Math as Indoctrination
Eagle Forum - April
One area where Rethinking Schools has it right is their view of Common Core standards. Although the mainstream media relentlessly insists that Common Core disenchantment comes only from far-right and Tea Party groups, the current issue of Rethinking Schools magazine reports on the progressive group’s displeasure in an article titled “The Problems with the Common Core”:
The standards were drafted largely behind closed doors by academics and assessment “experts,” many with ties to testing companies. . . . [It is] a massively well-financed campaign of billionaires and politically powerful advocacy organizations. . . . Rethinking Schools has always been skeptical of standards imposed from above. Too many standards projects have been efforts to move decisions about teaching and learning away from educators and schools, and put them in the hands of distant bureaucracies and politicians. (ReThinking Schools, Winter 2013-14)
Since states began implementing Common Core, all sorts of social justice math teaching has popped up in classrooms. It seems that if a lesson plan is labeled Common Core-aligned, no matter how misguided, it may be taught to students. Standards that “change how math is taught” leave classrooms wide open to adding social justice content.