Social Justice Math

Aug 31, 2011 by

By Donna Garner

I know this will be hard for typical mammas and daddies to believe, but Obama’s social justice agenda has now even penetrated the way math is to be taught.
Look at the title of this new report just released by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Inc. (NCTM) — Learning to Teach Mathematics for Social Justice: Negotiating Social Justice and Mathematical Goals by Tonya Gau Bartell, University of Delaware:

For an example of how this social justice program is already being put into practice and how this steals valuable class time away from the teaching of the basics, please read “Ethics: A Great Teaching Connector for All Learners,” from the ASCD SmartBrief (Association of Supervisors and Curriculum Directors) website, Aug. 29, 2011:

This is the promotional summary: “As kids mature, they begin to explore justice issues, asking, ‘What is right? What is good?’ Ethics is a universal theme, and integrating the study of ethics into class work is a great way to engage all learners, says Institute of Global Ethics’ Paula Mirk. Read her guest Whole Child blog post for an example of one math class’ exploration of justice and tips on how to plan your next ethics lesson.”

In the report, a teacher creates student interest for building a bar graph by first asking, “How many of you have felt unfairly treated here at school?” Once they have listed three events for themselves that made them feel unfairly treated, they became “eagerly engaged” in the lesson (according to this report).

Why couldn’t the question just as easily have been, “How many of you have done an unexpected good deed for someone else?” Wouldn’t this have shown excellence in behavior and, hopefully, positive results for graphing?


Those who push social justice curriculum never want a math word problem to go to waste! Each of these is a great opportunity to indoctrinate children into the belief that they are victims of an oppressive, racist, sexist, and unjust America; that they should expect government to solve all their problems; that America’s wealth should be spread around; and that America’s free market, capitalistic system is unfair. It is this constant indoctrination from K through Grade 12 that can lead students to feel hostile, isolated, and justified in taking other people’s lives through violent means.


Some years ago our Texas State Board of Education members had to vote against what was then called “Rain Forest Math” because there were no actual math problems for 100+ pages into the textbook; it was all environmental brainwashing.

NCTM was behind this type of math “reformation” back then; therefore, they are only too glad to align themselves with Obama’s social justice agenda which is an even further corruption of the math lessons that should be taught to children.


Here’s a novel idea: What about teaching children traditionally based and historically proven math instead of NCTM’s politically-driven ideology that demands equity over excellence and “process” over results?


How did our country get to the place where the social justice agenda is set to take over even our students’ math classes, and what can we do to thwart this effort?

First, we must be informed; and this is why we need to read Niki Hayes’ book entitled John Saxon’s Story: A Genius of Common Sense in Math Education. It’s the biography of an original “math warrior” who took on the national and state math education leadership from 1981-1996, warned of the disaster we see today in math education, and inspired parents to revolt against the incoherent and weak math materials that were sponsored and introduced nationwide by NCTM in the early 1990’s.

John Saxon insisted that “Results, not methodology, should be the basis of curriculum decisions. Results matter!” Is the processing of feelings about social issues the result we want in math classes or do we want real mathematical skills and knowledge that help determine a country’s development? The answer, if based on logic and common sense, should be the latter and is cause for immediate action.


To order the book, please go to or

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