To Promote Equality, California Proposes a Ban on Advanced Math Classes

Mish

In the name of equality, the California Department of Education seeks to dumb down the brightest kids.

Dumbing Down of America Takes Another Leap Forward

A friend of mine emailed an article the likes of which always prompts me to say "really?"

Please consider the Reason article In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math.

Culturally Responsive Framework

I like to verify things myself and you can do so as well by reading the California Department of Education Mathematics Framework. 

In its framework, the Department of Education seeks "Culturally responsive mathematics education."

Introduction Highlights 

  • Active efforts in mathematics teaching are required in order to counter the cultural forces that have led to and continue to perpetuate current inequities. Mathematics pathways must open mathematics to all students, eliminating option-limiting tracking. [i.e. no advance classes].
  • implementation of this framework and the standards, teachers must be mindful of other considerations that are a high priority for California’s education system including the Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) which allow students to examine issues of environmental and social justice.

Teaching for Equity Highlights

  • The evolution of mathematics in educational settings has resulted in dramatic inequities for students of color, girls, and students from low income homes.
  • Teachers are encouraged to align instruction with the outcomes of the California ELD Standards, which state that linguistically and culturally diverse English learners receive instruction that values their home cultures. 

Need to Broaden Perceptions of Mathematics

I did not go through all the chapters. Reason uncovered these gems.

  • The inequity of mathematics tracking in California can be undone through a coordinated approach in grades 6–12. 
  • Middle-school students are best served in heterogeneous classes.
  • The push to calculus in grade twelve is itself misguided.
  • To encourage truly equitable and engaging mathematics classrooms we need to broaden perceptions of mathematics beyond methods and answers so that students come to view mathematics as a connected, multi-dimensional subject that is about sense making and reasoning, to which they can contribute and belong.

Sabotage the Best 

Reason concludes, and I agree "If California adopts this framework, which is currently under public review, the state will end up sabotaging its brightest students. The government should let kids opt out of math if it's not for them. Don't let the false idea that there's no such thing as a gifted student herald the end of advanced math entirely."

Instead, and in the name of "equity", the proposed framework aims to keep everyone learning at the same dumbed down level for as long as possible.

The intention is clear. The California Board of Education intends to sabotage the best and brightest, hoping to make everyone equal.

The public does not support these polices. Indeed, it is precisely this kind of talk that nearly got Trump reelected.

Biden should speak out against such nonsense, but he won't. He is beholden to Teachers' Unions and Boards of Education.

Care to complain? If so the California Department of Education posted these ways.

Phone Number and Address

Phone: 916-319-0598

Instructional Quality Commission
1430 N Street, Room 3207
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-319-0172

Social and Mathematical Justice Q&A

Q: Who is the arbiter of environmental, mathematic, and social justice?
A: The California board of Education. They intend to cram it down your child's throat and dumb down gifted kids no matter what their parents believe or how vigorous the objections.

If you wish to protest these absurd policies, phone or write the board of education as posted above.

Better yet, get the hell out of California.

Mish

Comments (109)
threeblindmice
threeblindmice

Of the most troubling trends in American society today, I find that the push to eliminate standards in the name of equity is the first, closely followed by false narratives that some american citizens (black, hispanic, asian) should fear other citizens (whites). The first paves the road to mediocrity and does nothing to improve the lot of the disadvantaged. In fact, it teaches them that the system is so stacked against them that they should not bother to compete at all, virtually guaranteeing underperformance. I can't think of a way to hurt America more than this (except maybe the second trend I mentioned). What the heck happened to us?

Doug78
Doug78

Glad my children and grandchildren don't live there. The weather is nice though although boring.

Tex272
Tex272

Biden is "beholden" to Satan and his demons. +++

Doug78
Doug78

Frankly I doubt that the Californian elites will send their children to those schools so the ones that make the laws will not suffer the consequences. It's quite clear to large areas of the country already and perhaps it will soon become clear to enough Californians. Recalling elected officials and overturning school boards have been happening there and I would hope that we will see much more of them in the future. When people wake up the results can be surprising. Not necessary to turn Republican. Just vote in Democrats with common sense. There are some but they are out of power for the moment.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

"Q: Who is the arbiter of environmental, mathematic, and social justice?
A: The California Board of Education. “

I was guessing the Department of Silly Walks.

cudmeister
cudmeister

To bow down to equality, whatever that means, why teach anything at all? Then everyone will be equally ignorant. To really put some bite into making all people equal, penalize anyone that knows anything more than nothing. You have to have enforcement of this effort.

Tedwardspharmd
Tedwardspharmd

Utah calling on line 1

simb555
simb555

Dumb and dumber. Hard to believe any so called board pf education can be serious about this.

Nemoson
Nemoson

Keep voting Democrat and this insanity is what you get.

Nemoson
Nemoson

My Son took advanced mathematics classes in high school, he would have been bored out of his mind if he had not advanced. Another reason for parents of gifted students to escape from California.

