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Rethinking Mathematics

But their arguments are as shallow and culturally tone-deaf as a bad math curriculum

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We think Diane Ravitch and her fellow right-wing pundits have gotten multiculturalism -- and us -- all wrong.

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In June Ravitch penned a Wall Street Journal opinion piece lambasting multicultural approaches to teaching mathematics. And she singled out our new book Rethinking Mathematics for special scorn.

Quoting from the table of contents -- in a manner that suggests she never bothered to read further -- she decried the book for trying to make math education culturally relevant to the children actually being served by U.S. public schools.

Ravitch accused Rethinking Schools -- and math teachers who believe in multiculturalism -- of abandoning academic rigor in favor of "political correctness."

Other right-wing pundits quickly took up Ravitch's chant and Rethinking Mathematics became a lightning rod for right-wing pundits and bloggers. Notably, Baltimore Sun columnist Gregory Kane -- who also seemed content to scan the book's table of contents and read no further -- blasted away at Rethinking Schools and multiculturalism.

Read the Ravitch column -- printed in the Wall Street Journal on June 20.

Read our Letter to the Editor responding to Ravitch. -- printed in the Wall Street Journal on June 30.

Read the Kane column -- printed in the Baltimore Sun on June 29.

Read our Letter to the Editor responding to Kane -- printed in the Baltimore Sun on July 9.

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Decide for yourself - Buy Rethinking Mathematics right now and take $5 off the $16.95 cover price with this discount code: 5BRAVITCH. (Discount good on one copy only: additional copies are regular price)

These shallow analyses by right-wingers are especially ironic given the unwavering focus Rethinking Mathematics puts on the importance of deep, rigorous, high-quality math instruction.

Rethinking Mathematics is rooted in the classroom-tested principle that getting kids to learn sophisticated math is served, not diverted, by making lesson plans and source material reflect the real world.

The book offers concrete, ready-to-teach examples of how kids can use math concepts to examine the social and economic impacts of racism, global corporate finance and other major factors shaping how they live and the choices they get to make.

We think that's a lot more relevant and useful than drilling kids on math formulas they will never use in their lives beyond school, and grading them on how well they can recite the formulas back to the teacher.

Learn more about Rethinking Mathematics.

Buy the book right now and save $5 with this discount code: 5BRAVITCH

Summer 2003