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The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

January 15, 2009

“American education would henceforth concern itself with the importance of the group rather than with the importance of the individual.” -Charlotte Iserbyt

Charlotte Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, ..where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America’s classrooms.

Emedded videos

Link @YouTube

“Common Unity. That’s what we call it Common unity. It is no role for the individual in the community. And for everything that goes on in the Soviet Union or communism is based on the community. The commune.”

Link @YouTube

Deliberate Dumbing Down of America – E Book download
File is 6.75 MB – Pdf.

H/T Larwyn

The following has been languishing as a draft for quite some time. Since it correlates with my post today I thought I would add it to the mix.


It seems our math educators no longer believe in the beauty and power of the principles of mathematics. They are continually in search of a fix that will make it easy, relevant, fun, and even politically relevant. In the early 1990s, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics issued standards that disparaged basic skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, since all of these could be easily performed on a calculator. The council preferred real life problem solving, using everyday situations. Attempts to solve problems without basic skills caused some critics, especially professional mathematicians, to deride the “new, new math” as “rainforest algebra.”

In a comparison of a 1973 algebra textbook and a 1998 “contemporary mathematics” textbook, Williamson Evers and Paul Clopton found a dramatic change in topics. In the 1973 book, for example, the index for the letter “F” included “factors, factoring, fallacies, finite decimal, finite set, formulas, fractions, and functions.” In the 1998 book, the index listed “families (in poverty data), fast food nutrition data, fat in fast food, feasibility study, feeding tours, ferris wheel, fish, fishing, flags, flight, floor plan, flower beds, food, football, Ford Mustang, franchises, and fund-raising carnival.” […]

Rethinking Mathematics
Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers

rethinking-math-justice-by-the-numbers.jpg“This is an invaluable resource! Rethinking Mathematics has the potential to change the basic ways we think about and teach one of the most important subjects in schools today. With clarity and insight, this book shows how teachers who are dedicated to social justice can act on their commitments in a subject that has, for too long, been seen as simply a technical area.”
Michael W. Apple, John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

This unique collection of more than 30 articles shows teachers how to weave social-justice principles throughout the math curriculum, and how to integrate social-justice math into other curricular areas as well.

Rethinking Mathematics presents teaching ideas, lesson plans and reflections by practicing classroom teachers and distinguished mathematics educators.

This is real-world math — math that helps students analyze problems as they gain essential academic skills.

Rethinking Mathematics will help teachers develop students’ understanding of society and prepare them to be critical, active participants in a democracy.

Blending theory and practice, this is the only resource of its kind.

May 2005 • Paperback • 180 pages
ISBN 0-942961-54-4

Rethinking Mathematics

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements [SIC]
Part One: Viewing Math Broadly


Teaching Math Across the Curriculum — 9
by Bob Peterson

Teaching Suggestions: Disparities in Wealth Cartoon — 13
Activity Box: No-TV Week Math — 14
Driving While Black or Brown: A Math Project About Racial Profiling — 16

Reading the World with Math — 19
by Marilyn Frankenstein

Teaching Suggestions:
The War in Iraq Boondocks Cartoon — 20
Activity Box: Using Math to Take a Critical Look at How the Unemployment Rate Is Determined — 23
The War in Iraq: How Much Does It Cost? — 29

Race, Retrenchment, and the
Reform of School Mathematics
— 31
by William F. Tate

Environmental Hazards:
Is Environmental Racism Real? — 41

Historical, Cultural, and Social Implications of Mathematics
by S. E. Anderson — 43

Part Two: Infusing Social Justice into Math Classes


“Home Buying While Brown or Black” — 47
by Eric Gutstein

Teaching Suggestions:
Corporate Control of U.S. Media Line Graph — 49

Teaching Suggestions:
“And How Do You Spend Your Wages?” Cartoon — 51

Sweatshop Accounting — 53
by Larry Steele

Activity Box:
How Do You Live on 31 Cents an Hour? — 57

Teaching Suggestions:
The Global Capitalist Economy Cartoon — 59

Globalization, Labor, and the Environment:
A Linear Programming Unit — 62

Poverty and World Wealth:
Recognizing Inequality — 64

Unequal Distribution of U.S. Wealth:
Recognizing Inequality, Part Two — 68

Chicanos Have Math in Their Blood — 70
by Luis Ortiz-Franco

Activity Box:
The Hidden Grain in Meat — 74

Understanding Large Numbers — 76
by Bob Peterson

Activity Box:
How Many Sears Towers Tall Is $135 Billion? — 80

“With Math, It’s Like You Have More Defense” — 81
by Erin E. Turner and Beatriz T. Font Strawhun

Designing a Wheelchair Ramp:
Putting the Pythagorean Theorem to Use — 88

Radical Equations:
A Review of the Book by
Bob Moses and Charles E. Cobb Jr. — 90
by David Levine

The Geometry of Inequality — 97
by Andrew Brantlinger

South Central Los Angeles:
Ratios and Density in Urban Areas — 101

Integrals and Equity — 103
by Megan Staples

HIV/AIDS Status:
Using Statistics to Understand Ratios — 107

Teaching Suggestions:
HIV Status Bus Stop Photo — 108

Justice for Janitors:
Rich Lessons in the Power of Math — 109

Math, Maps, and Misrepresentation — 111
by Eric Gutstein

Teaching Suggestions:
Map of Territory That Mexico Lost to the United States — 113

Real-World Projects:
Seeing Math All Around Us — 117

Teaching Suggestions:
Do You Support Invading Iraq? Cartoon — 121

Deconstructing Barbie:
Math and Popular Culture — 122
14. Multicultural Math — 124
by Claudia Zaslavsky

Tracking PA Announcements:
Collecting Data in the Classroom — 130

Part Three: Infusing Social Justice Math into Other Curricular Areas


Ten Chairs of Inequality — 135
by Polly Kellogg

Fast Foods, Junk Foods, and Advertising:
Analyzing the Barrage of
Advertising Aimed at Children — 138

Write the Truth: Presidents and Slaves — 140
by Bob Peterson

Teaching Suggestions:
“Eight Companies Earn More”
One-Dollar Bill Graphic — 142

Libraries, Books, and Bias:
Using Math to Raise Issues of Representation — 149

The Mathematics of Lotteries:
Going Beyond Probability — 150

The Transnational Capital Auction — 152
by Bill Bigelow

Sweatshop Math:
Taking a Closer Look at Where
Kids’ “Stuff” Comes From — 160

Teaching Suggestions:
“Work Faster!” Cartoon — 162

Part Four: Resources for Rethinking Mathematics

18. Websites, Math Curriculum and Pedagogy,
Books with Theoretical/Academic Perspectives, Curriculum
Guides/Resources, Children’s Books, Sources for Maps, and More — 165

Also see:
The Subversion of Education in America

Revisionist History: American Children Taught Warped Version of History

Leave a Comment
  1. January 16, 2009 5:59 pm

    Our public education system has been under the attack of humanism and other leftist philosophies since early in the 1900s. As parents started believing that only experts should be teaching their children and backed off from involvement in their children’s education, no other outcome but dumbing down could ensue.

    Always On Watch’s last blog post..The Next Time Somebody Defends Hamas, Show This Video

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