A math education professor at Brooklyn College contends in a recent academic article that “meritocracy” in math classes is a “tool of whiteness.” Laurie Rubel implicates both meritocracy and “color-blindness” as ideological precepts that hold back racial minorities from succeeding in math classes in an article for the peer-reviewed Journal of Mathematics Education. Rubel, who taught high school math for nine years before becoming a professor, argues that while meritocracy is commonly linked to hard work and talent, it also “functions as a tool of whiteness” because it “ignores systemic barriers and institutional structures that prevent opportunity and success.” Color-blindness, too, can be an issue for math teachers, according to Rubel, who asserts that “Teachers who claim color-blindness—that is, they claim to not notice the race of their students—are, in effect, refusing to acknowledge the impact of enduring racial stratification on students and their families. “By claiming not to notice, the teacher is saying that she is dismissing one of the most salient features of the child’s identity and that she does not account for it in her curricular planning and instruction,” Rubel adds, citing education theorist Gloria Ladson-Billings. Even math teachers who acknowledge race, such as those who indicate that they “can’t relate” in certain ways to students who are of a different race, are called out in Rubel’s paper. If math teachers notice racial differences between themselves and their students, Rubel elaborates, “those differences are typically cast in terms of deficit constructions about students, their places, and their families.” To mediate this, Rubel recommends that math teachers incorporate more social justice issues into math lessons, but warns that even “teaching for social justice” can be a “tool of whiteness” if teachers are not sufficiently attuned to the experiences of minority students. This is because even social justice-minded professors may inadvertently hold the “belief that effort is always rewarded, [which corresponds] to various tools of whiteness, like the myths of meritocracy and colorblindness,” Rubel writes.
Wow.. Well, as least this nauseating professor actually admits that she thinks math teachers…MATH teachers… should teach so-called “social justice.” That, of course has NO business in the math classroom, nor does math (or any of the hard sciences, for that matter) have ANYTHING to do with race. That’s ridiculous bs. 2+2=4. Pi is: 3.14159. Fractions, square roots, algebra, geometry, chemistry, trig, biology, and so on are what they are. There is nothing racial or social about any of it. And, if your kid has a teacher that thinks otherwise, and who tries to use their classroom to fill your kids head with that type of politically correct nonsense, then yank them out of that class and get another teacher, or another school immediately! Otherwise, your kid will grow up to be a useless idiot unable to get a job. Here’s a Newsflash for Ms. Rubel, and others that share her belief system.. Employers (and most colleges) don’t care how you feel about how oppressed you may be. They care that you can add, subtract, multiply, divide, read a clock that isn’t digital, be on time for work/class, etc. Teaching them otherwise, just sets them up for failure.