If everything had gone according to plan, California would have approved new guidelines this month for math education in public schools.
But ever since a draft was opened for public comment in February, the recommendations have set off a fierce debate over not only how to teach math, but also how to solve a problem more intractable than Fermat’s last theorem: closing the racial and socioeconomic disparities in achievement that persist at every level of math education.
The California guidelines, which are not binding, could overhaul the way many school districts approach math instruction. The draft rejected the idea of naturally gifted children, recommended against shifting certain students into accelerated courses in middle school and tried to promote high-level math courses that could serve as alternatives to calculus, like data science or statistics.
The draft also suggested that math should not be colorblind and that teachers could use lessons to explore social justice — for example, by looking out for gender stereotypes in word problems, or applying math concepts to topics like immigration or inequality.
Just read this NYT piece on proposed California state education standards that demand that teachers change curriculums to bring racial identity politics into everyday math lessons. So I click the draft standards and the first section cited this CRT paper. https://t.co/tGoJ3nmsB9 pic.twitter.com/qCTEtqzG3T— Lee Fang (@lhfang) November 6, 2021
K-12 Math links:
“Discovery math” (Seattle lawsuit)
What impact do high school mathematics curricula have on college-level math placement?