As a math teacher in the early 2000s, Adrian Mims saw few Black and Hispanic students succeeding in Brooklin (MA) High School's honors and advanced math courses. Disadvantaged students lacked foundational skills, study habits and confidence, writes Javeria Salman for the Hechinger Report.

Mims founded summer classes to prep students for eighth-grade algebra, honors geometry and eventually AP Calculus. His Calculus Project now works with roughly 1,000 students from 14 Boston-area districts, offering summer and after-school classes. Most come from Black, Hispanic and/or low-income families.

Students go on field trips to "Harvard Medical School, Google and to university research centers and engineering companies, where they are introduced to careers and see how the math they are learning is used in society," writes Salman. In high school, they're grouped with other Calculus Project students.

"Some states and districts are nixing advanced-math requirements, sometimes in the name of equity," writes Salman. There's a push to substitute data science for advanced algebra and calculus, and to "engage high schoolers in math by making the content more relevant to the real world."

Calculus is "the foundation of modern technology," counters Justin Desai, a math teacher who now works for the Calculus Project. Taking less rigorous math courses shuts the door on STEM careers -- and even fields such as law, he says.

The Calculus Project has fought to keep its students on the high-level math track, writes Salman. In July, some participants learned they'd been placed in financial literacy or statistics at Concord-Carlisle High School instead of calculus. Mims threatened to end the partnership and got all but one student into calculus.

The Calculus Project has added a college advising class for rising seniors, and "plans to help its graduates secure internships while they’re in college and network once they’re out," writes Salman.

Quentin Robinson joined the Calculus Project as a rising seventh grader, she writes. He learned that he likes math. “My freshman year, they tried to put me in a lower-level math class because they didn’t think I was capable,” Robinson said. He talked his way into Geometry Honors instead, and eventually completed college-level calculus and statistics in high school. A college junior, Robinson is majoring in accounting and data analytics at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.

Not only math. A lot of class time is wasted every day in American public school classrooms attempting to solve social problems that are outside the schools’ remit: family life education (goals are to undermine parental authority and introduce kids as young as possible to as many novel sexual practices as have been invented in the mind of man and how to avoid the consequences of engaging in them), Social and Emotional Learning (goal is to encourage kids to focus more on themselves, their anxieties and their fears and to create demand for counselors and social workers), child abuse education (transferring the responsibility for protection from the parent to the child), social activism benefitting leftist causes such as climate chang…

If "Geometry Honors" is the plain old proof-based Euclidean geometry that I learned in high school then I worry about the kids stuck in the other classes called Geometry.

The local state college's Philosophy department requires a proof-based mathematics class for entry into its upper division Logic classes. Why? Because the department can no longer count on its students having had a rigorous proof-based geometry class in high school.

Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax Virginia moved statistics and data analysis to ninth grade so that students could be better at doing experiments and science projects. Learning python, R, and Matlab starting in middle school is probably a good thing but one still needs to know the underlying concepts.

All too often, "data science" is just a fancy name for learning to draw histograms, bar charts, and line graphs. Stuff that should have been learned in the 4th or 5th grade as part of more complicated assignments.