Critical  Race  Theory
Critical Race Theory in Math Education
by Jim Hopkins, school board member
image missing The Virginia Standards of Learning are updated once every seven years by the Virginia Board of Education. The Virginia Department of Education is currently reviewing what changes will be made in the Mathematics Standards of Learning. The changes will be implemented in the 2025-2026 school year.

The Virginia Department of Education's website states: the "Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative has its origin in a groundbreaking 2018 study from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics." In this groundbreaking study, one of the key recommendations for change is eliminating all ability grouping classes. The study refers to ability grouping classes as "spaces of marginality and privilege."  Surprisingly this key recommendation is the exact change advocated for by Critical Race Theory (CRT).  The groundbreaking study being used by the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative is focusing changes in mathematics education through the lens of CRT.

If you desire additional justification for this conclusion, the president of NCTM from 2018-2020 has been doing research on CRT in math education.  In 2008, he authored an article in the Journal for Research in Mathematics entitled "Access to Upper-Level Mathematics," in which CRT was the theoretical framework for the study.  In 2019, while president of NCTM, he authored a favorable review for a book entitled "Critical Race Theory in Mathematics Education."  And in 2020, he co-edited a book, which focuses on teaching mathematics for social justice.

Where is social justice in teaching a student to solve a quadratic equation or a geometry proof?  I will concede there may be racist issues in teaching history, but 2 + 3 = 5 in every nation in the world.  How can that be racist?  Mathematics is truly an international language.

Before retiring, I taught high school mathematics, and some of my classes had a majority of students of color.  Some students indeed had difficulty with accelerated mathematics classes, but it had nothing to do with the color of their skin.  Removing accelerated mathematics courses from our schools will lower standards for all students.  This groundbreaking study fixes nothing except to line the pockets of professors and consultants who are pushing it on our schools.