Less Meritocracy, More Social Justice… for MATH?

According to a professor at Brooklyn College “meritocracy” should now be considered “a tool of whiteness.”

Odd for a math professor–especially one as decorated and credentialed as Laurie Rubel–to be so confused. She also went on to decry “color-blindness” as well. But that didn’t stop her from making the argument:

“Rubel, who taught high school math for nine years before becoming a professor, argues that while meritocracy is commonly linked to hard work and talent, it also “functions as a tool of whiteness” because it “ignores systemic barriers and institutional structures that prevent opportunity and success.”

Color-blindness, too, can be an issue for math teachers, according to Rubel, who asserts that “Teachers who claim to not notice the race of their students—are, in effect, refusing to acknowledge the impact of enduring racial stratification on students and their families.

“By claiming not to notice, the teacher is saying that she is dismissing one of the most salient features of the child’s identity and that she does not account for it in her curricular planning and instruction,” Rubel adds.

Is she right?

How could she be?

The dictionary disagrees with her. Merriam-Webster defines meritocracy as: “A system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement.”

So do referees. In this weekend’s playoff games, the only team that was allowed to keep the ball on any given possession was the one that had scratched out ten yards of progress. In fact they were really hard core about it because they only allowed a team to win if they had more points than the other one.

So do my kids. “Dad, I washed up first and wanted to pick the seat to sit at, and you said that whoever was the quickest to obey would get to choose.”

So do terrorists. ISIS thug #1 to ISIS thug #2, “The enemy has collapsed the outer defenses. Soon the city will be theirs.”

So do bosses, “Ok, due to the overwhelming sales numbers of sales rep Don Smith this year, we’ve decided to promote him to local business sales manager for the coming year.”

So does business. “Charlie’s Pizza Factory” gets cited for 18 health code violations, and a failure to provide proper service to its customers, and in six months has to close its doors because customers liked going to Tom’s Pizza castle that had no reports of problems.

Then why shouldn’t teachers? Especially MATH teachers?

Math isn’t an “effort” subject. It’s a precision subject. Taking precise amounts, adding to them, subtracting from them, multiplying them and dividing them–has nothing to do with feelings. It’s not about why your Dad didn’t graduate college. It has zero cares about what you think of the president. Math is completely unfeeling, and as such has the ability to help us make sense of what at times can seem to be a very confusing world.

Meritocracy should be a moral requirement of math teachers.

Do you want a doctor who didn’t have to measure the drugs he prescribes properly? Do you want a mechanic that just makes up what to charge you for a given job, regardless of his time or the cost of the parts involved? How about a lawyer, who is both charging you for his time, and attempting to secure a settlement for you–does the math involved mean anything?

I don’t understand the meme that argues that meritocracy is cruel. It’s the fairest system mankind has been able to devise.

But it is dependent upon things you would believe a Math instructor would have a grasp of: truth.

Two pennies is two cents, ninety-eight more and you have a dollar.

Her proposed solution wants to introduce “social justice” issues into the teaching of math? That we are to care more about our neighbors in teach them math? That we should take race into account first in the teaching of and expectation from the students who are learning the math?

If teachers have relatability issues to their students be it lifestyle, economic factors, race, religion, etc. then they absolutely should learn how to be more relatable.

But the solution can not be “just do your best.” Not on fact driven problem solving.

And how that is explicitly “whiteness” is beyond reason.

We want and need ALL children to be able to add 2+2. And holding them to that standard is the only thing that will help them get there.


How #TakeAKnee Was Built On A Lie

While America vigorously debates the merits of employers having the right to dictate when and where protests are allowed while on the job, while players who make millions feel that disrespecting the flag and the national anthem of the nation that enabled them to make that money is appropriate, and while America turns their televisions off in disgust, a vital note needs to be pointed out.

It’s all based… on a lie.

That Colin Kaepernick–who started the entire thing–was ignorant of history, was ignorant of the facts, and was largely ignorant of the icons he chose to put on t-shirts is irrelevant.

That Roger Goodell–perhaps the most incompetent league commissioner in the modern era of sports–is incapable of thinking past the focus group worries of a non-flattering headline is irrelevant.

