Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 27, 2005
POLITICS: Political Math

Diane Ravitch has another of her infuriating exposes of politicization of education:

Partisans of social-justice mathematics advocate an explicitly political agenda in the classroom. A new textbook, "Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers," shows how problem solving, ethnomathematics and political action can be merged. Among its topics are: "Sweatshop Accounting," with units on poverty, globalization and the unequal distribution of wealth. Another topic, drawn directly from ethnomathematics, is "Chicanos Have Math in Their Blood." Others include "The Transnational Capital Auction," "Multicultural Math," and "Home Buying While Brown or Black." Units of study include racial profiling, the war in Iraq, corporate control of the media and environmental racism. . . .Teachers are supposed to vary the teaching of mathematics in relation to their students' race, sex, ethnicity and community. . .

It seems terribly old-fashioned to point out that the countries that regularly beat our students in international tests of mathematics do not use the subject to steer students into political action. They teach them instead that mathematics is a universal language that is as relevant and meaningful in Tokyo as it is in Paris, Nairobi and Chicago. The students who learn this universal language well will be the builders and shapers of technology in the 21st century. The students in American classes who fall prey to the political designs of their teachers and professors will not.

The mischief just never ends, does it?

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:50 AM | Politics 2005 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Unfortunately, those who think math should be used to indoctrinate students in leftwing political activism couldn't give half a damn whether our students are "builders and shapers of technology." In fact, I would think the indoctrinators would be happy they are not.

Posted by: Attila at June 27, 2005 10:27 AM

Well, you caught those wacky leftists again didn't you? But is this textbook being used in a plethora of schools, and what kind of schools? Who are these "partisans of ethnomathematics?"

Seems like pretty sloppy reporting on "a new textbook".

Posted by: adwred at June 28, 2005 12:26 PM
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