kitchen table math, the sequel: Atoning Slavery With Calculators

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Atoning Slavery With Calculators

Brown donates 12,000 graphing calculators to Providence’s middle, high school students

In an ironc twist of fate, Brown University and its African American president, Ruth Simmons, attempt to atone for the university's links to slavery by keeping all kids down on the mathematical plantation.

Rather than work backwards to quantitatively define what knowledge and skills (and GPA and SAT scores) are needed to be accepted into Brown University, they decide to throw some calculators at the problem and see what sticks to the wall. The biggest winner? TI.

"The calculators, which cost a total of $118,000, represent the first step toward fulfilling the university’s pledge to improve public education in the city’s schools."

"Simmons said that Supt. Tom Brady suggested the graphing calculators because they fit nicely with new math and science curricula that will be introduced this fall. "

"Two years ago, Simmons made a personal donation of $25,000 to help buy graphing calculators for the entire freshman class at Hope High School."

“At Brown, Ph.D. students have to teach college,” she said. “Wouldn’t it be great if they taught in public schools? We say, ‘We are the elite. We are professors.’ Well, that doesn’t serve us well. We have to get universities back into every level of education.”

They will have to get education credentials first!

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