California

Report: Top scientists, mathematicians pen letter voicing “deep concern” over California’s proposed “woke” math curriculum

Report: Top scientists, mathematicians pen letter voicing
“deep concern” over California’s proposed “woke” math
curriculum 1

CALIFORNIA- According to reports, hundreds of America’s top scientists and mathematicians have released an open letter expressing “deep concern” about California’s “equitable math” framework.

That’s because it reportedly promotes the concept that working to figure out a correct answer is an example of racism and white supremacy invading the classroom.

The framework, titled “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction,” is intended to be “exercises for educators to reflect on their own biases to transform their instructional practice.” The scientists wrote:

“We are deeply concerned about the unintended consequences of recent well-intentioned approaches to reform mathematics education, particularly the California Mathematics Framework (CMF).

Such frameworks aim to reduce achievement gaps by limiting the availability of advanced mathematical courses to middle schoolers and beginning high schoolers.

While such reforms superficially seems ‘successful’ at reducing disparities at the high school level, they are merely ‘kicking the can’ to college.”

The scientists explained:

“Such a reform would disadvantage K-12 public school students in the United States compared with their international and private-school peers. It may lead to a de factor privatization of advanced mathematics K-12 education and disproportionally harm students with fewer resources.”

The scientists who signed the open letter, many of whom are STEM professionals and math educators, assert they “wholeheartedly” reject another “deeply worrisome trend” of “devaluing essential mathematical tools such as calculus and algebra in favor of seemingly more modern ‘data science.’”

They wrote:

“The ability to gather and analyze massive amounts of data is indeed transforming our society. But, ‘data science’ — computer science, statistics, and artificial intelligence — is built on the foundations of algebra, calculus, and logical thinking.

While these mathematical fields are centuries old and sometimes more, they are arguably even more critical for today’s grand challenges than in the Sputnik era.”

They wrote:

“We call on nation, state, and local governments to involve college-level STEM educators and STEM professionals in the design of K-12 mathematics and science education curriculum, set the following explicit goals, and allocate resources to help school districts meet these goals.”

Three of the letter’s signers wrote a column at Quillette in August warning about the “deplorable” state of K-12 math education in the United States as public schools prioritize social justice policies over scholarship. 

Percy Deift, of New York University, Svetlana Jitomirskaya, of University of California Irvine, and Sergiu Klainerman, of Princeton University – all scholars who arrived in the United States as young immigrants – wrote that America is quickly losing its “dominant position” in the mathematical sciences.

Keeping in mind China’s “status as an authoritarian country,” the mathematicians warned Americans:

“The drawbacks of American education policies are so pronounced that US schools are now losing their ability to attract elite scholars despite the fact that the United States offers these academics in a freer more democratic environment.”

The scholars wrote:

“In our field, mathematics, we find that at most top departments in the United States, at least two-thirds of the faculty are foreign born. Similar practices may be observed in other STEM disciplines.”

The authors specifically called out focusing on social justice and diversity in K-12 schools as one that “has had the unfortunate effect of weakening the connection between merit and scholastic admission,” adding:

“The social justice rhetoric used to justify these diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs is often completely at odds with the reality one observes on campuses.

The concept of fighting ‘white supremacy,’ in particular, doesn’t apply to the math field, since American-born scholars of all races now collectively represent a small (and diminishing) minority of the country’s academic STEM specialists.”

Pointing to the California revised Mathematics Framework, the math scholars wrote that the plan could “do away with any tracking or differentiation of students up to the 11th grade,” adding:

“In order to achieve what the authors call ‘equity’ in math education, the framework would effectively close the main pathway to calculus in high school to all students except those who take extra math outside school, which, in practice, means students from families that can afford enrichment programs (or those going to charter or private schools.”

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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The demise of America? New state law won’t guarantee high school graduates can read, write, or do math

August 9th, 2021

OREGON – A new law signed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown back in July poses a concerning element regarding educational standards within the state, as the effect of the law won’t guarantee that Oregon high school graduates can read, write, or do math at a high school level for the next five years.

