CFER Urges the California Department of Education to Consider Overwhelming Public Opposition to the Draft Mathematics Framework

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2021

SAN DIEGO, CA – May 24, 2021- On May 19th, 2021, the California Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) held a public meeting on the Draft 2021 Mathematics Framework. Disregarding overwhelming public opposition to the framework’s narrow ideological underpinnings and anti-merit component, the IQC concluded the hearing with recommendations for the California Department of Education (CDE) to adopt the contentious framework. On behalf of concerned parents and community members, Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) calls upon the CDE and other state education officials to give mounting opposition full consideration and make necessary changes to the math framework to make it balanced and rigorous.

“Californian students deserve a quality math education that helps realize their full potential, but IQC’s focus on equity will inadvertently create more inequities for socioeconomically disadvantaged students. This will ruin our next generation and undermine our nation’s global competitiveness!” said Frank Xu, president of CFER, “Sadly, the California Teachers Association, in its full support for equitable math, has become a machine of political propaganda, against its own mission to advance quality education.”

Lori Meyers, co-founder of Educators for Quality and Equality, commented that, “As educators, we believe in high quality math education for all of our students. Unfortunately, the draft CA Mathematics Framework focuses on blaming the achievement gap on inequity, and then tries to solve it by eliminating advanced math opportunities for all students. It’s trying to close the achievement gap by widening the excellence gap, and it will end up accomplishing neither.”

“This is bad for all of our students,” Meyers said.

During the 05/19 public hearing, dozens of educators and concerned parents called in fierce opposition. Their powerful testimonies ranged from calm statements on the framework’s potential harms to emotional outcries. In stark contrast, the California Teachers Association (CTA) endorses this framework, in total disregard for opposition from teachers and parents. Among the meager three supportive comments, one CTA representative spoke affirmatively on the framework’s over-arching emphasis on math equity.

“California’s unique and diverse students are entitled to have their educational needs recognized and explained using reliable research-informed practices,” commented a board member of the California Association for the Gifted at the public hearing.

A father called to blast the IQC for dumbing down math: “You are trying to provide a better pathway for disadvantaged students. But don’t hold them back and hold everybody back. It is not serving anybody to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Lift everybody up… Please listen to the parents and professionals speaking here.”

A mother spoke in tears: “It’s not fair. The framework is just — against gifted students, bias against Asian American students and tremendous bias against Asian gifted students. I really feel this entire committee needs a review for their inherent biases, because it was obvious to me.”

The proposed math framework jeopardizes quality and rigor in math with an equity-centered ideological focus. Moreover, it contains dangerous and irresponsible suggestions to phase out gifted programs and eliminate advanced tracking. CFER calls upon CDE and California’s top education officials to listen to the public and work together with key stakeholders including parents to safeguard math from political activism and a detrimental race to the bottom.

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Contact:

Wenyuan Wu

wenyuan.wu@cferfoundation.org

(786) 393-8028

About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER): We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment. www.Cferfoundation.org.

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