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Topic: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Replies: 43   Last Post: Jul 25, 2007 9:08 AM

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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Posted: Jul 22, 2007 4:33 PM
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Well, given Greg's skepticism of anything and everything I post,
should I waste my time digging up quotations from Wayne's "Greatest
Hits" on the racism and "separate but equal" philosophy informing
Jack Price, NCTM, Bob Moses of The Algebra Project, Bob Megginson (a
Native American professor of mathematics at U of Michigan)?

Wayne's "best" work on the racism and "pickaninny perspective" theme
appears on the AMTE list-serve back when that was his preferred venue
(since in mostly was read by mathematics educators). You were there,
too, Greg, so surely you remember this exchange, for starters. There
are lots more where this one comes from, entire threads of this kind
of thing:

<http://tinyurl.com/2qdjzc>

Re: Racism and the Math Wars
Posted: Jun 9, 2000 3:48 PM

At 06:42 AM 6/9/00 +0000, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:

>Wayne Bishop is still at it: his repeated harping upon "separate
but equal"
>appears to throw down the gauntlet to us reform-minded folks to prove
>ourselves innocent of a particularly loathesome crime: racist

beliefs and
>deeds. This is indeed a serious challenge, should one take it at
face value.

First off, "beliefs" is too strong of a word except in the sense held
by many
well-meaning but insidiously condescending folk in support of the legal
separate-but-equal or the right-brained Indian idea pushed by the
Bureau of
Indian Affairs a couple of decades ago. It is the same mentality that
not only
allowed but *mandated* years of primary instruction in Spanish that
was carried
all the way to Oakland's extension to Ebonics. Fortunately, many
beyond Rush
Limbaugh supporters just held their sides and laughed outright at
that one and
it died its timely (blink of an eyelash) death. Only left-end
professional
linguists are still debating the efficacy of the endeavor, instead of
the
idiocy of the endeavor. For at least a couple of decades, race-based
decision-making has been not only illegal but unwise as well.

>at various times, you have accused a number of people who support NCTM
>Standards-based programs and the NCTM Standards documents of being

racist.

Again, it is the same issue. The NCTM Standards has (have? - you're the
English major) been used to promote the effectively racist concept that
different races learn mathematics differently and that some races are
better
served by pedagogy and curricula that are consistent with that
document. A
good example is the conclusion that two of the NSF funded NCTM
Standards-based
mathematics curricula, STEM, Sixth Through Eighth Grade Mathematics,
and CMP,
Connected Mathematics Program, are better for African Americans,
"Mathematics
problem solving scores for African American students in the two
standards-based
curricula were significantly higher than scores for African American
students
in the Control group." Only obliquely does the study making that
conclusion
indicate that it had an amazing total of 8 African Americans in "the
Control
group". The study was funded by the NSF education wing to prove its
foregone
conclusion. Jack Price gets mentioned because he played the
(Hispanic) race
card in his 1995 Presidential Address in regard to a school that had
taken
performance even further into the toilet - essentially killed the
eighth grade
algebra opportunity for these same Hispanic students. MathLand at Roscoe
Elementary was another. Make a big deal out of the percentage of
Hispanic and
LEP students at the school but leave out the sharply declining
performance of
those same students, a full 80% of the school's data. That one was
part of the
support for the U.S. Department of Ed's "Exemplary and Promising"
recommendations using this same "data" three years later.

>..., but in fact enormous amounts of counter-evidence which
> MC members conveniently and cynically ignore.


Please, give us access to the *raw data* behind the glowing words of
support,
including the schools where they were obtained. That's where these
effectively
racist ideas fail, even under the most casual look at the *actual*
data instead
of the creative writing that surrounds them. It took me more than a
year to
get the school data behind Jack Price's Spurgeon Intermediate example
in Santa
Ana Unified, even though I knew the school within a week of reading
his address
(that did not mention the state, let alone the name of the school),
but the
fact that performance could not match the rhetoric was a given. Feel-
good
platitudes disguising declining performance should not be NCTM goals
and do not
constitute "enormous amounts of counter-evidence".