According to a spokesperson for the governor’s office, the law was put into effect to afford “equitable graduation standards” for minority communities within Oregon.

Senate Bill 744 was signed by Governor Brown back on July 14th, which the bill summary notes that SB 744 “suspends” academic standards needing to be achieved for high school students until the 2023-2024 school year:

“Suspends requirement of showing proficiency in Essential Learning Skills as condition of earning diploma during 2021-2022, or] 2022-2023 or 2023-2024 school year.

Prohibits State Board of Education from requiring for high school diploma that student show proficiency in any academic content area if student successfully completed credit requirements.”

Apparently, SB 744 aims to reexamine and craft new high school graduation standards, which those new standards need to be delivered to the Legislature and Oregon Board of Education by September 2022 and won’t be introduced until after the 2024 class graduates.

Yet, since Oregon officials have reportedly insisted that they wouldn’t impose any new sorts of requirements for students that have already started high school, these new graduation standards wouldn’t realistically be imposed upon high school students until the class of 2027.

What this means is that at least five more graduating classes in Oregon could wind up earning a high school diploma without being able to demonstrate any sort of high school-level of proficiency in reading, writing, and math.

Governor Brown has not afforded any public statement as to the rationale of abandoning certain academic benchmarks for high school students to obtain their diploma in Oregon, but her deputy communications director, Charles Boyle, proclaimed it was in the name of equitable outcomes for minority communities.

Boyle noted in a statement that abdicating from educational standards like reading and writing will ultimately behoove “Oregon’s Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

Boyle added that the passing of this legislation came after “leaders in the community” had encouraged structural changes to the high school curriculum:

“Leaders from those communities have advocated time and again for equitable graduation standards, along with expanded learning opportunities and supports.”

Apparently, Democrats within Oregon were largely supportive of the legislation, whereas Republicans voiced reasonable objections that this does nothing more than lower academic standards instead of helping students achieve reasonable levels of proficiency in basic subjects.

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LET Unity

Back in July, we at Law Enforcement Today shared another concerning report regarding the next generation of high school graduates coming out of Baltimore – in that over 41% of students are averaging below a 1.0 GPA. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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BALTIMORE, MD – According to reports, Baltimore City Public Schools has reached a concerning low in terms of student performance.

Apparently, during the first three quarters of the 2020-2021 school year, 41% of high school students in Baltimore City Schools earned below a 1.0 GPA.

Back in 2020, Jovani Patterson ran for the Baltimore City Council President under a platform that revolved around accountability in education.

In one of Patterson’s campaign ads in 2020, the candidate highlighted the copious amount of spending injected into the Baltimore City Public Schools that has seemingly failed to deliver a return on investment:

“They take. They take. They take. Yet, despite the amount of money they get. We don’t see much change. Our schools outspend 97% of other major school districts.”

When Project Baltimore uncovered the unsettling data showing that 41% of high school students in the 2020-2021 school year we’re averaging below D collectively, Patterson refer to the revelation as “terrible”:

“This is terrible. This is just further perpetuating a cycle of poverty, of despair.”

To put matters into perspective, nearly half of the 20,500 public high school students in Baltimore are averaging less than a grade D for three quarters of the 2020-2021 school year.

When confronted with this information, Patterson called it “heartbreaking” and called into question what happens after these children become young adults after leaving high school:

“It’s heartbreaking. If almost half of our kids are failing, what options do they have after high school? This is really disheartening. It’s sad to see this.”

On the upper end of the spectrum in Baltimore, 21% of the city’s high school students earned a GPA of 3.0 or greater, but that also shows the sad reality that roughly twice as many students in the city are averaging below a 1.0 GPA.

City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises was among the first to sound the proverbial alarm regarding failure rates in Baltimore City Schools back in January of 2021.

Santelises noted that the course failure rate for students had nearly doubled during the shutdown caused by the pandemic.

In May of 2021, Baltimore City Schools announced that no students would be held back for failing classes during the 2020-2021 school year.

