Resource Page: “Math Is Racist”
Summary
As documented on this page, “mathisracist” proponents claim that:
 Forcing children of color to accept math is an objective discipline, that problems have objectively valid, provable answers, and that they should be able to demonstrate how they arrived at an answer, are all facets of white supremacy
 Imposing objective math performance and knowledgevalidation standards on children of color strips them of their racial and ethnic identities, and causes them to suffer the indignity of having to live their lives in a white model
Examples:
 “When we’re only teaching them that one master narrative… [t]hat’s what they see as normal. That’s what they see as standard. That’s what they see as law. It’s all based on white supremacy culture.” (source)
 “The [Seattle Public Schools Ethnic Studies Advisory] committee suggests that math is subjective and racist, saying under one section, ‘Who gets to say if an answer is right,’ and under another, ‘how is math manipulated to allow inequality and oppression to persist?’” (source)
 “Laurie Rubel, who teaches math education at Brooklyn College, says that the idea of math being culturally neutral is a ‘myth,’ and that asking whether 2 plus 2 equals 4 ‘reeks of white supremacist patriarchy’; ‘Y’all must know that the idea that math is objective or neutral IS A MYTH,’ she tweeted.” (source)
 “Seattle Public Schools introduced the CRT lens into math classes through the district’s ethnic studies department. In 2019, the department released guidelines for K12 math teachers to use in the classroom as part of a pilot program at a handful of Seattle public schools. The framework claims that ‘mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture’ and that ‘math has been and continues to be used ‘to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.’ Seattle math teacher Shraddha Shirude is a believer, using ethnic studies in her high school course Mathematics for Liberation to tell students that the subject is ‘used to oppress people.’ She says she enjoys teaching through the ethnic studies lens because it dismantles the ‘toxic’ white culture of math classes.” (source)
 A recent NPR guest claimed that adults of color who believe in these and other practices (strong work ethic, thrift, punctuality, etc.) are actually practicing “multiracial whiteness.” (source)
Contents
Introduction: Why I refer to the “math is racist” push as a “jihad”
(1) Articles about those who claim that “math is racist”
(2) The Gates Foundation’s funding of the “math is racist” jihad
(3) Opponents of the claim that “math is racist”
(4) Major media enablers of the “mathisracist” jihad
(5) Social media posts regarding the “mathisracist” jihad
(6) Allegations that math is “misused” to advance racist oppression
(7) The corrupt intellectual arguments that undergird the “mathisracist” jihad
Introduction: Why I refer to the “math is racist” push as a “jihad”
I normally keep my personal opinions out of the “resource pages” I create to support my documentaries and reports (examples here, here, here). Their purpose is to provide convenient, singledestination access to the evidence upon which my factual assertions are made.
In the case of learning about the “mathisracist” movement that is metastasizing through America’s “educational” system, however, I decided I needed a word to verbally frame its insidiously racist, destructive nature. I began by calling it a “crusade,” but then recalled that a crusade can have a positive end goal, as was the case in calling World War 2 “a great crusade.” In contrast, there are and can be no positive outcome wherever the “mathisracist” mentality is applied. Its only possible outcome is destruction — particularly of the wellbeing and upward mobility of persons of color.
It is for this reason that herein, I refer to the growing number of “educators” and organizations that push the “mathisracist” narrative, as a “jihad.” While they do not use hijacked airliners or bombs to achieve their destructive objectives, they use words and psychological warfare to simultaneously champion their supposed moral virtue — and bully/terrify their critics into silence.
– J
(1) Articles about those who claim that “math is racist”
There are many math education practices that we (white folk) don’t see as racist or supremacist, because they are so ingrained in our background and experiences (and we have been the ones to benefit from them). Thanks, @Jason_To for shining a light on these. pic.twitter.com/xJr1g8cEsc
— Heather Theijsmeijer (@HTheijsmeijer) September 17, 2022
Professor argues math education is White and cisheteropatriarchal space, ‘limits’ queer and students of color, Fox News, January 25, 2023. Excerpt:
A Vanderbilt professor delivered a lecture earlier this month at a major mathematician meeting that described college math education as “white” and “cisheteropatriarchal.”
