February 15, 2005

A Math Curriculum That Doesn't Add Up

Fox got hold of the story about the Newton, Mass. public schools making anti-racism the first priority in math teaching, and learning the subject second. Since it's a suburb where the SATs were pretty much the Holy Grail, the metastasizing political correctness is pretty astonishing:

The "anti-racist education" program in place at Newton Public Schools in Newton, Mass., a wealthy, liberal niche of the Bay State, has angered some parents who believe the school district is more concerned about political correctness than teaching math skills.

According to benchmarks for middle school education, the top objective for the district's math teachers is to teach "respect for human differences." The objective is for students to "live out the system-wide core value of 'respect for human differences' by demonstrating anti-racist/anti-bias behaviors."

Priority No. 2 is where the basics come in, which is "problem solving and representation" students will build new mathematical knowledge as they use a variety of techniques to investigate and represent solutions to problems."

The tendency of state legislatures and the educrats to put some political goal or other ahead of learning, whether it's a sterile nod to religion ("under God"), saying no to drugs, or anti-racism, is not new. What's new is putting the political agenda first, and adopting a political agenda that doesn't come from the voters, but from the netherworld of some third-rate campus.

Moreover this anti-racism isn't of the "created equal" or "color-blind government" variety, but a much more virulent strain that is hostile to the European, Christian tradition. Not merely realistic about its imperfections, but actively hostile to it and all its works.

Equally appalling is the assault on the English language that this curriculum blather represents. This is just fetid ooze, setting aside its content. To paraphrase the lyric, "They ought to be taken out and hung/For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue."

Who will lead the swarm against the follies of the universities and educrats, on the model of the blogosphere's corrective to the follies of Old Media?

Send your kids to trucking school.

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