California’s New Marxist Math
By Carole Hornsby Haynes July 28, 2023 First published by American Thinker
Academic courses have become a vehicle for Marxist ideology, using “culturally relevant teaching” demands.
California has approved new radical K-12 math standards that are openly a vehicle for Marxist ideology. The stated goal is equity in math learning for non-whites and those from low-income families. The framework notes that “black, latinx, indigenous, women and poor students” have been underrepresented in the curriculum throughout history.” Equity will be implemented in the curriculum by dumbing down and sugar-coating the lessons and infusing them with political issues and student organizing.
Tom Loveless, education researcher and former Brookings Institute fellow, predicted that the new framework “would place Golden State 6th graders years behind the rest of the world—and could eventually skew education in the rest of the U.S., too.”
The framework boldly states that “teaching toward social justice can play an important role in shifting students’ perspectives,” with reference to Constantinos Xenofontos’ 2019 book, Equity in Mathematics Education: Addressing a Changing World. The author notes that education for social justice has its roots in Brazilian Marxist education theorist, Paulo Freire. Xenofontos contends that teachers should “discuss controversial topics,” and “allow social issues to drive instruction.” To teach social justice and equity successfully, teachers must be activists themselves.
Culturally responsive teaching is to be implemented as early as transitional kindergarten -- euphemism for pre-K -- “by exploring students’ lives and histories and designing and implementing curricula that center contributions that historically marginalized people have made to mathematics.” Rather than learning math facts and problem solving, teachers will conduct gabfests using multicultural children’s literature to show examples of what non-whites have contributed to mathematics.
Lessons are to connect math and “environmental and social justice” with students tasked to write an “opinion piece” or an “explanatory text.” The framework notes that math lessons should empower students with tools “to examine inequities.”
The Marxist tenet of “oppressor” and “oppressed” is addressed in the framework: “Teachers can begin with awareness that mathematics play a role in the power structures and privileges that exist within our society and can support action and positive change.”
Students are to express their emotions and feelings in the “trauma-informed pedagogy” that will serve “as part of mathematics sense-making.” The issue of “inclusion” is addressed by students weaving together six colored cords – “math identity rainbows” – to show classroom community spirit. Vague “big ideas,” such as relationships, reign supreme over the normal course progression of arithmetic, Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, trigonometry, pre-calculus, and so on. There will be less math facts memorization and standard algorithms, such as long division, will be downgraded. Student self-discovery will replace explicit direct instruction.
Tom Loveless reviewed the research to determine what is cited or drawn upon and concluded that “the framework ignores the best research on K–12 mathematics.” It appears that the research did not support their progressive education biases.
Brian Conrad, professor of mathematics and director of undergraduate studies in math at Stanford University, spent much time reviewing the research used by the California framework. He documented many instances of false or misleading descriptions of citations from the literature that was ideology driven rather than evidence-based conclusions.
Even before California’s new standards, left-leaning publishers were sneaking Marxism into curricula.
Fusing political lessons into academic content, the Wit and Wisdom K-5 English language arts curriculum, published by Great Minds, skillfully navigates around state bans on Marxist Critical Race Theory. Age-inappropriate lessons deal with highly charged political issues including segregation, gender fluidity, racism, violence, brutality, slavery, graphic death, suicide, cannibalism, fear, anti-Christian and anti-American sentiment, gore and pornographic images.
The recently released “Reparations Math and Reparations History” curriculum by the 1619 Project Education Materials Collections fuses Marxist propaganda into math and history lessons. Employing math skills, students determine whether trillions of free dollars should be doled out to descendants of enslaved people in the U.S. by white taxpayers.
Once the most well educated in the world, the American workforce has become the least well educated in the industrialized world, according to a policy brief by the National Center On Education and the Economy. Our workers are already at a disadvantage in competing with skilled workers of other nations. The new California math curriculum will evitably impact the math in other states and cause further decline in the academic achievement of our workforce. That does not bode well for the future of the American economy.
America’s military is fast becoming the laughingstock of the world. We can add American education to that. As for crazed states, California is winning the blue ribbon hands down at all levels.