Luis Leyva, assistant professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt University, delivered a lecture titled, “Undergraduate Mathematics Education as a White, Cisheteropatriarchal Space and Opportunities for Structural Disruption to Advance Queer of Color Justice,” according to the website of Joint Mathematics Meeting.
The lecture consisted of two parts. The first half of the lecture showed findings from Leyva’s research about the “educational experiences of 39 undergraduate queer and trans students of color pursuing STEM majors across historically White and minorityserving universities in the United States.”
Luis Leyva, VanderbiltPeabody College, will give the Spectra Lavender Lecture on
“Undergraduate mathematics education as a white, cisheteropatriarchal space and opportunities for structural disruption to advance queer of color justice,” Jan 4, at #JMM2023 https://t.co/n0EIrrVuy2 pic.twitter.com/RDh1avodrh— Joint Mathematics Meetings (@JointMath) December 22, 2022
Bonus: The Joint Mathematics Meetings claims it is “the largest mathematics gathering in the world”:
‘Math is Racist’ Crowd Runs Rampant in Seattle, Portland – Newsweek, April 29, 2022. Excerpt:
Seattle Public Schools introduced the CRT lens into math classes through the district’s ethnic studies department. In 2019, the department released guidelines for K12 math teachers to use in the classroom as part of a pilot program at a handful of Seattle public schools.
The framework claims that “mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture” and that “math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.”
Seattle math teacher Shraddha Shirude is a believer, using ethnic studies in her high school course Mathematics for Liberation to tell students that the subject is “used to oppress people.” She says she enjoys teaching through the ethnic studies lens because it dismantles the “toxic” white culture of math classes.
“When we’re only teaching them that one master narrative, that’s the master narrative that is around in society too, because they grow up, and then they teach their kids that, and that’s how they approach the world. That’s how they engage with other people. That’s what they see as normal. That’s what they see as standard. That’s what they see as law. It’s all based on white supremacy culture,” Shirude explained to the South Seattle Emerald.
This framework has hurt Seattle students.
As noted in Luke Rosiak’s book Race To The Bottom, black students’ state math exam scores in these pilot programs plummeted to shocking lows. After years of consistent progress at John Muir Elementary, for example, the passing rate for black students fell from 28 percent to 18 percent after the introduction of the ethnic studies framework.
Despite the results, the district doubled down.
Math Homework Question About Sexual Abuse? These Parents Are Furious, Super Copy Editors, April 17, 2022. Excerpt:
Over the past decade, at least three different school districts have been forced to issue public apologies because of a math homework sheet that contains content about sexual abuse.
The math “Person Puzzle” features biographical facts about the poet Maya Angelou, who died in 2014. The worksheet mentions sexual abuse and prostitution.
Outraged parents say the worksheet is not appropriate for high school math students. The controversial assignment has been removed and is no longer available for teachers to download for use with their students.
What the Worksheet Says
Until late February 2022, the “Maya Angelou Person Puzzle” was being sold on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. It was marked as appropriate for students in 10th through 12th grades.
Today, it is no longer available online. But here is an archived version.
A teacher named Clint Clark said he created the worksheet, one of hundreds he wrote over the years.
The worksheet includes these questions:


 “Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s _____ at age 8, which shaped her career choices and motivation for writing.” (The answer choices are “boyfriend,” “brother,” or “father.”)



 “Trying to support her son as a single mother, she worked as a pimp, prostitute and _____.” (The answer choices are “bookie,” “drug dealer,” or “night club dancer.”)

