Categorized | commentary, news

US Teacher’s Colleges: More Social Justice, Multiculturalism, Less Math

By Bill Korach

Powerful evidence points to a tendency of American teacher’s colleges to expand the curriculum to “inclusion, social justice, diversity, multiculturalism” and other politically correct topics at the expense of math and other core subjects. Translated this means more “blame America first” diatribes, Islamic propaganda, and a firm opposition to America’s tradition of Judeo-Christian morality.  Math and science courses where United States students lag the developed nations are cut back. For this reason, the United States ranks 25th out of 34 developed countries in math. The assessment was undertaken by the Paris based Organization for Economic Cooperation and development. Guess who ranks # 1 in math? Shanghai China!

The schools of education in the U.S. are failing to produce first class teachers, or even 3rd class teachers. Richard Vedder, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says in a recent article he wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education:

• colleges of education don’t really challenge their students.
• mindless education courses have crowded out study of subject matter.
• there is something of an anti-knowledge culture in many education schools; learning facts is actually disparaged.
• the education colleges have been great promoters of the highly dubious notion that self-esteem is critically important.
• schools of education have worked closely with teacher unions to convince legislators to keep archaic practices regarding teacher certification that prevent otherwise qualified persons from getting education degrees.

A few years ago, Education Reform Professor Jay Greene actually quantified one of the problems. Writing in City Journal, he and a research assistant explored the number of multicultural classes offered in our teachers’ colleges. They 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 educational schools.”

The results were very telling.

“The average educational 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.”

Yet the powerful teacher’s union, the National Educational Association (NEA) provides significant financial support to these failing teacher’s colleges.

Writer RiShawn Biddle explains,

“In 2009-2010, the NEA (National Education Association) ladled out $381,576 to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which oversees teacher training programs, according to its filing with the U.S. Department of Labor; that’s part of $1.9 million the union gave to the group over a five-year period. In 2008-2009, the union handed out $252,262 to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the main trade group for Education schools.”

The NEA and the Teacher’s Colleges should be part of the solution, instead, they are part of the problem.

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