Hundreds of prominent professors — including top names from CUNY, NYU, and Columbia — have signed a letter blasting the erosion of math rigor in grades K to 12.
Arguing that curtailing advanced math programs puts American kids at a global disadvantage, the coalition called the movement “the height of irresponsibility.”
Some school districts — including in New York — have slowly eliminated advanced math options for some students as a means of easing achievement gaps.
City parents have revolted in several Department of Education schools where administrators discontinued accelerated math options.
Officials at Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies in Manhattan were forced to reinstate honors math classes after a parental outcry in June.
The Robert Wagner Middle School on the Upper East Side also sought to ax its math honors program amid a fierce backlash.
A total of 746 math teachers and professors across the country signed the new missive, warning that enfeebled math curriculums would have dire consequences down the line.
The teachers — including two CUNY professors, nine from Columbia University, and 13 from NYU — argued that kids need exposure to advanced math prior to college in order to truly excel.
“Such frameworks aim to reduce achievement gaps by limiting the availability of advanced mathematical courses to middle schoolers and beginning high schoolers,” they wrote of the current trend. “While such reforms superficially seem ‘successful’ at reducing disparities at the high school level, they are merely ‘kicking the can’ to college.”
The letter took specific aim at a California initiative that wants to scrap advanced math options in middle and high school.
“While the US K-12 system has much to improve, the current trends will instead take us further back,” the letter states.