In a statement provided by Baltimore City Schools, the following was noted:

“Consistent with the experience of many school districts across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic created significant disruptions to student learning.

As early as the summer of 2020, City Schools identified large numbers of students with decreases in their grade point averages and classroom performance when compared to past performances.”

“Starting this summer and beyond, City Schools is providing students with a variety of opportunities to acquire the unfinished learning they lost. Each student’s progress will be assessed, and an action plan will be developed to complete any unfinished learning. These plans will guide families and teachers in helping students get back on track.”

Patterson wound up not winning the election for City Council President in 2020, which that election was won by Nick Mosby, who is reportedly under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in regard to alleged campaign finance violations.

When commenting on Mosby’s lack of comment on the revelation of the data regarding failing students in Baltimore high schools, Patterson stated the following:

“They don’t care, man. They come from the same environment. Nick Mosby is a product of Baltimore City schools. Brendan Scott is a product of Baltimore City schools and they see what’s going on.

But then when you bring this to them, they don’t care. They don’t care at all. You have to raise the standard. Everyone should be speaking out about this.”

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LET Unity

Back in June, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report about a private school in New Jersey that was allegedly offering a concerning course where students were tasked with comparing police to those who lynched black Americans years ago. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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According to a recent Facebook post from Brothers Before Others, a New Jersey-based private Catholic school had assigned to students a project in which they were to compare instances of historical lynchings to that of black suspects killed during police interactions.

While sources suggest that the school has since pulled the assignment, there are still looming questions about how such an assignment was even dreamt up.

According to the post by Brothers Before Others, sources informed them that Hudson Catholic Regional High School had presented a history assignment to students where they were to allegedly do the following: 

“Students are to create a powerpoint. Find a famous case of a lynching (I suggest googling famous lynching case) and compare it to a famous case where an African American was slain by a police officer or some other authority figure.

Your slides should describe what lynching and police brutality are. They should provide background on the specific cases and describe what happened afterwards.

These should NOT be black text on white backgrounds! Be sure to use pictures and other things to liven up your slides. Your PowerPoint should be 15-20 slides.”

While the school has not publicly commented on the matter, sources say that the school quickly had the assignment pulled.

Yet, the matter is still nonetheless troubling, insofar that a school assignment would ask students to compare the horrible act of lynching to that of police uses of force that can be at times fatal.

Josh Oliveri, 2nd VP of Brothers Before Others, had the following to say about this alleged school assignment:

“An overwhelming number of instances involving police use of physical or mechanical force originate from a suspect resisting a lawful arrest. The notion that you, as someone being placed under arrest, have the right to resist is false and is fostered by a learned disrespect for the men and women and uniform.”

“A disrespect that, in some cases, is being taught to our most vulnerable and malleable citizens – our youth. As an educator, if you are teaching our children that law enforcement is the enemy, you are not only undermining social order, you are setting our children up for failure and potential incarceration.”

“More than that, imagine a scenario where a child of a police officer attends this school, which is highly likely. Teachers like this create a hostile environment for those children and literally force them to disavow their own parents or face potential bullying or worse.”

“Behavior like this shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, let alone a private school being paid handsomely to educate our children. We hear a lot of preaching about ‘accountability’ as it pertains to law enforcement.

Well, we either all are accountable for our actions regardless of our profession or there will never be true progress. I’d be interested in knowing exactly what level of accountability this specific teacher faced.”

Brothers Before Others founder and president Michael J. Burke also chimed in on the matter, suggesting a perhaps more appropriate assignment that the Catholic school could entertain:

“First and foremost, as a former Hudson County resident, the only thing I remember about Hudson Catholic was beating up on their hockey team. Perhaps they should have their students do a PowerPoint presentation on the epidemic of pedophilia amongst clergy and compare & contrast Catholic priests to other religions.”

“Or maybe just stay in their lane and leave the law enforcement to the professionals and we’ll leave allegations of sexual deviancy to them. With all due respect.”

We at Law Enforcement Today have reached out to Hudson Catholic for comment on this alleged history class assignment, but the school has yet to respond on the matter.

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