>So why would a bunch of 'reasonable' people employ such an extreme
>tactic against people whom they fully know or have good reason to

suspect
>would have long track records as anti-racists, progressives,
supporters of
equity, etc.?

Identification of an illness is usually necessary as an initial stage of
treatment.

>Do I belong to racist organizations or contribute money or lend
>support, succor, or aid to such groups?


I would be very surprised to find that you do or that you ever did or
that you
ever looked kindly on those who do or did. But the KKK has been
irrelevant for
my entire lifetime (with deep apology to families of any and all lynched
Blacks, burned out churches, and other such atrocities - I mean only as
national policy). George Wallace had a national following but far
from any
decision-making level of national influence. The current Separate-But
-Equal
is a system of public education that encourages life-long Democrats,
such as
myself, to put their kids into "Republican" schools that teach
"Republican"
language arts skills in a "Republican" language and use "Republican"
mathematics books. It is outrageous.

Rebecca's two-second dismissal of that most promising African
American student
(the only A grade in my Calculus II this quarter) is an exaggerated
public
demonstration of the problem. This kid has real potential and he's
working on
developing it. He needs guidance. He started the course writing in an
out-sized almost unreadable, disorganized scrawl and, although his
presentation is far from perfect, it is now vastly better. He is
bright enough
to have understood enough pre-calc to now do coherent work and he is
doing so.
A majority of the class has algebra skill and elementary function skill
deficits that are too deep to overcome in one quarter, especially
coming from a
culture of optional, sporadic attendance and irresponsible homework
effort. To
deny this student the opportunity to excel, in the name of
opportunity of ALL,
would be an abomination. That is a mistaken interpretation of what it
means to
educate all students, a fundamental goal of nearly all of us, and it
is where
the reform movement in mathematics education went down the wrong road.
Performance matters; race does not.

Wayne.
---------------------------------------------------------

At 06:42 AM 6/9/00 +0000, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
>Wayne Bishop is still at it: his repeated harping upon "separate
but equal"
>appears to throw down the gauntlet to us reform-minded folks to prove
>ourselves innocent of a particularly loathesome crime: racist

beliefs and
>deeds. This is indeed a serious challenge, should one take it at
face value.
>
>Meanwhile, were we going to keep a list of challenges asked and

evaded in
>this venue, it would be very long. My impression is that Dr. Bishop
would be
>#1 for both issuing and ignoring challenges, but I could easily be
wrong.
>And since we've been issuing challenges, here's another one for
Wayne, David
>Klein, Jim Milgram, and especially Jerry Rosen:
>
>at various times, you have accused a number of people who support NCTM
>Standards-based programs and the NCTM Standards documents of being

racist. I
>have been accused several times of being on a plane with David Duke,
>Shockley, Herrnstein and Murray, Jensen and probably a few other

notorious
>racists (Hitler, perhaps?). The accusations, insinuations, and general
>smearing have come from people who act as if they A) have the right to
>define what racism is and to apply that definition to whomsoever

they see
>fit regardless of evidence; B) hold some kind of moral high ground on
>racism; that is, they act and write as if they are above reproach

regarding
>possible accusations of racism that might be leveled against them
and C)
>have some kind of concrete evidence that I and others are in fact
racists.
>Included on this list are Jack Price, the primary 'evidence'
against whom is
>a controversial quotation that is sure to be schlepped out by
someone to
>'prove' that Jack is some brand of racist; in fact it appears to be
at best
>reasonable, probably ambiguous and at worst very much at odds with
Jack's
>personal and professional history, suggesting that the negative
reading MC
>folks insist is the only valid one (where have we seen THAT approach
>before???) is ridiculous. Past that one quotation and one

particular reading
>of it which I don't find to be valid, there is not only no evidence to
>support these heinous accusations and innuendoes, but in fact enormous
>amounts of counter-evidence which MC members conveniently and

