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Mathematics – The New Social Justice!

Sorry, I haven’t posted here in a couple of months – Fall is such an interesting and driving time. Family in my house always comes first and we have had our share of “family affairs” since August, but all is good. Better than in our schools which have slid off the mountain tops into “social justice” so far I am afraid we will never find our way out.

I started posting about how they are using the different subjects taught t our children to push social justice and now the big one is in how they are manipulating Math to address the subject.

Learning by the Bible to do good, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause and help your fellow man is NOT Social Justice, but being a decent Human Being!

Unless we as a whole stand up and say, “NO MORE – GET YOUR HANDS AND IDEAS AWAY FROM OUR CHILDREN AND JUST TEACH THEM” – nothing is going to change. It isn’t going to change because they don’t care about our kids – and theirs go to private schools.

Since most of our legislators have discovered a way to make a lot of money from owning Charter schools and aligning up with multi corporations, I wonder how much they are going to make endorsing and passing legislation regarding vouchers.

I first started researching education when Obama’s take-over ideas began to leak out even before he was elected. Make note parents, George H. Bush was no friend of our children any more than Bill Clinton, the other snake Bushes, Bill Ayers, Lamar Alexander, Rothschilds, Rockefeller’s and the Soros clan.

All of you parents whose children are in the IB Program – are you aware that is a UN/UNESCO curriculum that is Marxist/socialist and in a very subtle way, and costs your schools millions in the long run and the worst of all, it is proprietary and must be accepted for what it teaches – nothing can be changed and textbooks come from them. It does not have to conform to our education curriculum.

One of the first things that really rocked me was in how our children were to learn math and the fact that it didn’t matter if the answers were correct or not, but how they had obtained their answers. So, what I had heard was true, 2+2 = 4 was not the only answer a person could have for this equation; 1+2 could equal 4, 5+4 could equal 4 – it was all ok, just the way you worked the problems and came to your answer was important.

ReThinking MathematicsThis seemed stupid to me so I went researching. The first book I found was “Rethinking Mathematics” by Eric Gutstein, a professor of Mathematics at the Univ. of Illinois in Chicago.

I wasn’t surprised as to where he came from having already researched the damage Arnie Duncan had done to the Chicago schools before Obama was elected.

This book uses Gutstein’s interpretation of social injustices mostly in America and enjoins that to Mathematical Q & A. It reads almost as if he had taken the writings from within the Earth Charter and converted it to Math.

“In this new expanded and updated edition of Rethinking Mathematics, more than 50 articles show how to weave social justice issues throughout the mathematics curriculum, as well as how to integrate mathematics into other curricular areas.”

Rethinking Mathematics” offers teaching ideas, lesson plans, and reflections by practitioners and mathematics educators. This is real-world math – math that helps students analyze social problems as they gain essential academic skills.”

“This book offers hope and guidance for teachers to enliven and strengthen their math teaching. It will deepen students understanding of society and help prepare them to be critical, active participants in a democracy. Blending theory and practice, this is the only resource of its kind.”  (Thank God).

Teaching Mathematics for Social JusticeUnfortunately, it is NOT the only one of its kind. Take “Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice” by David Stinson. The author says “Educators increasingly recognize the important role that mathematics teaching plays in helping students to understand and overcome social injustice and inequality. This collection of original articles is the start of a compelling conversation among some of the leading figures in critical and social justice mathematics, a number of teachers and educators who have been inspired by them and who have inspiring stories of their own to tell and any reader interested in the intersection of education and social justice. An important read for every educator, this book shows how to teach mathematics so that all students are given the tools they need to confront issues of social justice today and in the future.”

This is another wake-up call as to who is teaching your kids. The educators can know all about our families, but we aren’t supposed to know anything about the person that spends the most time with our children.

Something is very wrong with this picture! Especially since the really good teachers have left teaching and have been replaced by Teach for America teachers who in most cases graduated NOT having a degree in Education and non-certified teachers are being allowed to teach. Check with your local school boards on certification laws.

Both books imply we have been racist in the teaching of math. Since when did one half of the classroom learn from one Math book and the other half a different book?

The spoken and unspoken belief about black students is tied to broader perceptions about black people. So, let’s just say it: Some believe the gap is a function of weak family and community structures, male joblessness, drug use, and permissive cultural values—which they assert predominate in the black community.

What is your “social rational” for the white boys out on the streets selling the dope, beating up women, and causing riots?

Others believe that blacks constitute a community that is largely beyond intervention and that no amount of funding or special programs can fix what ails the perpetually troubled. If this is true liberal democrats, then why is it every education bill you pass is directed at low-income areas?

