Leftist Insanity: Community College Boss Says Having Algebra Mandatory Is A ‘Civil Rights’ Issue

Written by K. Walker on July 22, 2017

How did the great civil rights activist Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. miss this major issue?

That question was sarcasm, by the way.

(You know that some of those Snowflakes out there will actually wonder how Dr. King missed that one.)

This is a prime example of the ‘dumbing down’ of America.

The Chancellor of 13 California Community colleges, Eloy Oritz Oakley, says that making Algebra mandatory for graduation is a ‘civil rights issue’.


In an interview with NPR, Oakley makes the claim.

This is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans,” he said.

“If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don’t have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It’s what has kept them from achieving a credential.”

There are just so many places to go with this.

First, the blatant bigotry.

To suggest that the poor and minorities are struggling with algebra and it is there our duty to remove it is wrong. To equate a college algebra course requirement with a ‘civil rights’ issue like ‘personhood’, voting rights, or Jim Crow laws is vile.

The solution isn’t to get rid of it, but to teach kids in a better way. Perhaps instead of making sure that the teachers look like the students, we should find teachers that can read. Just a thought.

Second, this is really about upping the graduation rate in colleges.

The interviewer, Robert Siegel, countered by saying that just because Algebra is the most failed course in colleges, it should be taught ‘more effectively’ rather than simply ditching it. He suggested that dropping Algebra in order to increase graduation rates is the ‘easy way out’.

Oakley denied the accusation, saying “Since the 1950s, we decided that the only measure of a student’s ability to reason or to do some sort of quantitative measure is algebra.”

“What we’re saying is we want as rigorous a course as possible to determine a student’s ability to succeed, but it should be relevant to their course of study.”
Source: Heat Street

Oakley suggests that Statistics is more relevant that Algebra and that should be taught in its place for those not in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) studies.

Third, this has been called for before, and it’s a dud.

In 2012, Andrew Hacker, a retired prof from Queens College New York wrote an article that was published in the New York Times. It gave 5 reasons why algebra is ‘not for everyone’. You can read full refutation here, but I’ll simply include the 10 Reasons why it’s important to study Algebra. (Emphasis added)

1. Algebra is likely the first subject in which students develop logical thinking. It is also a place where students are exposed to abstract reasoning, and make decisions based on given information.

2. Algebra is likely the first subject in which students develop their problem-solving skills, which can involve extrapolation and step-by-step analysis.

3. Algebra can help students prepare to transfer abstract thinking to other disciplines. Transferring knowledge from one discipline to another is neither easy nor obvious. Thus, any help that can be given to students so that they will be able to make such connections, whether it be as a scientist or as a modern global citizen, is important.

4. Algebra is a prerequisite for study in college science courses, such as physics, chemistry, and biology, as well as computer science and engineering. In addition, a usable understanding of algebra is assumed for college statistics courses, such as Statistical Methods in Psychology, which are required for majors outside of science and mathematics.

5. Algebra is a prerequisite for virtually all college-level mathematics courses, such as precalculus, calculus, linear algebra, statistics and probability, and more advanced mathematics courses. An understanding of algebra is also assumed in geometry and trigonometry courses.

6. Relevant to the preceding reason, algebra can serve to solidify and firm up the arithmetic skills that are already learned in school. Without revisiting skills learned in arithmetic, students will forget them and are likely to then become uncomfortable with anything related to number sense.

7. Algebra is one aspect in the education of students that will allow them to communicate better with people who use mathematical ideas.

8. Algebra can serve to enhance one’s comfort with technical issues, from welding to art design to analysis of stock market issues.

9. Algebra is one ingredient in opening the doors to study in a variety of disciplines, and in attaining successful careers.

10. Finally, if we decide that algebra is not for everyone, then that automatically leads to a lowering of academic standards. That has consequences for our nation as it competes in the global economy.

We shouldn’t be ‘dumbing down’ our college requirements for higher graduation rates.

The fault here lies with the entire education system — Common Core has dumbed things down.

The unions are like the foxes running the henhouse — ineffective teachers cannot be disciplined, we have poor standards of education in poor communities. And they actively oppose Betsy DeVos and school choice.

Everything is politicized. Some schools are trying to make sure that the priority is that teachers ‘look’ like the students rather than being able to read.

We have teachers actively undermining our current sitting President.

The schools are teaching kids that not only does ‘Johnny Have Two Mommies’ and ‘Janie Has Two Daddies’, but that there are 63 genders and that ‘some women have penises’. And don’t you dare have ‘genital preferences’ when dating or you’re transphobic.

All the while literacy and numeracy skills plummet.

What the heck is an education for anyway?

To push a political agenda?

It seems that’s the way we’ve gone.

How much do you want to bet that Oakley funds ‘diversity’ and ‘social justice’ education?

Well, looky what I found from a September 2016 interview with The Atlantic:

Eloy Oakley isn’t shy about his plans to be much more “proactive” than previous chancellors when he takes over California’s mammoth community-college system in December.

We’re going to take on a much more aggressive agenda with a clear lens on social justice and equity,” Oakley, who is in his final weeks as head of the Long Beach Community College District, told me during an interview at his office on the Long Beach City College campus.
Source: The Atlantic

Perhaps Cali’s Community Colleges should listen to this and read a non-leftist book (for once) before they decide to ditch algebra.

Because when you jump on that Social Justice train, you’ll end up with dropping enrollment just like Mizzou.

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ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker