The so-called math equity movement is a scam.

That’s what’s starting to come to light after a series of reports about its leaders in California revealed that the math equity movement is based on flimsy research and the advocacy of con artists.

The phenomenon of “math equity” swept the country in recent years, accelerating during and after the COVID-19 lockdowns. At the most basic level, this movement is driven by the same ethos that drives the entire diversity, equity, and inclusion movement—that disparities in outcomes between groups is a result of structural bias and inequality.

Basically, the contention is that the way math is taught is racist and is producing inequality. One guideline for equitable math instruction contended that it’s “white supremacy” for teachers to demand that students “show their work.”

The philosophical basis for the movement was bogus to begin with, but that didn’t stop schools around the country from adopting math equity standards to join in on the national “race reckoning.”

It turns out that there was little evidence that programs reducing standards had any kind of positive effect, even for the students they were alleged to be helping.

Someone recently filed a lengthy complaint with Stanford University about its equity math guru, Jo Boaler.

The complaint accuses Boaler of “reckless disregard for accuracy,” citing 52 instances in which she allegedly misrepresented research in her work.

“Our contention is that Dr. Boaler has misrepresented the findings and/or methods of a number of reference papers, and for her to erroneously represent that these papers support claims made in her work, when they do not, is a reckless disregard for accuracy,” the complaint reads. “Stanford says it does research to benefit society, but how would its research benefit society if it is based in inaccuracy?”

The complaint cites one of Boaler’s findings: that students performed better when they received comments from teachers rather than grades. This conclusion was based on a 1988 study. 

However, the Washington Free Beacon noted that the “study did not involve an actual academic class taught over the course of several months—a limitation acknowledged by the study’s author but not by Boaler.”

Boaler denied the accusations in an interview Monday with Fox Business. The complaint is just the “latest attempt to silence and discredit me,” she said.

Her defense was that her findings were verified by “an independent party” and that those who criticize her work simply have a different point of view.

“The accusers disagree with my interpretation of the cited findings, with most of their accusations demonstrating a lack of understanding of educational research protocols and processes,” Boaler told Fox Business. “In my view, and in the view of others who have analyzed their output, this in no way reaches any level of academic misconduct, but rather points to differences in beliefs about education.”

Boaler isn’t just another lefty academic. She’s a math education professor who’s been at the forefront of pushing “equity” in math education

She was one of the authors of the California Mathematics Framework, a statewide guideline that’s geared toward promoting social justice. The framework is the reason that San Francisco public schools dropped algebra from the curriculum in 2014.

Not only that, but Boaler’s work is cited nationally to promote other math equity programs. Her work has given the movement cover to foist ideologically motivated curriculum with a thin veneer of evidence that it produces positive outcomes.

According to the New York Post, Boaler gets “$5,000 an hour for Zoom consultations.”

This wasn’t the only scandal to hit the California math equity establishment in the past month. The online platform Pirate Wires this week reported on Yolande Beckles, a woman who has worked as a math equity consultant in the Golden State for years. Beckles now serves as vice chair of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Parent Advisory Committee.

She’s pushed San Francisco schools to abandon gifted math programs in the name of equity.

Pirate Wires reported that Beckles was actually a reality TV star in the early 2000s who “left her native U.K. with 19 standing court judgments levying almost £70,000 [$75,845] in fines at her defunct businesses and a front-page exposé revealing that she had defrauded underprivileged school kids of £12,000 [$12,999].”

Beckles is “set to give a webinar at Stanford next month with Jo Boaler,” Pirate Wires reported.

It must be noted that despite the influence of people such as Boaler and Beckles, San Francisco will bring back algebra instruction for eighth graders. 

In early March, voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure calling for the return of algebra. The tally was 83,916 votes to 16,105, according to an education news site, The 74.

“We want to send a message that San Francisco schools are back on track and they’re making commonsense decisions,” said city Board of Supervisors member Ahsha Safaí, a co-sponsor of the ballot measure. 

It’s good to see San Francisco’s leaders return to common sense. It only took them 10 years.

The San Francisco Unified School District already had decided to bring back algebra before voters passed the ballot measure, but as we’ve learned, education is too important to be left to educrats.

What should be obvious, if it wasn’t already, is that the math equity movement’s foundation isn’t really in improving outcomes for students.

It’s based on a desire to create equal outcomes, regardless of outcome. It’s not about ensuring that, say, black and Hispanic students achieve higher math proficiency. It’s about making them feel like they are doing better, even if that comes at the expense of other students.

That system may benefit some who get a stamp of approval from the education establishment and get pushed on up the ladder of success regardless of merit. But it’s catastrophic for a society as competence takes a back seat to identity and ideology.

What happens to a society that accepts this standard for not just one but multiple generations?

The result is something like what happened in the Soviet Union. Sure, there were still plenty of intelligent and clever people at the top, but failure, dysfunction, and cynical complacency became generally endemic.

The result was decay and collapse.

The math equity movement in America is simply a codification of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” The data behind it is flimsy, and the ethos is worse.