Is it because the whitey’s that think so much of themselves continually try to drum this nonsense into the black children of this country. You continually tell them they will never amount to anything, don’t even try to get into college and the good one – you will never get a job of any meaning to be able to support a family.

Then these evil men and women like to say that any black child who has asserted themselves to be able to go to college then what they have done is outsmart the stereotype which has been set up and they refer to them as “outliers” – something or someone that lies outside the main body or group that it is a part of, as a cow far from the rest of the herd, or maybe a black or Hispanic child saying, “you are all are wrong, I will succeed”.

These erroneous and insulting beliefs persist out there because they are repeated by a constant recitation of negative statistics about blacks and now also Hispanics in the research literature and unrelenting circulated news accounts. Such wrong and deceitful assertions negate accurate and meaningful portrayals of black and Hispanic people. Mostly, they are misdirecting education and social policy and have skewed funding priorities in education by their constant legislation aimed at “low-income” families.

Regrettably, Americans have been socialized by the scholarly and journalism communities to accept at face value negative data and false information about blacks and been trained to also believe their colored students will “never make anything of themselves”.

Now the new thing is to be sure that middle and high school teachers learn how to incorporate social justice items such as racism and chosen privilege into their classrooms. Who is making the decisions as to what is to be considered “social justice”?

To what end? Here again, they have chosen a “subject” to cause “race baiting” causing hate and discontent.

Many of us who are researching and complaining about how education has been “handled” for the past 10 years (it has been longer but has intensified in the past 10 years through the UN and their wacky “social justice” they apply to whatever as the need arises) understand what is behind this ugly race-baiting.

We have been aware of the teaching of those who sign on to “Teach for America” and they along with edX have now designed a course they have called “Teaching Social Justice Through Secondary Mathematics” is being pushed through a 6-week course for MIDDLE SCHOOL teachers and you can even take online courses from top universities like Columbia. The course intent is to incorporate social justice into their curricula.

According to the course developers, regular math is “too abstract” for many students, and incorporating social justice can help them better understand “the power and meaning” of math.

Pinging directly to the Math classes the question posed is “Do you ask students to think deeply about global and local social justice issues within your mathematics classroom?”

edX is a massive open online course provider. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body and it was created by MIT and Harvard University.

Part of the problem I see here is the fact edX states they are ” founded by and continue to be governed by colleges and universities. We are the only leading MOOC provider that is both nonprofit and open source. This is one of the big problems since most universities and colleges today are very liberal and have no time for our students when they object to their bias.

The point is they are supposed to blend their math instruction with topics such as poverty, privilege, and inequity to “transform students into GLOBAL THINKERS & MATHEMATICIANS”.

Does this mean knowing and understanding Math alone will not make you a great Mathematician, and you also must believe in “sustainable development and climate change”?

This is Soviet/Nazi type education – brainwashing at its worst. You see the true meaning of “sustainable development” is to get rid of capitalism, we need mathematicians who are supporting the one to achieve the other.

These manipulating, conniving liars will tell you that Math is evil because there is no ethics behind it. This is definitely a form of dehumanizing our children so that population control will not bother them; it will change their outlook on abortion; teach them there are different classes of genocide and sometimes it is a good thing – needed.

A recent article by D. Susan Berry “Common Core Rooted in Math Social Indoctrination” states, “While proponents of the Common Core claim that the new standards are focused on “college and career readiness,” more evidence is surfacing that a central purpose of the initiative is social justice and income redistribution indoctrination.

I agree, and as I stated in my 2 previous postings regarding the G20, Link, Link, the UN and all their supporters who believe they will someday rule the world, know their focus must be in indoctrinating our children to not only believe in “sustainable development”, but support it without question.

That is why they are now working at pushing these climate and social justice lies so hard because time is short and they keep changing their mindset as to what is going to work. Fortunately, enough of us are awake and more are seeing what is happening, their job is getting harder.

We have socialist, Marxist-Communists surrounding our children like Bill Ayers, Linda-Darling Hammond, Bill Gates, Bushes – more and more – coming up with more ideas all the time.

Radical Math” boasts over 700 lesson plans, articles, charts, books, and websites that cover a wide range of socio-political issues including redistribution of wealth, discrimination against the poor by whites and the message that widespread racism against blacks continues in the United States today.

Sorry liberals and UN baiters, most Americans got past your race baiting years ago. We have learned to look at the person not the color of his skin. The next thing to come out will be the use of Math and other subjects as the basis for our distrust of Muslims.

For me, I read their Quŕan to understand where they are coming from!

Social Justice is what “they” are using to say capitalism has created the poor and inequality of the world. Those two items have been around since Moses and yet Pope Francis, the very Pope who shakes hands with Rick Warren acknowledging “Chrislam” states “inequality is the root of social evil”.

