The Seattle Public Schools Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee (ESAC) released a rough draft of notes for its Math Ethnic Studies framework in late September, which attempts to connects math to a history of oppression.
The framework is broken into four different themes: “Origins, Identity, and Agency,” “Power and Oppression,” “History of Resistance and Liberation,” and “Reflection and Action.” (RELATED: Professor Claims Math, Algebra And Geometry Promote ‘White Privilege’)
The committee suggests that math is subjective and racist, saying under one section, “Who gets to say if an answer is right,” and under another, “how is math manipulated to allow inequality and oppression to persist?”
Rantz: Seattle Schools document say math is oppressive, US government racist https://t.co/uV6DzIHfFu
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) October 2, 2019
Jason Rantz of KTTH in Seattle noted that, “ESAC is made up of a number of educators and was created due to a legislature mandate to ‘advise, assist, and make recommendations to the office of the superintendent of public instruction regarding the identification of ethnic studies materials.'”
It is also stated in the document that Western mathematics is “used to disenfranchise people and communities of color.”
Under this framework students will be able to “construct & decode mathematical knowledge, truth, and beauty” so that they can contribute to their communities.
Furthermore, under this criteria students will analyze the ways in which “ancient mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture,” and “identify how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.”
The deadline for the final draft of the curriculum is September 1, 2020.
Tracy Castro-Gill, Seattle’s ethnic studies director, told King 5 in Seattle, “The goal is to disrupt the status quo and do something different.”
The idea of math being problematic has been promoted among academics with a Vanderbilt professor saying that math education is sexist and a high school in Canada last year moved to “Africentric Math” to try and promote more black students.