Professor sounds alarm on liberals' 'woke math' movement: We're 'going backwards culturally'

York College professor calls out ‘woke’ math curriculum

Erec Smith says schools that are offering classes specifically for students based on race is regressive and pushes separatism.

Erec Smith, professor at York College (Pa.) and co-founder of “Free Black Thought,” harshly criticized the latest “woke” movement in liberal education that aims to eliminate advanced math classes in schools. Smith agreed Thursday with more than 1,000 professors who took a stand against the movement.

In an open letter, the educators argue that the “woke” movement would actually worsen the problem of inequality because it would reduce access to foundational education.

“This is dumbing down,” Smith said of the movement. “If you’re creating a form of education specifically for one group of kids because they can’t learn like everybody else, that’s just another iteration of the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

“The soft bigotry of low expectations,” a phrase coined in 2003 by former President George W. Bush, highlights a form of educational bias based on race: It is the expectation of less from disadvantaged individuals, which critics say discourages people from reaching their full potential.

 Smith explained on “Fox & Friends” that math education can be racist if you subscribe to “woke” ideals.

“It can be racist if you abide by this new movement on the quote unquote woke left that says that reason and rationality and even a scientific method itself are inherently White, and therefore racist to expect from Black students.”

Proponents of the curriculum argue that it makes math education more inclusive.

“I think it’s more separatism. I think it’s more segregation, and I think it’s unnecessary,” Smith told Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt.

“Regressing into stereotypes to teach certain groups of people is going backwards culturally.”

Front of school building in the morning, waiting for students to arrive.

He warned that this type of curriculum has a lasting impact and doesn’t set students up for a successful future. 

“And that is the danger of this new far-left version of education,” Smith said. “When they do get into college, it’s not a good fit because they’re in a situation that they haven’t been prepared for.” 

“It just sets them up for more failure.”

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