Here is a closer look at the worksheet:
Patrick Henry High School cuts honors courses in the name of ‘equity’, KUSI News (San Diego, CA), April 13, 2022. Excerpt:
San Diego’s largest high school, Patrick Henry High School, has cut some honors courses without informing the student’s parents.
As expected, parents are outraged and worries the lack of honors courses will hurt students chances of getting accepted to prestigious universities.
The principal, Michelle Irwin, claims she made the decision in the name of “equity.” Irwin also said cutting the honors courses would remove the stigma from nonhonors classes and “eliminate racial disparities in honors enrollment.”
In an email thread obtained by KUSI News, Irwin told concerned parents the entire district has been embracing and promoting “inclusive environments.”
KUSI reached out to Irwin for comment on her decision, but we have not heard back.
In California, 2+2=4 May Be Thought Racist, Wall St. Journal, May 24, 2021 (letters to the editor). Excerpt:
I have taught mathematics in California public schools. It was common to have immigrant students who couldn’t speak English, and math class was often the day’s bright spot. Why? Because mathematics is the universal language. Whenever I put up y = mx+b or a2+b2 = c2, a student from China or Bulgaria or Bolivia immediately knew what we were covering and went to work with success.
I studied international education in grad school and have school math books in Arabic, English, French and Japanese and worked with Korean and Spanish texts. The mathematics was immediately comprehensible, and all of them—regardless of the authors’ region, religion, race or ethnicity—sought the same objective: teaching mastery of the material correctly. Mathematics is the epitome of a subject that cuts through societal barriers.
The “woke” seem to live a dreamworld of their creation that has little grounding in the world they live in. Their potential damage won’t stop just because students will no longer be able to do mathematics. Remove the need to properly master math skills, and STEM studies collapse like a house of cards. Taking away the ability to do mathematics means students cannot become engineers or doctors. They can’t become computer scientists. They can’t become a plumber or electrician or carpenter. Consider architecture and accounting. The “can’t” list goes on and on.
Don’t make mathematics the new dismal science.
Mike Walker
Meridian, Idaho
As a highschool math teacher with 30 years experience, I am certain the new framework isn’t for the sake of some “social justice” abstraction. It is a coverup to dupe the public. California has targeted, but never closed, its yawning publicschool achievement gap. To make the problem appear to go away, California has retreated from competency tests, standardized tests and its own highschool exit exam.
Now California is desperate to take the starch out of math. The objectivity of math is equated with a “white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom.” The focus on “getting the right answer” and teaching math in a “linear fashion” is deemed oppressive. Taking the rigor out of math and removing all the metrics and indexes, under the rubric of fighting racism, is a ruse to hoodwink the public into believing its tax money is well spent.
Jeffrey R. Smith
Alameda, Calif.
I wonder what Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, NASA’s AfricanAmerican “Hidden Figures” women, would say about this were they still alive.
David J. Gross
St. Augustine, Fla.
Debate emerges over racism and white supremacy in Oregon math instruction, KATU (ABC Oregon), February 26, 2021. Excerpt:
A new debate has emerged over the controversial topic of white supremacy and racism in school math instruction.
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently sent a newsletter to math educators in the state. The newsletter contained information about a virtual microcourse in math equity instruction that teachers could sign up for. It was titled “Pathway to Math Equity Micro Course 2.0: Valuing and elevating student discourse in the math classroom.” The course was provided by A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction, an entity focused on dismantling racism in mathematics instruction.
The course offering started to garner headlines, as some wondered how a topic like math instruction could be rooted in racism or white supremacy.
A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction does offer an 82page workbook on how teachers can “examine their actions, beliefs, and values around teaching mathematics.” The group claims white supremacy culture can show up in the classroom in various ways, including when “the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer,” and when “students are required to ‘show their work.'”
