A member of Tennessee’s Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission Laurie Cardoza-Moore has sounded an alarm on a new Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) official and her reported advocacy of math equity.

Math Equity is the concept that working to answer a question correctly constitutes racism and white supremacy.

The TDOE official, Chief of Preparation and Performance Rachael Maves, said Wednesday, however, that she does not believe math is racist.

Moore said in an emailed press release that members of the Tennessee General Assembly’s House and Senate Education Committees must investigate how and why TDOE Commissioner Penny Schwinn hired Maves.

“Rachael Maves comes to Tennessee with a controversial history of being a key proponent of California’s racist ‘Math Framework’ overhaul, a concept that holds students back regardless of talent or ability in favor of ‘equity,’ rather than individual excellence,” Cardoza-Moore said.

“The model stems from the belief that math is racist and perpetuates white privilege. Her philosophy of education reflects the tenets of Common Core Standards, as well as Critical Race Theory, so I find it outrageous that she’s been appointed to such a critically important educational position in a state that outlaws both these instructional models. Her core belief on education forces every student into the slow lane for the sake of ‘equity’ and one in which the capable are held back from excellence, and it has caused California’s 6.1 million students irreparable harm.”

Breitbart last week reported that Maves, during her time in California, pushed a “Math is Racist” plan.

TDOE spokesman Brian Blackley told The Tennessee Star via email Wednesday that “there is absolutely no truth to the headline that one of the department’s employees believes math is racist.”

“Rachael Maves never stated that math was racist, and she never stated that she believed that students should not have access to advanced math coursework. Rachael Maves previously worked for the California Department of Education. The article incorrectly asserts that Rachael Maves was pushing for advanced math coursework to be abolished,” Blackley said.

“California reviews its education frameworks on a regular cycle, much like Tennessee reviews standards and curriculum on regular cycles, and California’s math framework was up for review. The California Department of Education’s role in that process is a facilitator of a transparent public process for those responsible for drafting, reviewing, and approving the policy.”

In his email, Blackley copied and pasted the following words that he attributed to Maves.

“In no way do I believe that math is racist, nor do I believe that advanced math coursework should be abolished. I believe all students should have access to high-quality math courses and be given ample opportunity to access math content at each student’s level of ability to ensure they are well prepared for college and career opportunities,” Maves wrote.

“I came to Tennessee and joined the Department of Education because I am strongly aligned to Governor [Bill] Lee and Commissioner Schwinn’s bold vision for educational excellence. I am honored and blessed to work in a state that consistently puts the best interests of students above all else.”

Officials within the State of Virginia government announced this year that they would eliminate all accelerated math courses in the state’s public schools before the 11th grade. This, ostensibly as part of an “equity” plan to make math classes easier for all races.

In August, Deborah Ball, a mathematics professor at the University of Michigan, said that the discipline inflicts racism against black and Latino students.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Laurie Cardoza-Moore” by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. Photo “Rachael Maves” by Rachael Maves.