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Monday, April 15, 2024 - 02:13 AM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Making Mathlets

Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida has a math teacher, Will Frazer, who is motivating and energizing his students. What is his secret sauce? 

  1. He is teaching math, not critical race theory.
  2. He scouts for talent, because abilities vary.
  3. He puts all the smart kids together in the same room, which promotes excellence.
  4. When Covid shut down his school, he held his classes in another venue and his students followed him for the in-person classes.
  5. No teacher shortage in his classrooms; he uses high schoolers to teach middle-schoolers, which has the added benefit of reinforcing the lessons for the older students.
  6. He knows that students want to be challenged, not bored, in school, so he adds material to the lesson plan. 

This math teacher is not dumbing down the material or using diversity or equity or inclusion to teach. He is pushing his students to achieve excellence. "I cover everything the state wants me to cover, but there is no restriction on covering extra material," Frazer said in the Wall Street Journal (7/16/22).

Frazer did not wait for the school bureaucracy to allow him to teach; he just did it. The success of his students means that Florida parents want their children in his classroom. Parents and teachers should emulate this pro-active teaching.

Some educators think that cherry-picking students for academic excellence is unfair to those who do not make the grade, but sorting students by talent is exactly what the athletic departments do. The school football team does not include all students, but only the better athletes. So Frazer's math class caters to students with the aptitude and interest in math; he calls them "mathletes".

Schools should recognize that abilities vary and should not lower their academic standards to the lowest common denominator. Schools that do not recognize and honor scholastic achievement are limiting the full potential of their students. Time plus talent equals achievement.

Real education favors equality of opportunity. The false promise of equity demands predetermined outcomes. Mathematics has an equal — not an equity — sign.

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Anne Schlafly Cori is the daughter of Phyllis Schlafly and Chairman of Eagle Forum.

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