cynically
>ignore.
>
>One might wonder WHY Mathematically Correct members, supposedly mostly
>comprising Liberal Democrats (though of what brand remains to be

seen), but
>most assuredly NOT Politically Correct raving radicals, would take
up a
>tactic that in my experience is most often employed by politically
correct
>extremists. Such people use charges of racism, well-founded or not, to
>suppress open, free debate on college campuses where the slightest

hint that
>someone might be a racist or even know a racist (or perhaps read
HUCKLEBERRY
>FINN and thought it great!) leads to public pillorying. So why
would a bunch
>of 'reasonable' people employ such an extreme tactic against people
whom
>they fully know or have good reason to suspect would have long
track records
>as anti-racists, progressives, supporters of equity, etc.?
>
>Two reasons spring to mind, though many others are possible (and

I'm certain
>we'll hear some fascinating spins in response): A) MC is made up of
people
>who don't give a damn about the truth and who will promulgate any
outrageous
>lie if they think it will help them smash their foes and win their
crusade.
>People like this might even consciously spread a lie about people,
or a
>statistic that they know fully well is inaccurate or even made up
out of
>whole cloth in order to beat their perceived enemies. I could
imagine them
>doing this despite knowing the statistic to be inaccurate or
invented; and
>B) some members of MC may themselves fear deeply that they will be
perceived
>(accurately or not) as operating from positions that could be called
>'racist' by concerned minority leaders and educators (by the way,

pretty
>much the same things could be said regarding sexism): what better
way to
>deflect such attacks then by launching your own against potential
accusers
>or against your opponents, thus gaining, in theory at least, that
moral high
>ground mentioned in point B) above. Pretty slick, if you think
about it.
>
>So here's my challenge: provide concrete evidence of your charges

of racism
>against me. Anything, really, will do: do I tell racist jokes? do I
>discriminate against minorities? have I refused someone a job,

housing,
>advancement, legitimate services, etc. because of his or her race or
>ethnicity? Do I belong to racist organizations or contribute money

or lend
>support, succor, or aid to such groups? Really, fellows, this
should be
>shooting fish in a barrel.
>
>Seems to me that if you are unable or unwilling to meet this

challenge with
>REAL, CONCRETE proof, you should keep your irresponsible, slanderous
>comments to yourselves. What say you?
>





On Jul 22, 2007, at 4:00 PM, Richard Strausz wrote:

>> Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
>>> I think where the problem comes in is when people
>> who WANT to talk
>>> about teaching are quickly attacked for not using
>> Saxon or Singapore
>>> Math and hence being "racists,"
>> I don't recall this ever happening. One or more
>> quotes, please, with
>> dates and authors. Folks just wanting to talk about
>> teaching being
>> smeared as racists for the crime of not using Saxon
>> or Singapore.
>>
>> -Greg

>
> Greg, this has been part of Wayne's regular method of operation.
> His message was that if one didn't use Saxon or Singapore, one was
> depriving the needy students of their rights.
>
> Richard
>
>



Date Subject Author
7/21/07
Read Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Stephen Weimar
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Richard Strausz
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Stephen Weimar
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Greg Goodknight
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Bishop, Wayne
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Kirby Urner
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
r!chard tchen
7/24/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Joe Obrycki
7/24/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Greg Goodknight
7/25/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Bonnie
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Domenico Rosa
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Greg Goodknight
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Anna Roys
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Kirby Urner
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Haim
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Anna Roys
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Greg Goodknight
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Jim Wysocki
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Greg Goodknight
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Richard Strausz
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Greg Goodknight
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Bishop, Wayne
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Haim
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Bishop, Wayne
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Bishop, Wayne
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Richard Strausz
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Haim
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Kirby Urner
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Anna Roys
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Kirby Urner
7/21/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
June Lester
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Kirby Urner
7/22/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Haim
7/23/07
Read Re: Math Forum and the math-teach discussion
Michael Paul Goldenberg

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