The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article yesterday about a ‘Dismantling Racism in Mathematics’ program which tells teachers not to push students to find the correct answers to math problems because doing so promotes white supremacy. Do you want to drive over a bridge designed by an engineer who did not believe that math problems have a correct answer?
The article reports:
The program is centered around a workbook for teachers entitled ‘A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction’ which asserts that America’s education system – even mathematics instruction – reinforces the dominant power structures of white colonizers.
Grading students, asking them to show their work, requiring participation and even pushing them to get the right answer are depicted in the workbook as harmful to minorities.
The workbook was created by Oakland, California-based advocacy group The Education Trust-West under its ‘Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction’ initiative, which is funded through a $1million grant from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
So far, the workbook is being used by school districts in Georgia, Ohio, California and Oregon, according to education news site The 74 Million.
It’s part of a larger push nationwide to have students learn about critical race theory, which teaches that racism against minorities is embedded in every aspect of life – even in something as seemingly cut-and-dry as math.
But many critics of the workbook say it actually reinforces negative stereotypes and drives wedges between students according to their race.
‘The workbook’s ultimate message is clear: Black kids are bad at math, so why don’t we just excuse them from really learning it,’ Erec Smith, a professor of rhetoric and composition at York College of Pennsylvania and co-founder of Free Black Thought, told The 74 Million.
Those of us who believe that black kids are as good at math as white kids find this whole thing offensive. Education is the ticket out of poverty in America. To decide that someone is not capable of learning because of their race is racist. It also denies then the opportunity to excel in the future. The idea that math has no correct answers is not only ridiculous, it is dangerous to the future success of American children.