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Math Disrupted by the Easily Offended

It is absurd to accuse mathematics as being racist.

-William Happer

The state of California is hoping to do something that has never been done in our world’s history before: reform mathematics in the name of social justice. Since their efforts became public, nearly 600 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals have signed a letter addressed to the California Department of Education stating that their new framework will severely disrupt and reduce the achievement gaps by limiting the available advanced math courses for both middle schoolers and beginning high schoolers. They argue that this places students at a disadvantage, especially if they hope to succeed at STEM at the collegiate level.

Essentially, California wants to implement less challenging courses for students, such as data science, while moving away from “essential” math courses such as algebra and calculus. According to the letter, “subjecting the children of our largest state to such an experiment is the heigh of irresponsibility.” Californians look at challenging math courses as a sign of “white supremacy” and want to add a social justice paradigm to the subject’s teachings, which would ultimately eliminate gifted classes for students.

As an alternative to dumbing down the curriculum, the signatories suggest allowing all students, regardless of their backgrounds, to have access to a challenging math curriculum. Students should also be offered a number of pathways to explore mathematics at different grade levels throughout middle and high school.

California is not the only state in the country attempting to combat racist math but, with it’s 61.1 million students in public and charter schools, it’s one of the largest areas to experiment with the subject’s fate. School districts in Washington, Virginia, and Oregon have also started making alterations to their curriculum to remove the scent of white supremacy.

Being aware of disadvantages faced by others is by no means a bad thing, but holding others back because some students are behind is certainly not the solution. Our children are our future, and we’re setting them up for failure. We’re refusing to teach them subjects they need and replacing them with subjective coursework hyper-focused on social justice. Unfortunately, there is no room in mathematics for social justice. Numbers add up the same regardless of your ethnicity. Science doesn’t change just because more people are offended by its findings. These children deserve a proper education. We the taxpayers deserve what we’re paying for. Instead, we’re getting a dumbed-down version of how the world really operates and we act perplexed when data reveals we’re falling behind academically.

Following a number of complaints and concerns, CBE was forced to push back implementing their new curriculum until May 2022.

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