Public School Gender Bias in Mathematics?

About a week ago, my daughter came home with a permission slip to get help in math after school. It’s not that she’s incapable, she’s just too slow with her (written) math facts. They’re required to do 20 subtraction problems in under 2 minutes.

I reluctantly gave permission — I hate labeling her as incapable. I hate that the teacher puts the burden of teaching everything, not just math, onto the parents. I hate all of it. She’s in first grade and has about an hour of homework each night. The teacher swears it’s 20 minutes. It’s not.

Anyway, I went to the school to pick her up after her math group was over and I immediately noticed that ALL of the students getting help with math were girls. All of them. And they were all from the same kindergarten class (there are 4 classes in the school).

Coincidence? I don’t think so. An early gender bias would account for female students from that particular kindergarten class struggling in first grade. All of the parents at pickup said the same thing — the kids know WHAT they’re doing, they are just slow at it. They all seem to lack confidence. Why? Gender bias could be the reason. If a teacher inadvertently gives students the impression that they’re less good at a subject because of their gender, they will lack the confidence they need to do 20 subtraction problems in under 2 minutes.

It’s disgusting. Almost as bad as the “there’s something wrong with every student” mentality that my daughter’s first grade teacher has.

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