How mathematics can be an antiracist, feminist enterprise, The Print, February 6, 2020. Excerpt:
Last semester, I developed a class called Inequalities: Numbers and Justice, aimed towards nonmajors. My students ranged from undergraduate seniors to students in the local high school, with majors ranging from Government to Chinese to Computer Science. It was the second incarnation of a course I had taught years ago, in which we worked through the ideas in Gutstein and Peterson’s Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers, which was written at the middleschool level. In Inequalities, my hope was to develop these ideas into a collegelevel course.
Over the course of the semester, we explored how notions of fairness and equality have been considered from the point of view of mathematics and economics. What ways were these ideas defined, and given the definitions, how can they be measured? We covered topics ranging from the misuses of statistics to gerrymandering to racial capitalism and climate change. In the end, students were able to appreciate the complexities of fairness, the deep inequities that capitalism produces, and questioned the idea that mathematics is politically neutral. […]
Attempts to shoehorn social justice into mathematics curricula perhaps say more about the political leanings of the teacher than anything else. At the same time, we must be wary of diversity initiatives in mathematics which simply reproduce a different class of scientists that perpetuate structures of domination and oppression, in place of work to dismantle the whiteness which mathematics operates as, and to truly equip students for a world of growing inequality and climate catastrophe. After all, would it have been better if it were nonwhite people who developed the atomic bomb? Or the technology to surveil, incarcerate, and deport vulnerable communities?
Note: The author is an “Assistant Professor of Mathematics” at the University of Michigan – Dearborn”; bio here.
Seattle Public Schools Say Math Is Racist – The Daily Caller, October 21, 2019. Excerpt:
The Seattle Public Schools Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee (ESAC) released a rough draft of notes for its Math Ethnic Studies framework in late September, which attempts to connects math to a history of oppression.
The framework is broken into four different themes: “Origins, Identity, and Agency,” “Power and Oppression,” “History of Resistance and Liberation,” and “Reflection and Action.”
The committee suggests that math is subjective and racist, saying under one section, “Who gets to say if an answer is right,” and under another, “how is math manipulated to allow inequality and oppression to persist?”
Seattle “Math Ethnic Studies Framework” 2019
From here:
Professor Claims Math, Algebra And Geometry Promote ‘White Privilege’ – Daily Caller, October 23, 2017. Excerpt:
A University of Illinois math professor believes that algebra and geometry perpetuate “white privilege” because Greek terms give Caucasians unearned credit for the subject.
But that isn’t the professor’s only complaint. She also believes that evaluations for math proficiency perpetuates discrimination against minority students, if they do worse than their white counterparts.
Rochelle Gutierrez argues in a newly published math education book for teachers that they must be aware of the identity politics surrounding the subject of mathematics.
“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” she argues with complete sincerity, according to Campus Reform.
“Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.” […]
“Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?” she asks, raising the question as to why math professors get more grants than “social studies or English” professors.
“If one is not viewed as mathematical, there will always be a sense of inferiority that can be summoned,” she says, claiming that minorities “have experienced microaggressions from participating in math classrooms… [where people are] judged by whether they can reason abstractly.”
To resolve the intelligence gap, Gutierrez calls on math professors to develop a sense of “political conocimiento,” a Spanish term for “political knowledge for teaching.”
Note: Here is “Dr. Gutierrez’s” bio, from the University of Illinois School of Education (ChampaignUrbana):
“Dr. Gutierrez’ scholarship focuses on issues of identity and power in mathematics education, paying particular attention to how race, class, and language affect teaching and learning. Through indepth analyses of effective teaching/learning communities and longitudinal studies of developing and practicing teachers, her work challenges deficit views of students who are Latinx, Black, and Indigenous and suggests that mathematics teachers need to be prepared with much more than just content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, or knowledge of diverse students if they are going to be successful. They need political knowledge. Her current research projects focus upon: developing in preservice teachers the knowledge and disposition to teach powerful mathematics to urban students; the roles of uncertainty, tensions, and “Nepantla” in teaching; and the political knowledge (and forms of creative insubordination) that mathematics teachers need to effectively “rehumanize” mathematics in an era of highstakes education. She also builds upon Indigenous principles and has argued for a new form of mathematics where humans are no long centered. This form of mathematics is referred to as living mathematx.”