That Mike Tomlin–who feigned righteous anger and declared he would not take a political side–even as he was choosing a political side and chastised an honorable former Army Ranger for what he should have done himself is irrelevant.

What is very relevant is that it was all based… on a lie.

The national disgrace that was Sunday took place because a public, largely ignorant of facts, were spoon-fed emotional ultimatums by a media still seething with hatred towards a president whose win they’ve never accepted. That he so easily lit their fuse demonstrates their inability to think. That they blew it so out-of-proportion demonstrated their own lack of coherence with facts, and exposed an under-bellied desire to use lies to advance a narrative based purely on their hate for their President and the people who elected him.

The players who took their knee on Sunday, did so under the first dishonest idea that President was attacking the players of the league in general.

Not true.

They believed he attacked them based on race.

Again not true.

They believed and were repeated told on the networks that their first amendment rights had been taken away.

Not even close to true.

Then thanks to the coaching staffs of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Tennessee Titans that disobeying league rules found on page A-62-A63 (which explicitly state: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.” ) some teams believed they were remaining neutral when in reality, they did little more than boycott their own national anthem.

The players that did this in the earliest game–played in London–did so on foreign soil, then stood and showed respect for the British National Anthem.

But all of it was done out of emotion, anger, and rhetoric… that is based… on a lie.

Kaepernick turned “radical” and began his “protest” following his intimate hook-up with an activist from Black Lives Matter. Said activist group now enjoys a 57% disapproval rating from the American people because they march and chant, “Cops are pigs!” Then they feel creative they describe putting “pigs in a blanket,” and they aren’t referring to the tasty treat your mom served in childhood using pastry and hot dogs.

Black Lives Matter is also associated with the deaths of nearly a dozen police officers over the last two years and believe they have the right to be so because of police shootings. They justify this even has deaths of black men at the hands of rogue police officers is down in historical numerical terms.

But Black Lives Matter doesn’t care about truth because as an organization, it too… is based on a lie.

Black Lives Matter was largely organized in the aftermath of events that caused the phrase “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” became popular.

This phrase was reported by the press (see the problem here) commonly repeated that these words were spoken by Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The press repeated this narrative in literally thousands of recounts of the events of Ferguson. T-shirts were made, commercials of celebrity montages invaded our TV screens, and Black Lives Matter was born.

The problem here is that none of it was true.

In the 5000 pages plus of grand jury transcripts, no one–not a single person–not one eye-witness–was able to state truthfully that Michael Brown was shot while running away, that he had his hands up, nor that he ever spoke the words, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!”

When under oath-and penalty of perjury, witnesses that had told television stations one thing, told investigators the complete opposite.

There was no mistreatment of Michael Brown.

He was not shot in the back while running away.

He charged and tried to kill a police officer with an impeccable record.

He did not follow the officer’s instructions.

And he never said “Hands up! Don’t shoot!”

It didn’t happen.

It was a lie.

A lie that gave birth to Black Lives Matter, and the lie that started #TakeAKnee.

And now a lie that has divided America.

Kevin McCullough (@KMCRadio) is the nationally syndicated host of “The Kevin McCullough Show” weekdays (now on 304 stations) & “Radio Night *LIVE*” Saturdays (9-11pm EST – on 332 stations). He is author of the best-selling hardcover from Thomas Nelson Publishers “No He Can’t: How Barack Obama Dismantled Hope and Change .

President Obama Gets Ding’d

Just how exactly is the President expecting those of us in the marketplace society to comprehend his idea that we can fight terrorism by resetting our thermostats?

It is a fair question given the reality that this last week the President himself told us that the MOST courageous way we could fight ISIS was for him to go to the Global Summit on Global Warming.

So today we discuss the President’s 3 minutes at the podium in Paris. (*ding, ding, ding*)

Also a number of social media trolls have trolled me on the response of the GOP in regard to the Colorado Springs shooting. So today we will unveil (due mostly to lack of time) the ACTUAL responses by the top tier candidates to the events.

Also… The police who work NFL games want permission to wear their weapons. Believe it or not this is controversial…