Paradise Valley Unified School District is currently reviewing math curriculum material for high school students. However, an algebra textbook that the school district is reportedly considering states that algebra can teach us about “racial bias,” “ethnic diversity in the United States,” and “the widening imbalance between numbers of women and men on college campuses.”
A pre-calculus textbook titled Precalculus, 6th Edition by Robert F. Blitzer that the school district is also considering reportedly features a bar graph labeled “Measuring Racial Prejudice, by Political Identification.” The bar graph shows that conservatives are supposedly more racist than people who are politically liberal. The textbook states that the source of the bar graph is a race implicit association test. Regardless of the author’s decision to include the bar graph, implicit bias as a theory has been widely debunked.
The publishing company Pearson produces the textbooks created by Robert F. Blitzer. Pearson states on its website that “education is the most powerful force for equity and change in our world.” The company continues to state:
As the leading global education provider for learners and schools, we have a unique responsibility to be proactive in bringing social justice topics to the classroom. To be anti-racist. To advance gender equity and LGBTQ equality and inclusion.
Resources that Pearson offers to readers include a story about a 9-year-old transgender child called “Meant to be Maddie” and a video promoting Colin Kaepernick’s “#TakeAKnee protest” called “Perspectives on racism: A salute to solidarity.” One resource is called “Teaching social justice in the math classroom.” Topics listed in the resource for math classes include “crimes & racial profiling” and “the death penalty and ethnicity.”
Paradise Valley Unified School District has a page on its website dedicated to “Student Equity.” This page explains that the school district uses “teachers” to “support bias-free classrooms.” The school district also admits that it invests “time,” “funding,” and “resources” to ensure this happens. One core tool to implement equity into the classroom is the “curriculum.”