Seattle Plans to Teach Kids About the ‘Oppression’ of Western Math – PJ Media, October 30, 2019. Excerpt:
Seattle’s public school district plans to introduce ethnic studies to all disciplines taught to K12 students. The district’s proposed Math Ethnic Studies Framework seeks to “rehumanize math” and engage students from ethnic minorities. Yet the postmodern approach in the document threatens to undermine the truth of math by pairing it with Western “oppression” and encouraging students to ask “What is Right? Says Who?”
The framework makes unwarranted and unnecessary assumptions about mathematics.
For instance, the document sets forth four themes, the first of which claims that “mathematical theory and application is rooted in the ancient histories of people and empires of color” (emphasis original). If the curriculum is followed rightly, students will be able to “create counter narratives about the origins of mathematical knowledge” and “see the mathematical value in making mistakes both as individuals and as a community.”
Identity Politics in Cupertino, California Elementary School – City Journal, January 13, 2021. Excerpt:
An elementary school in Cupertino, California—a Silicon Valley community with a median home price of $2.3 million—recently forced a class of thirdgraders to deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.”
Based on whistleblower documents and parents familiar with the session, a thirdgrade teacher at R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School began the lesson on “social identities” during a math class. The teacher asked all students to create an “identity map,” listing their race, class, gender, religion, family structure, and other characteristics. The teacher explained that the students live in a “dominant culture” of “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, ablebodied, Christian, English speaker[s],” who, according to the lesson, “created and maintained” this culture in order “to hold power and stay in power.”
Math education prof: 2+2 = 4 ‘trope’ ‘reeks of white supremacy patriarchy’ – Campus Reform, August 8, 2020. Excerpt:
Math professors and educators at leading American universities have taken to Twitter in order to debate whether math is racist.
Some asserted that objective mathematics is rooted in “white supremacist patriarchy” and white social constructs. […]
Laurie Rubel, who teaches math education at Brooklyn College, , says that the idea of math being culturally neutral is a “myth,” and that asking whether 2 plus 2 equals 4 “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy.”
“Y’all must know that the idea that math is objective or neutral IS A MYTH,” she tweeted. […]
Spencer Bagley, a math professor at Westminster College in Pennsylvania, retweeted Rubel’s assertion.
What does an antiracist math class look like?, by Ashley Okwuosa, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TVO), August 9, 2021. Excerpt:
Ontario recently deleted antiracist language from its math curriculum. “In math, let’s stick with math,” said Premier Doug Ford — but experts say it’s not that simple.
In July 2020, the provincial government announced a slew of actions with the stated aim of addressing racism and inequality in schools. Changes included eliminating discretionary suspensions for students, strengthening sanctions against teachers who engage in racist behaviour, providing teachers with additional antiracism and antidiscrimination training, and ending Grade 9 streaming into applied and academic courses — meaning that students would not be separated into different groups based on their perceived academic ability or prior achievements.
In June 2021, the province revealed a new destreamed Grade 9 math curriculum containing a preamble that stated, “Mathematics has been used to normalize racism and marginalization of nonEurocentric mathematical knowledges.” Parents such as Claudette Rutherford lauded the addition. “With respect to antiracism, anticolonial language being added to the curriculum, it felt like there was an understanding of our experiences,” says Rutherford, cofounder of Parents of Black Children, a Torontobased advocacy organization.
