One place where this movement thrives is El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice in Brooklyn, the city’s first “social justice” high school. The school’s lead math teacher, Jonathan Osler, is using El Puente as a base for a three-day conference in April on “Math Education and Social Justice.” Osler offers this compelling rationale for the conference: “The systemic and structural oppression of low income [people] and people of color continues to worsen. The number of people in prison continues to grow, as does our unemployment rate. . . . These problems and many others are being addressed by community organizations and activists, and often find their way into Social Studies and English classes. However, in math classes around the country, perhaps the best places to study many of these issues, we continue to use curricula and models that lack any real-world—let alone socially relevant—contexts.”
I've written at length about the social justice movement--not just why it's wrong-headed, but also why it's harmful. To get a feel for what this movement truly represents, click on the social justice label below or at left and read the posts. To find out how harmful (and academic-content-free) social justice in a math class is, read this post in particular. In that post I dissembled the information put out by the Rethinking Schools people (there's a label below and at left for them, too) regarding how to inject this insidious liberalism and Marxism into a math class. That post, while long, is worth your time if you are interested in keeping math a "pure" science and not allowing it to become another social science.