The California State Board of Education is set to push back against implementing an overhaul of its mathematics curriculum after opponents argued the plan needlessly inserts politics and social justice initiatives into lessons.
“California is on the verge of politicizing K-12 math in a potentially disastrous way. This postponement means the State Board of Education has heard the message loud and clear. STEM leaders don’t want California students left behind by introducing politics into the math curriculum,” Independent Institute Senior Fellow Dr. Williamson M. Evers said in a statement.
The California board is slated to postpone implementing its proposed Mathematics Curriculum Framework during a Wednesday meeting, pushing final action on the curriculum to May 2022, according to the board’s agenda for this month.
The move comes after hundreds of former and current professionals working in science, math, and engineering fields, as well as educators and venture capitalists, signed an open letter denouncing the plan as one that will “de-mathematize math” and instead insert “environmental and social justice” teachings into curriculum.
“For all the rhetoric in this framework about equity, social justice, environmental care and culturally appropriate pedagogy, there is no realistic hope for a more fair, just, equal and well-stewarded society if our schools uproot long-proven, reliable and highly effective math methods and instead try to build a mathless Brave New World on a foundation of unsound ideology,” the letter reads.
Drafts of the framework show the new curriculum would focus on equity to recognize “that mathematics, over the years, has developed in a way that has excluded many students.” It adds that because of inequities, “teachers need to work consciously to counter racialized or gendered ideas about mathematics achievement.”
“All students deserve powerful mathematics; we reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” reads a bullet point in chapter one of the framework. “The belief that ‘I treat everyone the same’ is insufficient: Active efforts in mathematics teaching are required in order to counter the cultural forces that have led to and continue to perpetuate current inequities.”
The board did not immediately respond to Fox News’s request for comment on pushing back final action on the math overhaul.
The math proposal comes amid a nationwide heated debate on the implementation of critical race theory curriculum in classrooms, with some Republican state leaders banning the teachings over concerns it’s racist and anti-American.
“I think [critical race theory is] going to cause a lot of divisions. I think it’ll cause people to think of themselves more as a member of a particular race based on skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they’re trying to accomplish in life,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said last month.
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