Ontario Taking Bold Action to Address Racism and Inequity in Schools; New Changes to Advance Equal Opportunity for Black, Indigenous and Racialized Students, July 9, 2020. Excerpt (I cannot decipher this language; maybe you can):
TORONTO — The Ontario government announced bold new changes to the education system that will help break down barriers for Black, Indigenous and racialized students and provide all students with an equal opportunity to succeed. As part of this action, the province will move forward with ending Grade 9 streaming into applied and academic courses, proposing to eliminate discretionary suspensions for students, strengthening sanctions for teachers who engage in behaviour of a racist nature, and providing teachers with additional antiracism and antidiscrimination training. […]
Jason To, TDSB’s coordinator of secondary mathematics and academic pathways, says that most critics seem to think the new curriculum originally suggested that mathematics, as a subject, is racist. The issue, though, is “really about how mathematics has been used,” To says.
According to To, the statement about the subjectivity of math that was deleted from the curriculum served to challenge the idea that math was simply about numbers: “They’re trying to keep this perceived objectivity of mathematics as something that should be sacred and untouched, which is why they were so up in arms with the statement of mathematics can be subjective, because all of a sudden, this veil of objectivity is being lifted, and now we can start interrogating some of the dangers of how mathematics has been practised and how it’s used.”
(2) The Gates Foundation’s funding of the “math is racist” jihad
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Behind ‘AntiRacist’ Math Push – Washington Free Beacon, February 17, 2021. Excerpt:
A radical new push to purge math curricula of allegedly racist practices like showing your work and finding the correct answer is bankrolled by one of the nation’s most prominent nonprofits: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation is the only donor mentioned on the homepage of A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction, a group of 25 education organizations whose curriculum states that asking students to show their work and find the right answer is an inherently racist practice.
Over the past decade, the Gates Foundation has given upward of $140 million to some of the groups behind Pathway, whose antiracist resources are the basis for a new teacher training course offered by the Oregon Department of Education.
The Education Trust, a Californiabased group that promoted the September release of Pathway’s antiracist “toolkit,” has received $86 million from the Gates Foundation, including a $3.6 million grant awarded in June.
Gates Foundation Donates $1 Million Towards Ensuring Math Isn’t Racist – The Post Millennial, Feb 23, 2021. Excerpt:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is donating a million dollars toward a group that is attempting to “dismantle white supremacy” in grade school math.
The creators behind this effort are a cavalcade of west coast academics from places such as Loyola Marymount University and University of California, among others.
2+2=5? Bill Gates funnels $1 MILLION to push ‘math is racist’ narrative – Campus Reform, February 23, 2021. Excerpt:
With a $1 million check from the Gates Foundation, leading universities and local governments are building an effort to bring “antiracism” efforts to mathematics.
A Pathway to Equitable Instruction exists to address “barriers to math equity” by offering “guidance and resources for educators to use now as they plan their curriculum, while also offering opportunities for ongoing selfreflection as they seek to develop an antiracist math practice.”
Among the group’s content developers are Ruth Basket, Mirna MarandaWelsh, and Malane MoralesVan Hecke from the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Multilingual Academic Support Unit; David Chun, the Director of K12 Mathematics at the Sacramento County Office of Education; and Mindy Shacklett, a Coordinator of Mathematics at the San Diego County Office of Education. Multiple professors from the University of California system and Loyola Marymount University also worked on the project. […]
One of the group’s guides — entitled “Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction” — lists the “focus on getting the ‘right’ answer,” the emphasis on “realworld math,” state standards directing classroom instruction, and the sequential teaching of skills as “white supremacy culture.”
Woke Education: Teaching Math Is Racist Delegitimizes Field – National Review, September 16, 2021. Excerpt:
[T]his dangerous paradigm — that getting the right answer, using the right method, or believing some students are more capable than others is white supremacy — is strongly endorsed by educators, leading mathematics organizations, and policymakers. Include, in the latter group, the Oregon and California Departments of Education. Much of the research and the dissemination of this twaddle is funded by the Gates Foundation, which last year spent $642 million for its U.S. program, including Pathways and other initiatives that focus on eliminating white supremacy from math. […]
The introduction to “Pathway” explains its purpose:
“This tool provides teachers an opportunity to examine their actions, beliefs, and values around teaching mathematics. The framework for deconstructing racism in mathematics offers essential characteristics of antiracist math educators and critical approaches to dismantling white supremacy in math classrooms by making visible the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture . . . with respect to math. Building on the framework, teachers engage with critical praxis in order to shift their instructional beliefs and practices towards antiracist math education. By centering antiracism, we model how to be antiracist math educators with accountability.”