Knowing my history as I do I would like to point out there has been extreme social evil in the Catholic church (and we know there has) since the Pope and his Cardinals and Bishops rein over the lower levels of the poor in the church. Francis also has stated capitalists have gotten rich from war and if my History is with me, the Vatican Bank got very full with the church’s collaboration with the Nazi’s and the Catholic church has reigned over others for centuries.

I for one will not share what I have worked for to survive for so many years with others unless I deem them needy which is called Charity, not social justice. I follow no lead or instructions of a socialist Pope who cannot even keep his own house but is looking away or participating in the indoctrination of our children through phony ideology and perception.

I see the “root of social evil” adults of any kind forcing sex upon children!

Social Justice Math 1Social Justice

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The PARCC Test: Exposed [excerpts deleted under legal threat from PARCC]

I love sharing others blog posting! Not because I want to share in their glory, but because the education of our children is so important and parents need to know all the back ally’s and twist and turns being used to remove our REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT and the “DUMBING” DOWN of OUR children.

At this stage of the game I cannot state strong enough how important it is to get your children enrolled in a “Home School Coalition”. Even if you have to work, “where there is a will there is a way”.  LINK I say this not because of any lack of support for teachers on my part, but because of the laws being passed by non-educators and the curriculum and standardized testing being thrown at our children. There are many very good teachers who have left the profession because of these things and would probably be glad to work with you in a coalition situation.

I, of course, cannot share this brave teachers name with you because I don’t know it, but the information is very important. Parents need to take information like this to their school boards and ask them point blank what their objective is in giving our children this type of education. Nothing says your school district cannot “opt out” when needed. Please share this article’s information far and wide across this country.

Penny For Thoughts

The author of this blog posting is a public school teacher who will remain anonymous.

I will not reveal my district or my role due to the intense legal ramifications for exercising my Constitutional First Amendment rights in a public forum. I was compelled to sign a security form that stated I would not be “Revealing or discussing passages or test items with anyone, including students and school staff, through a verbal exchange, email, social media, or any other form of communication” as this would be considered a “Security Breach.” In response to this demand, I can only ask—whom are we protecting?

There are layers of not-so-subtle issues that need to be aired as a result of national and state testing policies that are dominating children’s lives in America. As any well-prepared educator knows, curriculum planning and teaching requires knowing how you will assess your students and planning backward from that knowledge. If teachers are unable to examine and discuss the summative assessment for their students, how can they plan their instruction? Yet, that very question assumes that this test is something worth planning for. The fact is that schools that try to plan their curriculum exclusively to prepare students for this test are ignoring the body of educational research that tells us how children learn, and how to create developmentally appropriate activities to engage students in the act of learning. This article will attempt to provide evidence for these claims as a snapshot of what is happening as a result of current policies.

The PARCC test is developmentally inappropriate

In order to discuss the claim that the PARCC test is “developmentally inappropriate,” examine three of the most recent PARCC 4th grade items.

A book leveling system, designed by Fountas and Pinnell, was made “more rigorous” in order to match the Common Core State Standards. These newly updated benchmarks state that 4th Graders should be reading at a Level S by the end of the year in order to be considered reading “on grade level.” [Celia’s note: I do not endorse leveling books or readers, nor do I think it appropriate that all 9-year-olds should be reading a Level S book to be thought of as making good progress.]

The PARCC, which is supposedly a test of the Common Core State Standards, appears to have taken liberties with regard to grade level texts. For example, in the Spring 2016 PARCC for 4th Graders, students were expected to read an excerpt from[deleted under legal threat by Parcc] According to Scholastic, this text is at an interest level for Grades 9-12, and at a 7th Grade reading level. The Lexile measure is 1020L, which is most often found in texts that are written for middle school, and according to Scholastic’s own conversion chart would be equivalent to a 6th-grade benchmark around W, X, or Y (using the same Fountas and Pinnell scale).

Even by the reform movement’s own standards, according to MetaMetrics’ reference material on Text Complexity Grade Bands and Lexile Bands, the newly CCSS aligned “Stretch” Lexile level of 1020 falls in the 6-8 grade range. This begs the question, what is the purpose of standardizing text complexity bands if testing companies do not have to adhere to them? Also, what is the purpose of a standardized test that surpasses agreed-upon Lexile levels?

So, right out of the gate, 4th graders are being asked to read and respond to texts that are two grade levels above the recommended benchmark. After they struggle through difficult texts with advanced vocabulary and nuanced sentence structures, they then have to answer multiple choice questions that are, by design, intended to distract students with answers that appear to be correct except for some technicality.

