Responding to a report that Bill Gates’ foundation has given at least $140 million to groups of education organizations whose curriculum includes a focus on “dismantling white supremacy,” former Fox News anchor and current podcast host Megyn Kelly fired at Gates, “Bc once you’ve earned your trillions, it’s all about virtue signaling your way to woke sainthood. Even if you have to hurt untold millions of children along the way.”
Bc once you’ve earned your trillions, it’s all about virtue signaling your way to woke sainthood. Even if you have to hurt untold millions of children along the way. https://t.co/KZvxFtk6Pk
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) February 18, 2021
“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,” the Washington Free Beacon reported in the piece posted by Kelly. “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.”
A guide offered by Pathway on “Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction” states:
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 visibilizing the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture (Jones and Okun 2001; dismantling Racism 2016) 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. …
While primarily for math educators, this text advocates for a collective approach to dismantling white supremacy. This school-wide approach ensures that anti-racist work is not left alone to one individual (i.e., math teacher or the director of equity), but to enlist the support and voice of all stakeholders in the school ecosystem. …
We see white supremacy culture show up in the mathematics classroom even as we carry out our professional responsibilities outlined in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP). Using CSTP as a framework, we see white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom can show up when:
The focus is on getting the “right” answer.
Independent practice is valued over teamwork or collaboration.
“Real-world math” is valued over math in the real world.
Students are tracked (into courses/pathways and within the classroom).
Participation structures reinforce dominant ways of being.
The guide adds:
… White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when… Participation structures reinforce dominant ways of being: For example, small groups of students receive the teacher’s attention throughout instruction and a few students are typically called on to participate in class discussions, reinforcing notions of perfectionism. The patterns of students who fall into those categories often mirror societal norms. Another common participation structure is pairing students as helper and helpee. This reinforces paternalism and other power structures that identify students as either being good or bad at math (also either/or thinking). Also, requiring students to raise their hand before speaking can reinforce paternalism and powerhoarding, in addition to breaking the process of thinking, learning, and communicating.
The Free Beacon noted that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $86 million to the Education Trust, which “promoted the September release of Pathway’s antiracist ‘toolkit,’” $27 million to the group Teach Plus, and $35 million to WestEd, which states that it is dedicated to “implementation of policies, practices, and procedures that remove systemic barriers” to equity in schools.”
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