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Math as a Social Justice Tool? What will be next?

Parents, I hope you will take the time to read this is important and could impact the children of your friends in a very beneficial way.

I read an essay from the National Science Foundation website entitled, “How can STEM Disciplines and STEM Education Work in Concert to Address Systemic Racism and the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Creating a New Normal for STEM Education.”  It is written by two professors, one at New York University and one at the University of Connecticut.  The very first sentence of the essay is, “As science disciplines are at center stage in providing solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also complicit in the systemic racism that is endemic in society at large.”

This comes just as we’ve read about the Oregon Department of Education embracing “Math Equity.” In their Math Educator Update of February 2021, the ODE cites as influential a document called “The Mo(ve)ment to Prioritize Antiracist Mathematics: Planning for  This and Every School Year.”  The following excerpt is from the first “Essential Action”:

“in this moment we must rethink what counts as valid mathematical knowledge. Bettina Love (2019) describes schools as sites of pain and violence for Black and brown students, which she calls dark suffering: “To understand schools as sites of dark suffering is to understand how antidarkness works in the day-to-day lives of both dark and White children" (p. 15). We are complicit in dark suffering in our mathematics classroom in many ways.”

The Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction course the ODE suggests Oregon math teachers take begins with this set of ideas: 

“White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when... The focus is on getting the “right” answer. Instead... The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so. Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

Math and science instruction, long-held up in the public sphere as the solution to all of our educational problems,  is being co-opted to be a social justice platform.  Having the focus on finding the right answer, showing your work, establishing efficient ways of problem-solving based on centuries of previous instruction….all that is being pulled down as white supremacy.  More statues must fall!  Marxist leveling is advancing rapidly.

We are witnessing the self-destruction of mathematics instruction in public education.  It is important that you note this.  Also, what will be next?

If showing your work on a math problem and coming up with a “right” answer is racist, then what about insisting on writing in complete sentences, using proper grammar and punctuation, and marking incorrect spelling?  It surely won’t be long before the ODE tells English teachers that their textbooks and methods are also complicit in endemic racism, that the idea of proper English is inherently biased and must also be discarded.  Every book that comes out of the old white supremacist system, basically anything written before Joe Biden was elected, will need to be dismissed entirely or used only as an example of shameful bigotry.

Christians with children in the public schools must surely understand that their precious little ones, and their older children too on up into college, are about to be submerged in Marxist social justice experiments.  Progressives in government and education are using COVID to accelerate their radical agendas.  It is in plain sight; it is not hidden.  To claim that there is objective truth, right and wrong, will be a self-condemning proof of white racist thinking.

If you have friends whose children attend public school, warn them.  Suggest alternatives.  Geneva may be the best fit, but it may not.  But encourage them to look a few years into the future and anticipate the effects on children of these social justice programs that will make them ashamed and angry of their own selves, their own families, their own country, their own values.  It is a cruel thing that is about to happen to our nation’s schoolchildren.

I honor the parents who have already committed to raising up their children with a Christian education, whatever the type.  Hurrah to you, Geneva parents!  

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”  Psalm 14:1

Praise God for His kindness!  He has rescued us from our own foolishness and counted us amongst the righteous.

~Brian Turner