The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is donating a million dollars toward a group that is attempting to “dismantle white supremacy” in grade school math.
The creators behind this effort are a cavalcade of west coast academics from places such as Loyola Marymount University and University of California, among others.
A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction is a five-stage lesson plan that prioritizes Black, Latinx, and Multilingual middle school students and the barriers in education they might face. By that the group defines it as being “white supremacy culture.”
While the website acknowledges the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in their partner acknowledgements section, it was unclear what was meant by “generous financial support.” Now we know it was the sum of a million dollar grant. Campus Reform confirmed the Gates Foundation’s donation to the group, via their senior communications officer Josie Duckett McSpadden.
The first of these antiracist lesson plans lists off a monthly exercise for teachers to complete:
- “Engage with the ways that white supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms.”
- “Reflect on your current classroom practices to identify the ways in which they perpetuate white supremacy culture.”
- “Plan to dismantle white supremacy culture by creating a goal that incorporates specific antiracist practices.”
- “Act with accountability by carrying out the plan.”
- “Reflect on the ways in which your practices align with antiracist math education.”
Alongside that are targeted areas of classroom reflection that attempt to break down the profession of teaching through what they claim to be a multicultural lens.
By the fourth lesson, these manuals dive into what they see as the effects of systemic racism in the classroom. The authors do that by introducing the English language and the student’s development in understanding it as a means in which biases and stereotypes fester.