## Neither Side Now

*I’ve looked at life from left and right, as each side claims to own the light. But it’s life’s delusions they both sell, as anyone with brains can tell. – apologies to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.*

It is hard being a moderate in this polarized country. A trip through the morning news ranges from annoying to infuriating as I encounter one article after another espousing a point of view that I see as too extreme. So, after a long election year in which the positions of the right made me align with the left in spite of my reservation’s about the so-called progressives, I have tried to step back from the news and worry less. Of course, I knew that the left would eventually campaign for something that seemed just as outrageous as The Big Lie. This week, while we were visiting with my daughter, she mentioned that California is reducing access to higher math in public schools because teaching it is racist. Now, my daughter travels a more rightward path to the news than I do, so I was skeptical, but as a 50 year Californian, I wouldn’t put anything past the California Democrats, so I did some research. Yikes.

It turns out that California isn’t the leader in this nonsense … Oregon is. It is based on something called *Equitable Math*, and … if you are an educated person and want to think you are living in Orwell’s 1984 … Google the subject and read . But I’ll give a small taste here with some quotes. Equitable math believes that among other things, *White supremacy manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer.* Math problems have a right answer, ergo, math is racist. According to *Newsweek*, *The Equitable Math method of teaching consists of five “Strides.” The first Stride, “Dismantling Racism in Mathematics,” is the one getting the most attention from detractors. The lesson calls for “educators to reflect on their own biases” and bills itself as “a collective approach to dismantling white supremacy.” * The *Math Equity Toolkit*, the online guide to this lunacy, claims that: *Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict. Instead of focusing on one right answer, the toolkit encourages teachers to “come up with at least two answers that might solve this problem.” * So, we can make wrong answers right. Right? One of the changes California is considering is eliminating advanced math education before the junior year of high school, as well programs for gifted students. In these new age classrooms, *The traditional marking of answers correct or incorrect in math classrooms must become a thing of the past. * I’ve gotta stop. I may vomit.

I understand that in California it is largely the Asian and white students that are benefiting from accelerated math programs. The solution is to improve math education in schools in order to encourage those with a natural proficiency or interest in math regardless of race. Throwing everyone together while teachers engage discussions of the alternate reality of alternate answers to math problems is simply nonsense that will stifle our best math students. How long do you think math proficient students will stay interested in math taught tis way? They know. There is a right answer. Do you think China or Russia are going down this road? Do you think we can make to to Mars … or build safe bridges or automobiles … with a crop of students that have been taught there is more than one answer to a calculus problem?

So now we have anti-science on the right and anti-math on the left. Where do I stand? *Neither Side Now*. What is happening to us?

**Explore posts in the same categories:**perspectives

**Tags:** extremism, mathematics, perspectives, politics, racism, teaching

May 27, 2021 at 1:57 pm

Almost everything told to us in our lives from birth is a lie and a math equation is one of the few undeniable truths. Next thing you know they’ll be teaching Creationism as a truth….oh, wait.

Things are truly hopeless.