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Woke Math Spreads to Oregon

THE DAILY REFORMER (NEW YORK, UNITED STATES)

“Woke” education is not just coming to history, social studies, and the humanities.

A recent report by Fox News explained how the Oregon Department of Education encouraged teachers to take “ethnomathematics” training to aid in “dismantling racism in mathematics.” 

Oregon educators did the training, called the “Pathway to Math Equity Micro Course,” in partnership with California’s San Mateo County Office of Education, Fox reported.

The Oregon Department of Education confirmed the initiative to Fox and defended its use in classrooms. A spokesperson for the department said the training course “helps educators learn key tools for engagement, develop strategies to improve equitable outcomes for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, and join communities of practice.”

As usual, educators’ defense of these programs comes with little argument and a torrent of nonsensical academic jargon to appeal to converts and confuse skeptics.

Apparently, one example of “white supremacy” in math is teachers asking students to “show their work” when solving math problems. According to class materials, this requirement reinforces “worship of the written word as well as paternalism.”

Students are encouraged to make TikTok videos rather than bow to the “paternalism” of writing things down.

Somehow, school districts are transforming the “soft bigotry of low expectations” into an ethos.

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In a workbook on “Dismantling Racism” used as part of the instructional material, teachers are asked to “center ethnomathematics.” One of the ways of doing this is for those teachers to “identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views.”

This really is a remarkable statement.

Even the Soviet Union, very much committed to destroying students’ notions of “capitalism” and “imperialism,” would not have instructed young comrades to do that by making themselves ignorant.

It’s even more unlikely to be the case in modern communist China.

“The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so,” the course toolkit in Oregon reads. “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”

“Objectivity,” if one doesn’t follow, is considered an aspect of white supremacy.

This insulting nonsense actually made its way into Smithsonian material last summer before officials had it taken down following public outcry.

It’s clear that absurd lessons about objectivity being racist are becoming normalized in education circles.

If such “lessons” really do become the norm, one wonders how the United States will produce effective engineers or how this sort of sermonizing will help math students in middle school in their careers.

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Then again, if the point simply is to train the next generation of leftist activists and party apparatchiks to carry out the revolution, then perhaps mission accomplished. If the point is to further weaken and fracture the United States as a country, also mission accomplished.

In the future, skills in mathematics will be trivial compared to the more important lesson that the party is always right.

This possibility should be more deeply concerning than declining academic competitiveness.

It would be a mistake to see looniness in the Oregon Department of Education as an outlier.

These “math” lessons that are actually just social justice and critical race theory sermons will become the norm if Black Lives Matter activists and other radicals get their way.

In my analysis of “Black Lives Matter at School,” a book that provides the blueprint for injecting Black Lives Matter activism into K-12 classrooms around the country, I explained how BLM-aligned lessons would become all-encompassing.

Identitarian lectures about race and gender would be injected into every aspect of a child’s education, regardless of subject.

In 2019, I wrote about how similar woke math was coming to Seattle’s K-12 public schools. Again, officials reconstructed math courses to mirror ethnic studies programs to ensure that no matter a student’s interests, there is no escaping the indoctrination.

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According to “Black Lives Matter at School,” Seattle was the model for how public school districts should operate. And now that system is being replicated elsewhere.

Woke math seems absurd now. In the future, though, it will be unremarkable. That’s the consequence of not making these issues a priority.  

The radical left is putting parents in the mortifying position of wondering if their children will be better off if they aren’t paying attention in class.

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