In Episode 45, we take a deep dive into the battle over math education in Manitoba. After playing out in the media for almost 20 years in plain sight, we go through the history.

Math is hard for lefties when the actual educators refuse to let the Paulo Fiere critical race theory fan club take over school curriculum, and promote “anti-racist” math in which everyone is either an oppressor or “oppressed.”

Store clerks can’t round up to give you change or multiply how much 3 orders of fries costs, but to the promoters of fuzzy math, that’s not a problem.

Part 1- We analyze the trail of skirmishes in the Winnipeg Free Press (starting with 09/10/11):

“Teachers’ math skills ‘alarmingly weak’… Some teachers didn’t get adequate math courses when they were in high school and thus can’t teach their students properly, the petition alleges”

“… A student can get into a faculty of education with only Grade 12 consumer math, Professor Anna Stokke said. “I wouldn’t even call it a math course — it’s a life-skills course.”

“It’s a disaster. They’re coming in with grade-school math.”

Another instructor noted- “Young children can develop a fear of mathematics if their teachers do not have a good understanding of the subject.”

Faced with pushback, the newspaper platformed far-left attack dog Neil Dempsey, in “‘Drill and kill’ no way to teach math in 2011”.

You’ll hear how how his ilk of “educators” rely on half-truths and insulting critics – memorization baaaad! Racialization gooood!

Next was Dempsey’s WFP polemic in 2016. He aligned himself with a Stanford “expert” ⁠recently alleged⁠ to have “in 52 instances misrepresented supporting research she has cited in her own work in order to support her conclusions. These include the notions that taking timed tests causes math anxiety.”

The pushback he got from another U of M math Professor, Robert Craigen, exposed the scam:

“These puff pieces are usually sprinkled with a generous helping of “research shows” without specifics, or generic “researchers” cited as having such and such opinions… We ask to see this research and, most often, the only reply is dismissal tactics.”

By 2013, “Manitoba went from ranking fifth (in the PISA test) to dead last in Canada.”

That was the result of emphasizing “cultural sustaining pedagogy” and progressive groupthink, with unqualified public school instructors being trained to bake the DEI narratives of Marxist revolutionaries into the classrooms.

Part 2 24.53- A big topic locally last fall became “math anxiety” – whipped up online by a trustee’s spouse.

Prof. Stokke wrote in the Free Press in January that: “the percentage of Manitoba students performing below level 2, which corresponds roughly to innumeracy, doubled since 2003. The percentage of highest-performing students halved. More students are struggling in math, and fewer are excelling.”

Her C.D. Howe Intelligence Memo is at ⁠⁠

Her point? “Students must develop a firm foundation through a lot of practice before they can grapple with more complex math… Public funds should not be spent on math programs that fail to recognize the importance of explicit instruction and sufficient practice.”

Dempsey tried to rebut Stokke as “uninformed” “scary” and “harmful”- but as you’ll hear, he falsely pinned statements on Stokke that her op-ed hadn’t included, and soon apologized for misquoting a former NDP minister. In other words, he spread disinformation.

He also wedged “climate change” into his narrative. Because it’s not about math, it’s about indoctrination.

You’ll hear her takedown of Dempsey and about how Manitoba reversed a plan to eliminate tests. If only 50% of Ontario Grade 6’ers met standards, how bad will our kids score?

As Stokke said, “Maybe the cure to math anxiety is to teach kids math.”