Thursday, January 10, 2013

The liberal bias of Math

I've spoken out about the need for science literacy several times in the past. Each time I have the delusional hope that people have listened and the world will change. Unfortunately, FOX News has once again gotten my blood boiling.

On Wednesday Eric Bolling accused schools of a liberal bias for teaching Algebra. "Distribute the Wealth", the host exclaimed, holding up a worksheet from Scholastic, "for the distributive property of division and multiplication, this is for grades 3-6."

Now, I'm not trying to be political. I understand the outrage is from the term "distribute the wealth". I get it, those are political buzz words. But the worksheet is not teaching 3rd graders about the merits of distributing wealth. This isn't a lesson in a political science class. It's a math lesson. For third graders. It's teaching kids about the distributive property. Math does not have a liberal bias.

Kimberly Guilfoyle then adds her thoughts and jokes about her inability to complete a 3rd grade math worksheet.
"This isn't that easy! I'm a mom and I can't do this!" 
This is what really bothers me about this whole segment. Some journalists think that being bad at science and math is a good thing. I don't know if they're trying to be relatable, they're worried about alienating their audience, or think it's endearing. Whatever it is it needs to stop. In any other subject a journalist is expected to understand the thing they're reporting on. For some reason math and science get a pass. In fact if you do understand it (like I'm sure Kimberly Guilfoyle actually does) it's somehow good journalism to pretend you don't. Doing this perpetuates the idea that math and science are only meant for a select few of the smartest of all of us. That's just not true. Math and science should be clear and simple.