us that it is racist to expect black kids to master the precision of math,” he writes in a blog post. “To wit – its message, penned by people who consider themselves some of the most morally advanced souls in the history of the human species, is one that Strom Thurmond would have happily taken a swig of whiskey to.”

“This, folks, is the ‘Critical Race Theory’ that so many of us are resisting, not a simple program for ‘social justice,’” McWhorter later adds. “To distrust this document is not to be against social justice, but against racism.”

While the growing emphasis on critical theory in American classrooms has broader societal implications, including the devaluation of objectivity and individualism, the real victims of this educational approach are the students themselves. In one of his final articles, before he died last December, economist Walter Williams decried the poor academic performance of students in large urban school districts.

“In two city high schools,” Williams wrote of Detroit, “only one student tested proficient in math and none are proficient in English. Yet, the schools spent a full week learning about ‘systemic racism’ and ‘Black Lives Matter activism.’”

As this “woke” worldview continues to penetrate classrooms with mandatory curriculum standards, families who don’t agree with this ideology—or who simply want their children to learn basic academics—should have the opportunity to pursue alternatives to their assigned district school. Currently, 26 states have active school choice legislation that would enable funding to follow students, including adopting education savings accounts or tax-credit scholarship programs. Meanwhile, overall support for school choice policies has grown since last spring.

The COVID-19 school shutdowns have put parents back in charge of their children’s learning in ways that were unimaginable pre-pandemic, with many parents leaving their district schools in droves. Indeed, the Associated Press reported a sharp decline in public school enrollment this academic year across the 33 states for which data were available. Millions of families have pursued private education options such as independent schooling and homeschooling that can offer more consistent, higher-quality in-person instruction than a district’s Zoom schooling or hybrid offerings.

As the New York Times reported on Monday, fewer than half of K-12 students are currently attending full-time, in-person schooling and families are increasingly seeking other options.

“Now many parents are beginning to rebel, frustrated with the pace of reopening and determined to take matters into their own hands,” the Times reports. “Some are making contingency plans to relocate, home-school or retreat to private education if their children’s routines continue to be disrupted this fall — a real possibility as some local school officials and teachers’ unions argue for aggressive virus mitigation measures to continue, potentially even after educators are vaccinated.”

The amplification of “woke” ideology in classrooms is likely to accelerate the current exodus from district schools. Parents have experienced a renewed sense of responsibility for their children’s education. Now they in many cases have had a front-row seat to what their children are actually learning through Zoom school, and hopefully will feel more empowered to push back against new critical theory curriculum standards—and choose an education that values individualism over collectivism.

The post Woke Educators Release Letter Declaring Objective Math a Form of ‘White Supremacy’ first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Even math is tainted by racism, says Wake Forest professor as school launches ‘anti-racist uses of math’ class

Even math is racist, according to the faculty at Wake Forest University.

A recent write-up in the school’s newspaper, Old Gold & Black, outlines a one-credit course currently offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in which students learn about the many ways in which mathematical and statistical models have been employed to foment racism.

What are the details?

The course, officially titled “Racist/Anti-Racist Uses of Math & Stats,” is taught by department chair Sarah Raynor and reportedly deals with “biases in math and statistics” that ultimately result in racist policies such as “over-policing in majority-minority areas to practices in hiring.”

It has been run as a discussion-based course using the textbook, “Weapons of Math Destruction,” written by mathematician and Occupy Wall Street member, Cathy O’Neil.

In an August memo obtained by the College Fix, Raynor informed colleagues that the course would be offered as a response to the “racism and bias to which so many are subjected on a daily basis, punishing bodies and minds through no fault of their own.”

“Like all entrenched systems, our department is not innocent of racism,” Raynor wrote in the memo. “The time has come for us to focus on fighting racism and making plans to create a more equitable educational space.”

In addition to the brand-new class, Raynor noted that the department would be launching a department-level bias reporting system to help fight racism.

What else?

Raynor told the school paper that she and other math faculty hope that the course will expand into a variety of similar courses dealing with the intersection of math and societal issues such as racism, sexism, and anti-queerness.

“What we’re probably going to create is a course called Mathematics and Society … there are like 8 or 10 different topics that I think would be reasonable ways to go,” she said.

She noted that while only eight students are currently enrolled in the class, she expects they’ll “get more [students] as the word gets out.”

“We didn’t even know we wanted to do this until late-summer. We have 8 students, which I think is pretty good for a course that’s weird and doesn’t really help you graduate,” Raynor said.

Yet even those who are not enrolled in the class can be a part of the effort to “decolonize the department,” as the school paper puts it. Every other Monday at 4 p.m., Raynor and other interested parties meet to discuss the issues.

“You don’t have to be a declared math major or an upper-level student or anything, you just have to have interest in how the math department is handling racism and antiracism and other systemic inequity issues to show up, and we would love to hear from students at all levels,” she noted.

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Pundit mocked over major math error on MSNBC blames racism, gets torched again

New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay has used her platform at the newspaper to accuse her critics of racism, after being mocked over a segment on MSNBC where she and anchor Brian Williams promoted a major math error in order to argue that “there is too much money in politics.”

What are the details?

Last week, Gay and Williams highlighted a tweet that read: “[Michael] Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. population is 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million and still have money left over. I feel like a $1 million check would be life-changing for most people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILL LOST.”

Gay and Williams were both mocked online and in the media for missing the obvious fact that the money Bloomberg spent would have left every American with about $1.53, yet the two “experts” carried on the segment as if it were the truth. Gay even suggested the numbers indicated that “there is too much money in politics.”

But on Wednesday, Gay, who is black, responded to her critics with a piece titled, “My People Have Been Through Worse Than a Twitter Mob,” and promoted it with a tweet saying, “A racist Twitter mob came for me over a trivial math mistake. I’m not going anywhere.”

Twitter users overwhelmingly disagreed with Gay’s assertion that she was attacked because of racism, and overwhelming disagreed that her error was “trivial.”

Several respondents argued that Brian Williams, who is Caucasian, was equally called out over the error and false reporting. One person wrote, “Um…Brian Willaims is white. We’re laughing at him too.”

Others noted that being off by roughly $1 million is not exactly a tiny mistake, while another follower asked simply, “Basic math is racist now?”

BlazeTV’s Chad Prather reacted to Gay’s message by tweeting, “I never considered your skin color but I sure did make a lot of fun at how far you rounded up. You have a track record of going to extremes and this is no different.”

As the number of comments criticizing Gay’s tweet outweighed those who gave it an approving nod at an enormous ratio, she took to blocking people who pushed back against her claims of racism.

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