TexasTim65
TexasTim65

Education is just one specific area where the gov't is dumbing everything down to the lowest denominator. It's one huge reason that US ranks behind so many other countries, esp those in Asia that promote their best rather than their worst as we do.

Other areas include

  1. Gun Control - Because an incredible tiny minority of guns are used for violence they want no one to have guns.
  2. Artificially Low Speed limits - Because there are a few bad drivers who really shouldn't be driving or rather we need multiple license categories because some drivers are clearly much better than others.
  3. Bike Helmets - When I was a kid no one had helmets and I don't know of a single kid who had a serious head injury much less died. Yet now there are helmet laws regardless of whether you are a new rider or an expert. People should make their own decisions.
  4. Ski Helmets - See above on Bike Helmets

I can list plenty more (and I bet most of you here can too) as the number of these things has exponentially increased since I was a kid in the 70's.

The bigger the gov't has gotten, the more they feel the need to dumb everything down to the lowest denominator in a misguided attempt at making everything equal for everyone even though people have vastly different capabilities both mentally and physically and at different stages of their lives.

DHolzer
DHolzer

I took Calculus 1 & 2 in high school, was still bored out of my mind, took Calc 4 in college (calc 3 was linear algebra, so a joke), and it absolutely whipped my ass. My point is that this rule is dumb, but it's not the end of the world (or a reason to leave California), and it's likely to continue that you'll learn more in a semester of college than you will in 2 years of AP classes. And smart kids will always be bored in high school.

astroboy
astroboy

For some time in a lot of school districts the thinking has been that if you keep the smart and slower kids in the same classroom it will help the slower kids along: at least in sports you play up to the competition.....

I suppose it does the slower kids no harm although I don't see how it helps the quicker kids. On the other hand, separating the sheep from the goats at a very early age is not wise: any number of amazing scholars and scientists did very badly in grade school and keeping them ignorant would have done no one any good.

On the other hand, if everyone had to take advanced math it would have washed out the PhDs in Education who came up with this idiotic idea.

astroboy
astroboy

Yet another post. My kids' education in grade school to college was vastly superior to mine (and I went to supposedly good schools). My point is, kids will learn what you require them to learn, even if it is difficult and takes more work.

shamrock
shamrock

Virginia is proposing pretty much the same thing. They have already started to ruin the #1 High School in the country by making admissions a lottery rather than meritorious. No advanced math programs will make it even worse. Just horrible.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

“ In the name of equality, the California Department of Education seeks to dumb down the brightest kids.”

I highly doubt it. Smart kids will find a way to enlighten themselves. In high school, I had a friend who would go to the library to learn calculus on his own freshman year, by the time he was a senior taking calculus, he was tutoring the teacher.

Smart kids today have access to something called the internet. On this internet there is endless information, tutoring, videos, etc. Heck you can access the entire MIT and Harvard curriculum online if you wanted. I wish I had had access to all of this as a kid.

For $10 internet connection, you have all the education on the planet for almost any subject. Schools like retail are obsolete and nothing more than babysitters for 8 to 5 parents.

Carl_R
Carl_R

This is why the US needs more immigration. We, as a country, are poor at mathematics and STEM in general. We fair poorly in comparison to the students of other countries around the world in math and science education, skills where language is not a block to direct comparison. Advanced math is critical in a tech world, but, no worries, if we don't teach it, we can always import it. American students can still get jobs at McDonalds, at least until they put in robots.

Bohm-Bawerk
Bohm-Bawerk

Equality of opportunity is not equal to equality of outcome as Thomas Sowell would say.

Irondoor
Irondoor

Just confirms what everybody suspected; minority and female children are dumb as hell. Couldn’t even count to 10 or spell cat. Their only hope is picking vegetables or cleaning rich folks houses. I’m surprised that the Board let this secret out.

Realist
Realist

"Better yet, get the hell out of California."

Is this becoming your standard response Mish? Before it was "get the hell out of Illinois".

Then "get the hell out of New York".

Hopefully, it won't soon be "get the hell out of Utah".

Instead of running around from state to state, it may be time to head to Singapore, and leave the good old USA behind. Singapore ranks #1 in math consistently.

Of course, if you don't want to move that far, you could always move to Canada, as I have suggested many times. They do pretty well in math, reading and science.

Dutoit
Dutoit

I thinked that the old movie "The second civil war" was prophetic, should I add "Idiocraty" ?

Dutoit
Dutoit

I have seen in France a huge change about what "science" and "elite" means in the mainstream medias. Probably it is the same in US . 40 years ago, it was mainly mathematicians, physicists, people of the real sciences (and many streets have their name). Now what is presented as "science" and "elite" is an army of "specialists" of many kinds of political and economical studies, claiming that their speech is "scientific".
This comes together with the fall of real science in education.