Finally, students must synthesize two or three of these advanced texts and compose an original essay. The ELA portion of the PARCC takes three days, and each day includes a new essay prompt based on multiple texts. These are the prompts from the 2016 Spring PARCC exam for 4th Graders along with my analysis of why these prompts do not reflect the true intention of the Common Core State Standards.

ELA 4TH GRADE PROMPT #1

[deleted under legal threat by Parcc]

The above prompt probably attempts to assess the Common Core standard RL.4.5: “Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.”

However, the Common Core State Standards for writing do not require students to write essays comparing the text structures of different genres. The Grade 4 CCSS for writing about reading demand that students write about characters, settings, and events in literature, or that they write about how authors support their points in informational texts. Nowhere in the standards are students asked to write comparative essays on the structures of writing. The reading standards ask students to “explain” structural elements, but not in writing. There is a huge developmental leap between explaining something and writing an analytical essay about it. [Celia’s note: The entire enterprise of analyzing text structures in elementary school – a 1940’s and 50’s college English approach called “New Criticism” — is ridiculous for 9-year-olds anyway.]

The PARCC does not assess what it attempts to assess

ELA 4TH GRADE PROMPT #2

[deleted under legal threat by Parcc]

It would be a stretch to say that this question assesses CCSS W.4.9.B: “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.”

In fact, this prompt assesses a student’s ability to research a topic across sources and write a research-based essay that synthesizes facts from both articles. Even CCSS W.4.7, “Conduct research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic,” does not demand that students compile information from different sources to create an essay. The closest the standards come to demanding this sort of work is in the reading standards; CCSS RI.4.9 says: “Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.” Fine. One could argue that this PARCC prompt assesses CCSS RI.4.9.

However, the fact that the texts presented for students to “use” for the essay are at a middle school reading level automatically disqualifies this essay prompt from being able to assess what it attempts to assess. (It is like trying to assess children’s math computational skills by embedding them in a word problem with words that the child cannot read.)

ELA 4TH GRADE PROMPT #3

[DELETED UNDER LEGAL THREAT BY PARCC]

Nowhere, and I mean nowhere in the Common Core State Standards is there a demand for students to read a narrative and then use the details from that text to write a new story based on a prompt. That is a new pseudo-genre called “Prose Constructed Response” by the PARCC creators, and it is 100% not aligned to the CCSS. Not to mention, why are 4th Graders being asked to write about trying out for the junior high track team? This demand defies their experiences and asks them to imagine a scenario that is well beyond their scope.

(Dianemarie Note: The paragraph brought to my mind something David Coleman said in the beginning of the push for the CCSS in his referencing of the practice of asking the students who have just come back to school after the summer break to write a story about how they spent their summer. Coleman told a room full of teachers those type of things would no longer be done because who gives a “shit” what a kid did during their summers? This showed you that Coleman knew nothing about the education of a child and we knew for sure our kids were in trouble.)

Clearly, these questions are poorly designed assessments of 4th graders CCSS learning. (We are setting aside the disagreements we have with those standards in the first place, and simply assessing the PARCC on its utility for measuring what it was intended to measure.)

Rather than debate the CCSS we instead want to expose the tragic reality of the countless public schools organizing their entire instruction around trying to raise students’ PARCC scores.

Without naming any names, I can tell you that schools are disregarding research-proven methods of literacy learning. The “wisdom” coming “down the pipeline” is that children need to be exposed to more complex texts because that is what PARCC demands of them. So children are being denied independent and guided reading time with texts of high interest and potential access and instead are handed texts that are much too hard (frustration level) all year long without ever being given the chance to grow as readers in their Zone of Proximal Development (pardon my reference to those pesky educational researchers like Vygotsky.)

So not only are students who are reading “on grade level” going to be frustrated by these so-called “complex texts,” but newcomers to the U.S. and English Language Learners and any student reading below the proficiency line will never learn the foundational skills they need, will never know the enjoyment of reading and writing from intrinsic motivation, and will, sadly, be denied the opportunity to become a critical reader and writer of media. Critical literacies are foundational for active participation in a democracy.

We can look carefully at one sample to examine the health of the entire system– such as testing a drop of water to assess the ocean. So too, we can use these three PARCC prompts to glimpse how the high stakes accountability system has deformed teaching and warped learning in many public schools across the United States.

In this sample, the system is pathetically failing a generation of children who deserve better, and when they are adults, they may not have the skills needed to engage as citizens and problem-solvers. So it is up to us, those of us who remember a better way and can imagine a way out, to make the case for stopping standardized tests like PARCC from corrupting the educational opportunities of so many of our children.

So very, very sad! Sorry