Cambridge Public Schools no longer offers advanced math in middle school, something that could hinder his son Isaac from reaching more advanced classes, like calculus, in high school.
The district’s aim was to reduce disparities between low-income children of color, who weren’t often represented in such courses, and their more affluent peers.
“The students who are able to jump into a higher level math class are students from better-resourced backgrounds,” said Jacob Barandes, another district parent and a Harvard physicist. “They’re shortchanging a significant number of students, overwhelmingly students from less-resourced backgrounds, which is deeply inequitable.”
This is not the first time this debate has raged in Cambridge, and the same questions are being debated around the country. The California Board of Education, for example, is expected to pass a new state math framework that discourages eighth-grade algebra. Leaders there say the controversial measure is necessary because when the state pressured districts to offer eighth-grade algebra, many students were unprepared for the course and had to repeat it.
Farming is both difficult and skilled work.
During the Soviet Revolution, farmers that had both the work ethic and technical knowledge to farm and successful at it were deemed Kulaks.
Their success was seen as coming at the expense of less successful farmers.
The Kulaks were liquidated, i.e., killed or sent to gulag, and their land was redistributed to the other farmers.
Those farmers had neither the skill or work ethic to farm adequately and the result was a famine that killed as many as 20 million Soviets.
Years later, Chairman Mao did something similar and that famine killed as many as 50 million Chinese.
In Massachusetts and California, it appears that the same attitude has been applied to math education.
Some students have the intelligence and work ethic to get good at math.
That is “inequitable.”
So the solution proposed is to liquidate the intellectual Kulaks.
The advanced children will have their advanced math taken from them, and they will be forced into the same lower math as everyone else.
This will not make the dumb kids smarter.
It will make the smart kids miserable.
And then everyone will be at the same low level of performance.
The lesson the children are being taught is that hard work and skill is a liability, not an asset, and success will be punished in favor of “equity.”
Just like in the Soviet Union and Maoist China, this will also lead to famine. Just one of a different kind.
Our best and brightest children will not have the ability or desire to succeed academically.
They won’t pursue high value college degrees, no medicine, engineering, science, etc.
We will suffer a famine of highly skilled professionals, and then the resulting societal problems that ensue.
We will have a shortage of doctors.
Our bridges will fall down.
Airplanes will fall out of the skies.
The lights will go out.
Our infrastructure will crumble.
But at least we will have equity in the dark.