Cacey Wells, a teaching professor at the University of Oklahoma, wants to get rid of all advanced math classes designed for “gifted” students because he believes they’re inherently racist and promote “academic apartheid.”
According to Wells, placing more adept students into higher-level math classes based on their abilities is a form of “capitalist exploitation and settler colonialism,” a designation that’s supposed to sound really “smart,” but that’s nothing more than a rhetorical hodgepodge of anti-white, left-wing gobbledygook.
In a recent study he wrote, entitled, “Understand Issues Associated With Tracking Students in Mathematics Education” and published in the Columbia University journal Mathematics Education, Wells openly condemns even the mere tracking of individual students and their academic performance as a way to assess which math classes they belong in, claiming that doing so promotes white supremacy.
The fact that different math classes exist for students at different levels of math ability represents the “outgrowth of racial hierarchies that have developed over the nation’s history and that have privileged whiteness,” Wells, a white-looking man himself, contends.
“This is particularly true in schools,” he adds. “Many times students are pigeonholed into particular academic tracks based purely on socially constructed potentialities.”
These are curious claims to make when considering that Asians students, with skin that’s typically more brown than the white skin of Europeans, outperform whites academically, which means they’re the most likely racial group to be placed at the “head of the class” when it comes to learning math.
But Wells pays no mind to these facts, and instead takes pot shot after pot shot against whitey in his paper. Somehow it was white people who settled and colonized the world that created the “racial hierarchy” in mathematics that Wells believes exists and is holding students of other racial backgrounds down in the world.
“Settler colonial ideas routinely become evident through colonization of intellect,” he adds. “When there is no longer territory to conquer or people to physically oppress, there exists opportunities to colonize knowledge.”
In other words, white students who are smarter at math than their black or brown counterparts aren’t actually smarter. They’ve simply colonized education and put themselves at the top of the ladder by awarding themselves early entry into pre-calculus rather than remedial algebra.
This isn’t how it works, of course, as “gifted” math classes are open to anyone who’s mathematically gifted – simple as that. But in the world of Cacey Wells, it’s all one big conspiracy theory to grant special privileges to white students who he presumably believes will grow up to become plantation owners filled with slave workers who were put into the lower math classes back in high school.
Again, if this tin foil hat narrative were even true, it would actually be Asian students at the top of the math pyramid. But acknowledging reality doesn’t seem to be a strong point with leftist “academics” like Wells, who are so convinced that white supremacy is hiding under every rock that they quite literally inject their nonsensical paranoia into everything they can get their hands on.
To fix the “problem,” Wells suggests “de-tracking” all students and putting them all into the same math class. He’s also pushing for teachers to implement his ideas of “mathematics for social justice,” which he says requires all math teachers to be “up-to-date on current issues facing their students’ communities.”
“For instance, mathematics courses in schools can be aligned to issues of gentrification, immigration, race, and other topics pertinent to local communities,” he contends.
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