Oregon Education Department recommends course that claims asking kids to show work in math class is white supremacy

The Oregon Department of Education has suggested its teachers attend a continuing education course that teaches asking school kids to show their work during math class is white supremacy.

What are the details?

In an email from the department sent to teachers and administrators, the Oregon Department of Education suggested educators attend a class that instructs teachers to shy away from asking students to show their work in math class because it's a form of white supremacy.

The course, titled "A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction," includes an 82-page instructional guide notating the ways in which white supremacy apparently runs rampant in mathematics class.

In its message to teachers, the Department of Education wrote, "Are you or your Professional Learning Team looking for a deeper dive into equity work? Our friends at the Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction are offering a virtual micro-course beginning February 25, 2021, titled 'Pathway to Math Equity Micro-Course 2.0: Valuing and elevating student discourse in the math classroom.'"

"The course consists of five synchronous sessions.

In this online course, educators will learn key tools for engagement, develop strategies to improve equitable outcomes for black, Latinx, and multilingual students, and join communities of practice," the message said. "View the micro-course flyer and register here. For information about 'A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction,' visit www.equitablemath.org."

The course — which spans five weeks — includes a plan of action to help in "deconstructing racism in mathematics," according to the Daily Wire, and demands "visibilizing [sic] the toxic characteristics of white supremacy culture with respect to math."

A portion of the guide states, "White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions. Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics."

Those actions include asking students to show their work and being subjected to a grading system.

According to the outlet, the guide "claims that asking students to show their work is a 'crutch' for teachers to understand what students are thinking."

"This is considered white supremacy because it allegedly reinforces 'paternalism' and 'worship of the written word,'" the outlet adds. "Worship of the writer word is an alleged foundation of white supremacy culture, which reinforces documentation and writing skills."

The guide also refers to answers as "right" or "wrong" also perpetuates "objectivity" — another apparent tentpole of white culture and supremacy.

"The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so," the guide explains. "Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity."

The guide also requests teachers become more inclusive by adapting "homework policies to fit the needs of students of color."

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