Last September, Education TrustWest, an “advocate for educational justice,” announced its study and tool kit for math standards, “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction” — funded, of course, by the Gates Foundation. Aimed particularly at grades 6–8, this “Pathway” was developed through a partnership of California educators and “equity” organizations. […]
Unsurprisingly, Ball’s solution included a plug for her consultancy, TeachingWorks, funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. TeachingWorks is no doubt ready to profit by assisting school districts to interrupt “patterns of racism.”
Math training that calls showing work ‘white supremacy culture’ may be added to Calif. curriculum framework – The College Fix, . Excerpt:
A training manual that argues “white supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms” when students are required to “show their work,” among many other controversial lessons, may be added to the official mathematics framework for California’s K12 schools.
The curriculum frameworks provides guidance to teachers on how to implement the state’s content standards.
The mathematics framework is currently up for a revise and among its proposed changes is the addition of a “Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction” resource that advises educators that a focus on getting the “right” answer is a “toxic characteristic” of math instruction.
It is included on California’s proposed “Teaching for Equity and Engagement” curriculum framework update.
The controversial resource, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, made national headlines after it was distributed earlier this year to Oregon teachers.
(3) Opponents of the claim that “math is racist”
Matthew Lau: 1, 2, 3, 4: Woke is not what math is for, Financial Times, October 12, 2022. Excerpt:
Summing two and two to make four has become a point of dispute in, of all places, the Toronto District School Board’s Mathematics and Numeracy department. According to a diagram used by its staff in presentations to educators, examples of covert white supremacy in mathematics education include: “2 + 2 = 4”, standardized testing, assuming mathematics is neutral, a Eurocentric curriculum (whatever that means) and many other things besides. The diagram separates covert white supremacy from overt white supremacy (such as segregated classes and racist word problems) but white supremacy of any kind is surely objectionable.
Top Dem Economist Says Woke Math Is a National Security Threat; Larry Summers blames ‘social justice warriors’ for giving China a leg up, Washington Free Beacon, December 6, 2021. Excerpt:
A top Democratic economist says the rise of “antiracist” math curricula is a national security threat.
Larry Summers, a Harvard economist who led the National Economic Council under former president Barack Obama, shared a letter on Monday signed by almost 600 academics that condemns the rise of woke math initiatives in K12 schools. […]
The letter notes that eliminating advanced math courses would particularly harm public school students and place them at a disadvantage over students in private schools. It also warns that such reforms would reduce American students’ proficiency in calculus, algebra, and logical thinking at a time when those skills “are arguably even more critical for today’s grand challenges than in the Sputnik era.”
Woke Education: Teaching Math Is Racist Delegitimizes Field – National Review, September 16, 2021. Excerpt:
[T]his dangerous paradigm — that getting the right answer, using the right method, or believing some students are more capable than others is white supremacy — is strongly endorsed by educators, leading mathematics organizations, and policymakers.
Introductory high school math curriculum: ‘Mathematics can be subjective’ – The College Fix, . Excerpt:
The inanity of the progressive predilection for injecting identity politics into every academic subject sticks out most when it comes to mathematics.
For example, showing your work in California public school math classes is an example of “white supremacy culture.” In Oregon, one demonstrates “toxic white supremacy culture” by trying to get the correct answer.
And, of course, who can forget the claim that 2+2 can sometimes equal … five?
Dr. Carol Swain: Oregon’s New Teacher Training Claiming Mathematics is Racist is ‘Lunacy of the Political Left,’ Fox News, February 15, 2021:
(4) Major media enablers of the “mathisracist” jihad
USA Today mocked for asking ‘is math racist’ in headline – Fox News, December 8, 2021. Excerpt:
USA Today appeared to question whether math was racist in a Twitterprovoking headline from Tuesday.
