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February 14, 2005

Something Other than the Three Rs

While we battle back and forth about the sanctity of evolution in the public school science curriculum, a reminder of the broader field in which we work is in order:

According to benchmarks for middle school education, the top objective for the district's math teachers is to teach "respect for human differences." The objective is for students to "live out the system-wide core value of 'respect for human differences' by demonstrating anti-racist/anti-bias behaviors."

Priority No. 2 is where the basics come in, which is "problem solving and representation — students will build new mathematical knowledge as they use a variety of techniques to investigate and represent solutions to problems."

No, I'm not arguing that the establishment of political correctness as a central goal of education means that the door has been opened to ideology. No, I'm not taking this extreme example as representative. Still, our schools are not hard-line institutions of knowledge collection, and I don't believe that they ought to be.

It's also interesting to note that mathematicians and the ACLU aren't mounting a campaign to beat back this infringement of ideology — the armies of Unreason — on the cold truth of math. Shouldn't the courts be called in to straighten out these liberal fundamentalists?

Posted by Justin Katz at February 14, 2005 11:53 PM

If you think this will be about racism for long, then you haven't been paying attention. Racism is really not a big problem in this country anymore, but it makes a nice camel's nose, to slip under the tent. GLSEN/et. al. have been promoting this strategy for years now...

Who would dare complain about "fighting racism"?

Posted by: Marty at February 15, 2005 11:02 AM

I'm sure that libertarians deplore this kind of thing as much as they deplore ID/Creationism. But a large fraction of liberals favor the mushy political correctness exemplified here. Everyone knows its impossible to get libertarians, as a group, to agree on anything, so there's no organized constituency (except conservatives, of course, be we all know that their power is neglibible at public schools - especially in Newton, MA.) for combating this.

There's also no religious angle, and therefore no Constitutional arguments.

Posted by: Mike S. at February 15, 2005 12:14 PM