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Reblogged:California 'Math' Is a Sad Self-Parody

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I am at a loss for words after reading an open letter, hosted by the Independent Institute, demanding that California replace a proposed K-12 math curriculum that includes the following, among other loony things, all quoted in the letter from the proposal:
  • [F]ringe teaching methods such as "trauma-informed pedagogy;"
  • [T]eachers insert[ing] "environmental and social justice" into the math curriculum;
  • [H]aving teachers develop students' "sociopolitical consciousness;"
  • [A]ssigning students -- as schoolwork -- tasks [to] solve "problems that result in social inequalities;"
  • [And, my favorite, d]iscourag[ing] accelerating talented mathematics students.
I'll quote a couple of the paragraphs from the letter, which mostly is on point:
dunce.jpg
In California, the dunces run the classrooms. (Image by cogdogblog, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
We believe infusing mathematics with political rhetoric is alien to mathematics as a discipline, and will do lasting damage -- including making math dramatically harder for students whose first language is not English. We believe that all students without exception have natural gifts they can use to learn school mathematics, and therefore all students are harmed by refusing to recognize students' giftedness. We thus find it immoral and foolish to intentionally hold back the intellectual growth of students by forcing them to waste time in unchallenging classes. Those who are ready to move up, should do so. They should not be held back for fear of recognizing the existence of differences in giftedness -- differences which are a reality in every human endeavor.

We believe that the modern world of science and technology -- and of constitutional democracy, human rights and expanded opportunity for all -- arose largely because societies learned to value inquiry that was disinterested (i.e., "objective" and "neutral"), rational and coherent. It arose by moving away from judging ideas on the basis of cultural origins and group identity in favor of judging them according to their real merit. We believe, therefore, that this proposed framework must be replaced with one that will truly serve equity [sic] and justice by living up to the very moral aspirations this framework rejects.
Save for the use of the term equity, this is as close to the best reply to such nonsense possible short of calling for the separation of education and state.

-- CAV

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