Even mathematics classes are politicized in the controversial Common Core program for public schools, points out the world’s largest promoter of homeschooling.
A Common Core curriculum author, Jason Zimba, admits the standards don’t provide an adequate mathematics education, said the Home School Legal Defense Association.
“If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core,” said Zimba.
But that’s not the worst of it, HSLDA said in a recent report by Lauren Mitchell.
Of more concern than the program’s “academic inferiority,” the report said, is the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics’ “repeated goal of promoting politically charged themes of social justice in schools nationwide.”
“This approach often challenges children to change their political opinions to match those espoused by their teachers,” the report said.
An NCTM publication encourages math teachers to take a “sociopolitical turn” in their teaching style.
Radical math supporter Rochelle Gutierrez explains: “A shift toward focusing on social issues has allowed us to uncover the importance of students and teachers needing to belong to something larger and for changes in one’s identity to serve as evidence of learning.”
Common Core is a program of national standards created by Washington for all schools to follow. It is promoted in advertisements as “voluntary,” but the threat of losing federal funding makes it coercive, critics have said.
WND has reported that more and more parents, students and even teachers are rejecting the federal government program.
Common Core also has been described as a nationwide program to collect personal information about students. As a result, an “opt out” movement is surging in popularity.
“It’s their likes and dislikes, grade-point average all the way through school, their home situation, health questions,” he said. “It’s an incredibly invasive collection of information that they are trying to collect in what they call P-20, or pre-K through workforce.”
Some teachers even have started to buck the system. Recently, teachers at Prospect Heights International School in Brooklyn, New York, refused to administer a standardized test tied to Common Core.
The HSLDA report noted that deficiencies in the standards are apparent. Basic concepts such as “probability, prime factorization, and using fractions and decimals interchangeably are omitted entirely.”
But the integrated push for political correctness is a bigger concern, the report said.
“Teaching math for social justice entails reconstructing children’s political views, swaying them from their original political, social and religious identities, the report said.
Gutierrez, the report said, “explains that critical mathematics should pursue two main goals: developing ‘conscientizacao’ (political awareness) that allows people to recognize their position in society, and motivation to action.”
NCTM has released a paper called “Negotiating Social Justice Teaching,” which pushes teachers to “normalize politically taboo topics.”
“NCTM annually trains teachers to incorporate politically charged topics into their classroom discussions at the NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition. For 2014, topics included: ‘Mathematics for Social Justice: Possibilities and Challenges,’ ‘Moving the Margins of Ethnomathematics: Reframing Cultural Norms in Math,’ ‘Frack This: Engaging Students Mathematically in Community Issues’ and ‘Thirty Years of Mathematics for Social Justice: What Is It?’” the report said. “Perhaps the most blunt title of all, ‘Why ‘Getting Real’ Requires Being ‘Radical’ in High-Stakes Education,’ shared examples of how ‘all mathematics teaching is political,’” the report said.
Among the topics recommended are institutional racism, “white privilege,” minimum wages and racism in mortgage lending.
The HSLDA report said, for example, one of the fourth-grade lessons asked students whether the 2000 presidential election was “fair.”
It said “students are given the opportunity to explore the mathematical questions in a politically challenging context.”