It is disconcerting that math scores continue to plummet in the nation’s public schools. As usual minority black students test worse than the white kids and so the racial excuses run rampant. I just read where educators in the Pacific Northwest are now promoting the idea that math is racist. Some claim that “mathematical knowledge has been appropriated by Western culture” and that “math has been and continues to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.”*
As a person educated and trained by 50 years of professional engineering practice I ponder how this CRT philosophy could affect the many already woke engineering colleges in America. Could it be that the left thinks it has discovered a way to engineer bridges, buildings, highways, automobiles, computers, and space craft without the need for math?
Upon a little research I was astonished to find out that my old university (University of Washington) now places a monumental emphasis upon its engineering students and faculty regarding diversity, inclusion, and equity. In their eyes it seems the old ideas of hard work and a great country shaped as a “melting pot” of people groups is just a fascist outmoded concept that must be totally destroyed. When I was at the U of W, engineering students were all under extreme pressure to succeed in their studies or be sent home. Now what is most important is that there must be no influence that might cause a person to think their way of thinking or doing is not acceptable. It is the oppressors (white males) that must be eliminated to allow for the success of the oppressed. Is it really true that math study can be swept out the university door along with the oppressors?
After learning this, I wondered can math courses at colleges of engineering really be considered a political football. Aren’t math truths still universal? Wouldn’t the black engineer need to learn how math is fundamental to all engineering pursuits? Surely there is no way for math to be gutted from an engineering education! Or was I missing something?
So, I looked into the (2-year) Engineering Transfer Curriculum at Mount Hood Community College (MHCC) in Gresham, Oregon. The program is designed to closely follow the pre-engineering programs at Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University, and Washington State University. The college states that at the completion of this curriculum, students should be able to:
- Apply mathematics, science and engineering skills
- Design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
- Design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints
- Function on multidisciplinary teams
- Identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
- Describe professional and ethical responsibility
Note: The curriculum has entry-level expectations of students for skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
Here are the courses that the MHCC engineering student is required to complete just in mathematics:
1st quarter: Calculus I: Differential Calculus-5 credits
2nd quarter: Engineering Graphics-3 credits, Calculus II: Integral Calculus-5 credits
3rd quarter: Engineering Computations-3 credits, Linear Algebra-4 credits
4th quarter: Calculus IV: Vector Calculus-5 credits, General Physics with Calculus I-5 credits
5th quarter: General Physics with Calculus II-5 credits
6th quarter: Differential Equations-5 credits, General Physics with Calculus III-5 credits
Did you notice that the University of Washington was not mentioned as taking part in this program? Could that mean that U of W has found a way to teach engineering without math? Nope! Here is a listing of their Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering requirements in mathematics:
Calculus with Analytic Geometry-15 credits
Introduction to Differential Equations-3 credits
Matrix Algebra with Applications-3 credits
Linear Analysis-3 credits
Beginning Scientific Computing-4 credits
Probability and Statistics for Engineers-3 credits
So, the leftist educators have again lost track of reality and have replaced it with another dosage of total nonsense. Math is still objective, important, and necessary in order to understand the world around us. No engineer can be expected to be successful without a fundamental understanding of math. What we have here with these educators is an ideological lens designed by Marxists to find victims and oppressors so as to foment trouble and to ultimately destroy our way of life.
“Students who are taught that answers to algebra problems depend on the color of their skin and that calculus professors are oppressors are not going to unlock the mysteries of the universe, but they will also believe what is not true about who they are and the world in which they live. Woke educators may hope to liberate students. But by depriving them of objective truths they are subjugating them to bad ideas. It’s a tragically ironic and disastrous miscalculation.”*
*From “Is Math Racist?” by John Stonestreet and Shane Morris, Colson Center-Breakpoint Daily, June 29, 2023.