The Oregon Department of Education is promoting a program for teachers that seeks to “disman[tle] racism in mathematics,” alleging that focusing on finding the right answer is a symbol of white supremacy.
Fox News reported that the ODE sent out a newsletter last week that mentions a “Pathway to Math Equity Micro-Course” that will occur on February 21. The course, according to Fox, is designed for middle school teachers to make use of a toolkit for ‘dismantling racism in mathematics.’”
The newsletter encourages teachers to sign up for the training, which the New York Post previously reported includes a section with 14 things associated with “White Supremacy Culture,” including perfectionism, objectivity, and individualism.
Objectivity is described in the workbook accompanying the training as “the belief that there is such a thing as being objective or ‘neutral.'” The program’s toolkit also encourages teachers not to focus on a single correct answer, but to “come up with at least two answers that might solve this problem” and to “Challenge standardized test questions by getting the ‘right’ answer, but justify other answers by unpacking the assumptions that are made in the problem.”
The toolkit also asks instructors to “center ethnomathematics” in multiple ways, one of which is to “identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views.”
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Part of the toolkit includes a list of ways “white supremacy culture” allegedly “infiltrates math classrooms.” Those include “the focus is on getting the ‘right’ answer,” students being “required to ‘show their work,’” and other alleged manifestations.
“The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so,” the document for the “Equitable Math” toolkit reads. “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict.”
ODE Communications Director Marc Siegel confirmed to Fox News that the educational program was being advertised and defended it, claiming the training “helps educators learn key tools for engagement, develop strategies to improve equitable outcomes for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, and join communities of practice.”
This is simply the latest in a string of “anti-racism” teachings that insist the core of education is based on white supremacy. As The Daily Wire has documented, San Francisco has been intently focused on race in recent weeks instead of the growing number of student suicides and mental health crises caused by the continuous closure of schools.
While students suffer, the school district seems more concerned with tackling race perceptions, focusing on renaming schools based on historically inaccurate information and debating the racial makeup of an all-female volunteer council. As The Daily Wire reported, the San Francisco school board spent two hours debating whether the gay father of a mixed-race child was diverse enough to sit on a parent advisory council that was currently made up of only women and had additional open seats. The school board has also spent time renaming numerous public schools based on a historically inaccurate Google Doc and claiming acronyms are a “symptom of white supremacy culture” while replacing one acronym with another.