California Academics Warn Woke Math Curriculum Will Do Lasting Damage


Open letter signed by more than 1,200 teachers and academics from California protests the proposed K-12 math curriculum. The signatories claim that it amounts to an “endless river of new pedagogical trends that effectively distort or displace actual mathematics.”

Independent Institute’s “Open Letter To Replace the Proposed New California Math Curriculum Framework” includes 900 academics at 67 California colleges who claim that the state is “on track to politicize K-12 math in potentially disastrous ways.”

This letter is similar to one sent by hundreds of top mathematicians and scientists across the country. It expresses concern at the “Equitable Math”, a California framework that favors social justice ideology over actual mathematics.

The Independent Institute’s open letter states that the proposed curriculum is “presented as a step towards social justice and race equity, but it would have the opposite effect–to rob all Californians and especially the poorest and most vulnerable who always suffer the most when schools fail their students.”

The framework is required to be followed by textbooks and other teaching materials that are approved by the State. Teachers will also need to follow it.

They write that a true champion of equity and justice would want all Californians to learn real math, not a stream of new pedagogical trends that distort or displace actual math.

Math isn’t accessible is insulting to the many millennia of non-Western mathematicians. It also erases the contributions of other cultures to mathematics as we know it. Many students from developing countries are now able to succeed in advanced mathematics. American industries have had to encourage them to visit the United States for work.

Academics disapprove of the “one-size-fits-all” framework, which refuses to recognize different math abilities. They say it is “immoral and foolish to deliberately hold back intellectual growth of students by forcing their time into unchallenging classes.”

They assert that those who are willing to climb the ladder should do so. “They should not be held back for fear of recognizing the existence of differences in giftedness–differences which are a reality in every human endeavor.”

The signatories say both modern science and technology, and a constitutionally-based system centered on human rights and equal opportunity, arose from a rejection of identity politics, favoring instead “objective” and “neutral” inquiry.

The academics warn that “infusing mathematics and political rhetoric is against mathematics as a discipline, it will cause lasting damage.”