Monday, April 07, 2008

Why Johnny can't do math

The politics of multiculturalism
    "To determine just how unbalanced teacher preparation is at ed schools, we counted the number of course titles and descriptions that contained the words “multiculturalism,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” and variants thereof, and then compared those with the number that used variants of the word “math.” We then computed a “multiculturalism-to-math ratio”—a rough indicator of the relative importance of social goals to academic skills in ed schools. A ratio of greater than 1 indicates a greater emphasis on multiculturalism; a ratio of less than 1 means that math courses predominate. Our survey covered the nation’s top 50 education programs as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, as well as programs at flagship state universities that weren’t among the top 50—a total of 71 education schools.

    The average ed school, we found, has a multiculturalism-to-math ratio of 1.82, meaning that it offers 82 percent more courses featuring social goals than featuring math. At Harvard and Stanford, the ratio is about 2: almost twice as many courses are social as mathematical. At the University of Minnesota, the ratio is higher than 12. And at UCLA, a whopping 47 course titles and descriptions contain the word “multiculturalism” or “diversity,” while only three contain the word “math,” giving it a ratio of almost 16." Jay Greene, Adding up to failure.
Tinker tinker
little prof
we do wonder
why you're off.
Children flunking
basic skills
and we get
diploma mills.
Give them content
teach them math
if you deprive them
you're off the path.

1 comment:

JAM said...

I firmly believe that the grand old schools like Harvard and so forth have fallen way farther than their still high status should indicate. This only adds confirmation to my belief.

I'd bet that I'd be disappointed with this survey being done at my back-woods university, Louisiana Tech, though. This kind of nonsense reaches to places like that now, that once fought to avoid such junk.

Sadly, that's good for me though. There won't be many people trying to knock me out of my engineering job with all those sociology classes under their belts. When I bring papers home from work to read at night, even my family gets a strange kick out of flipping through the pages of electrical schematics and my math in the margins double checking the math for the values of capacitors, resistors, and inductors. They look at this stuff like we would at a circus side show freak; fun to look at, but better me than them.

If the US ever got smart and fast tracked all the gifted engineers in places like India to come into the US, I'd have something to worry about.

But right now, not many young'uns wanting to take the heavy coursework for things like engineering, pure sciences, architecture and things like that.

But we're sure churning out socialists and political idealists with their sociology and Elizabethan Poetry degrees by the busload.