USA Today changed the headline after well-deserved mockery.
USA Today published a convoluted, garbled mish-mash of “antiracist” Critical Race Training crazy disguised as a serious piece of “journalism” . . . . or maybe it’s an op-ed? Who can tell in these final days of leftwing propaganda disguised as “news”?
In an effort to promote equity and access for kids of color, girls and low-income students, many math teachers are shifting toward inclusive instruction. It’s controversial. 🧵https://t.co/S3WS2LlZg8
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 7, 2021
NOTE: USA Today changed the headline after endless and well-deserved mockery to “Is Math Education Racist?”
As is so often the case when leftist propagandists engage in what could be meaningful discourse, the team of four writers on this piece (FOUR!) start out asking the wrong question and, in the process, completely recast and mischaracterize the actual debate that is taking place regarding the decimation of K-12 maths education in favor of nonsensical “antiracist” lunacy.
This is the same rhetorical gaslighting the left uses when saying “but CRT isn’t taught in K-12 classrooms.” And, in fact, this article provides an excellent example of exactly how CRT has taken root in K-12 classrooms without the actual legal theory being “taught.”
CRT In K-12 Maths Classrooms
The debate about mathematics being “racist” arose due to the “antiracist” rantings of Critical Race Theory proponents. This Marxist ideology sees every disparity between blacks (and to a lesser, begrudging, degree other minorities, except Asians) and whites as inherently, always, and only rooted in “white supremacy” and a “systemic racism” that favors white people. There is no other possible explanation, including the actual reasons for these disparities.
It is important to note that CRT is really about blacks, slavery, and reparations. However, since black people make up only about 12-13% of the total U.S. population and are thus not large/powerful enough in voting bloc terms to matter politically, regressive Democrats—still reveling in their drug-addled glory days, of ’60s Helter Skelter Charles Manson race war lunacy—decided it would be good to lump in Latinos, Hispanics, Native Americans, even Hawaiians and Eskimos in their relentless pursuit of manufacturing racist division of Americans into identity politics’ voting blocs for the purposes of a cold (or if they can manage it, a hot) racial war on American soil.
The goal is to turn this, in 2021, completely fabricated “unjust” system of “white supremacist” racism on its head, to destroy everything (burn it all to the ground, as they like to say), and to purposefully and willfully construct a new systemic racism that favors blacks (and to a lesser, begrudging, degree other minorities, except Asians) at the expense of whites (and, of course, Asians).
In order to accomplish this goal, it’s important to scour every field and find out where disparities between blacks and whites exist, point at it while screeching RAAACISM!, and then dismantle whatever it is. In this case, it’s mathematics. Asians as a group excel at maths, with whites also doing quite well, while blacks, statistically speaking, tend not to do as well. The only possible reason for this racial gap in maths achievement, according to the childish, binary “thinking” of these Marxists, is racism (just substitute race for class to see how this new twist on Marxism works).
Instead of doing something logical like finding a way to improve the maths scores of blacks, the chosen approach is to just declare the field racist and posit that maths is not only over-emphasized in STEM (which literally stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—the first three of which cannot exist without the latter) but that no one of any race needs advanced courses in maths, that maths is “intuitive,” and that students just spontaneously “feel” the answer to algebra or geometry problems.
Because, they assert, if a student thinks/feels that the answer to “what does two plus two equal?” is ‘fifty-eleven,’ that’s a win because they are “engaged” enough to provide any answer at all. And everyone knows you get a participation badge for engagement and would be very very sad if you knew that your ‘fifty-eleven’ answer wouldn’t qualify you for AP maths classes. No worries, math is subjective, just like the Humanities. And we eliminated AP courses in maths, anyway! The goal is not to teach maths (or anything) but to ensure “equitable outcomes” (meaning that everyone does equally poorly and is equally stupid. Again, this is Marxism focused on skin color rather than overtly focused on class, but the end goal is the same: a diminished, weakened, and easily “ruled” human commodity.).
While the USA Today article begins with a delightful discussion of K-12 teachers engaging students in maths with “singing, dancing, and sculpture,” one might be under the impression that the debate about maths education in the U.S. is about how maths is taught.
The debate, however, is whether or not the field of mathematics itself is racist (as noted in the original USA Today title). Is it “racist” to require a correct answer, to say that two plus two is always and can only be four? The racist “antiracists” say it is.
