Math is not racist. Our public garbage school system is
As enlightenment has seeped into new subjects on the public school curriculum, even math is not spared. With states like California now trying to eliminate merit-based student tracking in the name of minimizing racial inequality, USA today the quiet part finally asked aloud: Is math racist?
A look at Wednesday’s newspaper:
-Is math racist? A debate rages on: some say schools need to change the way they teach.
– Tenants have few rights in the event of a natural disaster: landlords can get loans and repayments, but tenants may be forced to buy more expensive homes. pic.twitter.com/i9AsvhQjQJ
– UNITED STATES TODAY (@USATODAY) December 8, 2021
While the newspaper article itself does not speak out on the matter itself, the claim by various public schools that eliminating gifted tracking resulted in better student performance remains unchallenged, opposition from parents to color being buried well below the bosom.
Ironically, it’s not the math that’s racist. Instead, it is the very notion that “math is racist” because it logically follows that racial achievement gaps are not the result of our junk public school system, but because students of color are everything. simply less able to learn as well as their white counterparts.
Even looking at the raw data, without drawing any extrapolation or explanation, belies the myth that mathematics is racist. Overall, Asian Americans outperform white students in math, despite the fact that the population suffers from the country’s worst income inequalities.
But the real reason this myth is fictitious is that the gap begins to disappear as the student moves away from the traditional public school cartel. A study in the journal Education Next
found that over a 12-year period, black students in charter schools achieved math gains four times greater than those in district schools. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, a project run by the Department of Education, also found that across subjects, the racial gap between white and black high school graduates is significantly smaller in private schools than in public schools. And when black parents take matters into their own hands, the results can be even stronger. A 2015 study found that home-schooled black students scored 23 percentage points higher in math than their public-schooled counterparts.
Moreover, the whole notion of racist math ignores the very history of the subject. Although the Greeks gave us Euclidean geometry and a bit of trigonometry, it was literally the progress made by medieval Muslims that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages, offering the West the numerical system and the algebra necessary for the creation of the calculus by Newton and Leibniz. Even today, Terry Tao, an American Australian of Chinese descent, is widely regarded as one of the best mathematicians alive, if not the singular.
As for my own experience, I have probably taught a dozen Latino students in downtown South Central LA and Santa Ana and saw how underserved they were by their teachers as well as how quickly they adapted and excelled when I first started working with them. directly. As an admittedly mediocre math major, I can personally attest to the fact that I was often the only white woman in my very international classes and my math best friend and one of the brightest peers I have ever had. worked (no, I relied on to pass exams) is a black woman.
The only racist thing here is keeping black and brown students stuck in a failing public school system. The students are not the problem. This is the system.