Jackula
Jackula

I feel like typing a bunch of 4 letter words. This is why we home schooled our daughter. She is going to be her law school's legal review editor next year. When I ran one of the local little leagues here in LA I recommended to every parent a couple of good local charter schools. All of the kids that got put in the charter schools went onto college successfully. The public schools in Ca in the big cities and in working class neighborhoods suck beyond belief. And this type of stuff Mish reported on is why. All children are different, have different interests and learn differently, this dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator is insanity!!!

Call_me_Al
Call_me_Al

"Active efforts in mathematics teaching are required in order to counter the cultural forces that have led to and continue to perpetuate current inequities."

If only education bureaucrats in CA could discover what other nations are doing to keep their 'cultural forces' at bay while they promote more comprehensive and rigorous understanding of the field of mathematics!

lamlawindy
lamlawindy

How asinine. California's public policy on education -- as voiced by its Department of Education -- isn't focused on excellence; it's more concerned about making sure that nobody's feelings get hurt. California has the sovereign right to be idiotic, but it doesn't mean that it's the correct decision.

Duncan Burns
Duncan Burns

lol - Many of the people making these decision don't send their own kids to public schools, they know what a disaster they are. MA did something similar for Exam Schools, forget test scores, now schools have to admit based on zip code. You know..."equity".

TanksAndSpartans
TanksAndSpartans

Mish, Don't get sucked into these articles that just want to outrage you and keep you angry. The Reason article was pretty biased - it cherry picked some excerpts. Read the curriculum. The chapter on data science was pretty good. I ay give them a chance to try something new. Mathematics is the language of science. It's needed for everything. Passing Calculus in high school is meaningless if you don't learn how to reason and solve problems.

bloozguy
bloozguy

Straight out of a short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut.

bloozguy
bloozguy

Straight out of a short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut

Captain Ahab
Captain Ahab

Everyone who voted for, or supported Democrats in 2020, put up your hand.
THIS IS YOUR FAULT!

Rbm
Rbm

Observation.
It seems here in slightly northern ca. My kid is in the third grade. When it comes to math it seems the school is teaching topics and concepts about two years ahead of when i was the same age.
Different way of solving problems also. Seems in my day math was a lot on memorization. Back when playgrounds were dangerous.

mdranias
mdranias

Diversity advocates dont look beyond the borders when they diagnose what is “white” in America. The white oppression claims they make are easily falsifiable. All they have to do is travel to nonwhite countries that have made significant contributions to mathematics (or any). Then they will discover that every culture treats it as a rigorous discipline that appeals to the mentally agile. Not even communists were so crazy- my aquaintences from East Germany said government testing was used to isolate and separately raise the smarter kids.

John Medina
John Medina

We will all be equal: equally stupid and equally poor.

JanCee
JanCee

Bored students in California can enroll (free) in community colleges in California. Bored students can take on-line classes (for credit) in California. Bored students can in fact take the High School Exit Exam and start college early. Bored students need to talk to their counselors about moving forward some other way. I don't mind offering calculus in high school, but to make it possible in public high schools to afford the course, it has to be at least minimally enrolled, so students are pressed into calculus classes who maybe aren't ready. I really like the option of high school statistics courses, which even bright (bored) students can benefit from, and which helps all students learn to read blogs and news (fake and fact) with discernment.

RonJ
RonJ

"The evolution of mathematics in educational settings has resulted in dramatic inequities for students of color, girls, and students from low income homes."

Not everyone can be a brain surgeon. I was never much of a math student. There are people of color that can do math better than i ever could. I never felt a sense of inequity because i was not good at math.

Jaime Escalante took a group of low income students in East L.A. and made calculus
whizzes out of them, without any of the social justice/equity nonsense. He inspired them to work hard and as a result they aced the state test.

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

Remember what the great California philosopher, Barbie had to say: "Math is hard."

Tyle
Tyle

Hope you’re happy all that Trump derangement syndrome drivel you echoed got you this as a consolation prize. If you voted for Biden you voted for this and more of it.

Coming to a school near you.

Tyle
Tyle

For the lefties in the room: hope you’re happy all that Trump derangement syndrome drivel you echoed was heard and earned you this as a consolation prize.

If you voted for Biden you voted for this and more of it.

Coming to a school near you...

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

These posts about education in the era of the internet, where a kid can learn as much as he or she wants, seem outdated. No smart person in America is relying on just school to get their kids good at anything.

Riff326
Riff326

Hollywood gone Fd up our schools too!!!

gzornmkq
gzornmkq

Watch 'Idiocracy' and all will become clear.

Mikeinchicagoarea
Mikeinchicagoarea

So instead of pushing students to do their best they are looking to obtain the lowest common denominator.
We need to push our best and brightest in order to keep this country at its best.

Zorrillix
Zorrillix

Wow. Just wow. The left won’t be happy until everyone’s an idiot not just them.


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