The Wall Street Journal reported in May, 2021:
The framework recommends eight times that teachers use a troubling document, “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction.” This manual claims that teachers addressing students’ mistakes forthrightly is a form of white supremacy. It sets forth indicators of “white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom,” including a focus on “getting the right answer,” teaching math in a “linear fashion,” requiring students to “show their work” and grading them on demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter. “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false,” the manual explains. “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuates ‘objectivity.’ ” Apparently, that’s also racist.
Yes, according to the racist “antiracist” CRT training, objectivity is racist. As is being on time (perhaps, given the war on maths, even being able to tell time is racist?) and sending back cold food in a restaurant.
This ridiculous dumbing down of mathematics was recently blasted by STEM professionals who are alarmed and dismayed at the crazy.
USA Today’s Gaslighting “Antiracist” Propaganda
Not only does the USA Today article begin with the wrong question, a fact they appear to concede having changed the title from “Is Math Racist?” to “Is Math Education Racist?”, but they then proceed to skate past the actual debate before flitting over the left’s pet deflections and bizarre stance on (teaching) mathematics as intuitive, subjective, and nonlinear.
They approvingly note:
But other, bolder recommendations to make math more inclusive are blowing up the world of mathematics education. Schools are collapsing math “tracks” to put kids of all abilities in the same classes and adding data science courses that carry the same prestige as calculus, long seen as a gateway to a career in STEM fields – and elite colleges.
Another heated issue: the extent to which math education should include real-world problems involving racial and social inequities. Fairly or not, that debate has landed in the murky soup of “critical race theory” digressions.
The changes have pitted mathematicians and math educators against each other and sparked criticism from affluent parents upset by the elimination of gifted tracks. They’ve caused upheaval in one state, California, as professors, parents and teachers spar over proposed changes to the state’s K-12 math framework.
“We’re not changing or lowering the standards. We’re outlining how inequitable the teaching of math is right now,” said Jo Boaler, a Stanford University math education professor at the forefront of the changes.
Ah, yes, all that demand for correct answers, showing one’s work, and not only understanding the underlying mathematical principles but being able to apply them is so “inequitable.” And stuff.
The article then flits from random point to random point—California math wars, “dropping a math beat,” why axing gifted maths programs “works,” and the ludicrous section on why this application of CRT in K-12 in maths education is not actually the application of CRT in maths education (it is)—before concluding on a note that undermines any argument they think they are making for dumbing down maths to ‘help’ black people.
In Yonkers, New York, parent Cheryl Brannan didn’t think her daughter was getting enough support in math and science class, either. That was 10 years ago, but it prompted Brannan to launch an outside tutoring program for Black girls.
Brannan’s daughter, Sayidana Brannan-Douglas, now 24, remembers being tracked in high school. She was placed in advanced algebra in ninth grade, but not advanced earth science, based on her middle-school scores.
Since then, Brannan-Douglas and more than 1,000 middle and high school students in Westchester County have participated in her mom’s summer camps or year-round programs to practice math and science skills and to learn about careers in STEM fields.
. . . . Brannan-Douglas now knows she would have been fine in advanced science with additional resources, akin to those found in the camps and workshops her mom started.
She went on to attend SUNY’s Stony Brook University, majoring in technological systems management.
“In middle school, I wasn’t underqualified,” she said. “I was underresourced.”
So wait, Brannan-Douglas was capable, she just wasn’t provided the advanced placement course in earth science she needed to excel? Then, why, pray tell, are the “antiracists” insisting on eliminating all of these resources for black students? Why are “antiracist” radicals essentially writing off all black students as “underqualified” and ensuring that they are forever “underresourced” under the ‘math is racist’ banner?
Isn’t the true message of Brannan-Douglas’ story that she needed more and better maths instruction, including access to AP classes, not less?
USA Today Lambasted For Incoherent Nonsense
Math isn't racist… but the "educators" who think it needs to be changed and made easier because some black kids struggle with it… ARE.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) December 8, 2021
No, math is not racist. Major venues like @USATODAY even asking this question is a sign of cultural sickness.
Racial disparities can be addressed (in part) by using the best evidence-based pedagogical practices that enable student learning. Please stop suggesting math is racist pic.twitter.com/aZHAC9L0rR
— Peter Boghossian (@peterboghossian) December 8, 2021
"Is math racist?" is not an article on The Onion.
— Eve Barlow (@Eve_Barlow) December 8, 2021
Is this a joke? pic.twitter.com/02DH4I4MrV
— Daniel Lacalle (@dlacalle_IA) December 8, 2021
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