The article’s headline originally read “Is math racist? As many students of color struggle with the subject, schools are altering instruction — sometimes amid intense debate.” The article focuses on “bolder recommendations to make math more inclusive” that “are blowing up the world of mathematics education.”
After the original headline began to trend on Twitter, the title was later changed to “Is math education racist? Debate rages over changes to how US teaches the subject.”
Critics called out USA Today for the substance of the article and for changing the headline.
(5) Social media posts regarding the “mathisracist” jihad
I don’t know. Maybe the people who don’t want black and brown kids to learn math correctly are the *actual* white supremacists. https://t.co/q54VFP1bv8
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) February 18, 2021
Wait, @Naval, you mean *nonracist coding fluency*, right?
After all, now that we’ve learned that “math is racist,” and that 2+2=whatever a 97% consensus of social justice warriors say it is, we need to be precise.https://t.co/eK3Wa2cJ9q
— Jon Sutz (@JonSutz) July 29, 2021
(6) Allegations that math is “misused” to advance racist oppression
Math is racist: How data is driving inequality, by Aimee Rawlins, CNN, September 6, 2016. Excerpt:
It’s no surprise that inequality in the U.S. is on the rise. But what you might not know is that math is partly to blame.
In a new book, “Weapons of Math Destruction,” Cathy O’Neil details all the ways that math is essentially being used for evil (my word, not hers).
From targeted advertising and insurance to education and policing, O’Neil looks at how algorithms and big data are targeting the poor, reinforcing racism and amplifying inequality.
These “WMDs,” as she calls them, have three key features: They are opaque, scalable and unfair.
Denied a job because of a personality test? Too bad — the algorithm said you wouldn’t be a good fit. Charged a higher rate for a loan? Well, people in your zip code tend to be riskier borrowers. Received a harsher prison sentence? Here’s the thing: Your friends and family have criminal records too, so you’re likely to be a repeat offender. (Spoiler: The people on the receiving end of these messages don’t actually get an explanation.)
Rebuttal to O’Neil:
No, Math Isn’t Racist – National Review,
(7) The corrupt intellectual arguments that undergird the “mathisracist” jihad
As George Orwell reportedly said, “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”
That is certainly the case regarding the “mathisracist” jihad, and the corrupt underlying ideas that gave birth to it, via yesterday’s and today’s intellectuals, as demonstrated in the following articles:
In Smithsonian Race Guidelines, Rational Thinking and Hard Work Are White Values – Newsweek, July 17, 2020. Excerpt:
“Smithsonian declares that ‘objective, rational, linear thinking,’ ‘quantitative emphasis,’ ‘hard work before play,’ and various other values are aspects and assumptions of whiteness.”
The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards – Stanford University; Stanford Social Innovation Review, June 4, 2019. Excerpt:
“Professionalism has become coded language for white favoritism in workplace practices that more often than not privilege the values of white and Western employees and leave behind people of color.”
White Supremacy Culture – Minnesota Historical Society, Dept of Diversity and Community Engagement. Summary: Claims perfectionism, individualism, objective thinking are all facets of white supremacism.
Twitter flames TIME article for calling exercise racist: ‘So goofy I consider it satire’; An TIME article argued exercise has roots in White supremacy, Fox News, December 29, 2022. Excerpt:
Fitness influencers and Twitter users blasted a TIME interview for portraying exercise as an activity with roots in White supremacy.
“How did U.S. exercise trends go from reinforcing white supremacy to celebrating Richard Simmons?” the TIME article, titled “The White Supremacist Origins of Exercise, and 6 Other Surprising Facts about the History of U.S. Physical Fitness,” asked.
The article was heavily mocked on Twitter, with critics saying it was destroying the media’s credibility.
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