As The United States’ education system continues to dwindle, another bar-lowering bomb went off—in Michigan. The damage occurred at Wayne State University—the school cut math out of the required curriculum. But don’t worry; they’re thinking of replacing it with a “diversity course.” (What?!)
“This decision was made largely because the current (math) requirement is at a level already required by most high school, mathematics curriculum,” the administration announced to its students. (Don’t go challenging your students to learn more or any of that jazz.)
Additionally, they were so confident they posted a bulletin on their site. The university felt their curriculum “provides a shared, educational experience that imparts knowledge and expertise essential for all undergraduate students regardless of their major or interests.” (Good job, English department and moderators! Together, you’ve mastered diplomacy in the most manipulative way possible. Don’t even think about reconsidering the “smaller, simpler and more flexible…” part.)
But wait, what about the disclosed, one-third of WSU students in need of remedial math their freshman year? That might actually refresh students on the basics and ultimately excel them to a higher level of math. No sweat—WSU fixed it with a revised version. Or did they? Perhaps the school just found an alternate motive—i.e., “a clear message our committee received from the university community (faculty, students, staff, alumni, and employers) was that diversity is central to the nature of WSU, i.e., ‘Distinctively Wayne State.’ Thus, we have placed the values and goals of diversity as a central component of the University Core program.”
However, check out this comment from former-WSU Nursing Faculty Kim Shmina—she left the nursing department May 2016. More, she stated this when the school still required math as a core credit. “What we’re finding is a lot of students need remediation in math. They’re not at a high school level. Our beginning nursing students…at least 10 percent of them, had difficulty passing basic-math calculations for healthcare workers. And she stood by her words… “One of the reasons why students come from all over the world to come to Wayne State University is the rigor of our university, and now we’re talking about getting rid of math,” Shmina added. “It’s comical if you think about it.”
Oh, but Wayne State Young Americans for Liberty chapter-member James Biller weighed in with his wisdom. “There shouldn’t be a math requirement for majors that aren’t STEM. [However,] the cultural-diversity requirements should only be required for majors that aren’t STEM.” His logic derives from WSU mandating more than enough criteria for students to graduate. “Most degrees are useless by themselves; and adding requirements to get one is only a way to make more money for the university, which is bullshit,” Biller explained. “Wayne State can’t just say ‘oh well, since we believe in diversity, we’re going to force you to pay more money to take classes you might not even like or need for your career.’”
“I think we will lose diversity if we get rid of core competencies like math,” Shmina rebutted “Wayne State University is one of the most diverse universities with students from all over the world. It’s one of our crowning jewels—we have students from everywhere interacting in different classrooms, and different courses teach diversity; you can’t help when you are immersed in diversity [but] to learn about diversity and other cultures.” Shmina went further to explain how diversity and cultural-sensitivity courses entail material that’s “divisive” and spawned from “a bunch of stereotypes”—higher education’s traditionally an opponent of these things.
Additionally, Executive Director for the National Association of Scholars Ashley Thorne backed Shmina’s thoughts.
“Mathematical ability is an objective and practical skill that will serve students the rest of their lives, which is why it has traditionally been a core part of college curricula,” she told local media. “‘Diversity’ is not an academic subject. It is a concept invented to classify people by their social identities. Focusing on individuals’ race, ethnicity, sex, and sexuality in this way has been demonstrated to lead to racial animus, segregation, stigmas, discrimination, and poor academic performance. It also politicizes education.” (Boom.)
Shmina even spoke of WSU’s conservative students living in fear while attending classes—worried they’ll be chastised if they disclose their ideas around others (who may not agree). Surprisingly, a professor admonished a student for attempting to speak out on the issue—their grade was suddenly in jeopardy for opining.
Shmina got political and ran for one of the two, available, Board of Governors seats. Her goal was to counterbalance the liberal majority that comprised the Board.
“I decided to run for this because I am tired of the things that I’m seeing. Politics are put above substance, above academics, above everything,” Shmina said. “My job…as a nurse, has always been to help people…my goal is to help them help themselves.”
While WSU was so concerned with diversity, perhaps they should be concerned about their success rate of their students in general. Check out the information pulled from College Factual. “Only 10.8 percent of first-time/full-time students graduate from Wayne State University on time (two or four years depending on the degree) and only 34.3 percent graduate at all, ranking this school below average in both categories when compared nationally.”
Let’s hope Shmina set ’em straight.