‘Math Equity’ Proponents Accused of ‘Reckless Disregard for Accuracy’ and Fraud

Evan Poellinger | April 9, 2024
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The dubious work of individuals involved in the so-called “Math Equity” movement has prompted scrutiny, as Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, has become the subject of an anonymous 100-page complaint sent on March 20, which accused Boaler of engaging in inaccuracy in her work.

The letter alleges “Dr. Boaler has misrepresented the findings and/or methods of a number of reference papers,” adding that such a misrepresentation was of particular importance because “her work underlies the recently adopted (Oct. 2023) California Math Curriculum Framework (CMF), which is meant to guide the implementation of California’s math standards in its k-12 public schools.”

Indeed, Boaler has been at the forefront of the Math Equity movement, which contends that the way math is taught is racist and is producing inequality.

Boaler co-wrote an article that called for delaying the teaching of algebra to middle school students. Boaler’s work was cited by the superintendent of San Francisco’s public schools as direct inspiration for the district’s decision to do away with teaching algebra to middle schoolers in 2014. That removal was eventually reversed after a marked decline in students’ performance in the district. Despite this, Boaler has claimed that she is “not against students taking algebra in Eighth Grade,” but instead is opposed to “filtering large numbers of students into low-level pathways.”

Boaler is not the only prominent voice for Mathematics Equity, whose reputation has recently been called into question.

Yolande Beckles worked as a Math Equity Consultant and was another significant advocate for San Francisco’s abandonment of middle school algebra. However, as PirateWires reported, Beckles is actually an alleged fraudster responsible for “a string of financial scandals” back in her native United Kingdom.

Among other things, Beckles is reportedly accused of having “taken £12,000 from underprivileged children in East London to fund ‘an educational trip’ to the Caribbean that never happened” and “was also hit with a lawsuit from Olivia Goodson-Shields, her former landlady in Los Angeles who claimed Beckles owed her almost $20,000 in unpaid rent and bills.”

It seems that the fraudulent behavior of Math Equity’s biggest proponents is helping to highlight the fraudulent nature of Mathematics Equity itself.