Reader comment on: Why the Left Hates Horatio Alger

Submitted by Jeffrey R Smith (United States), Aug 13, 2023 10:49

Ira Stoll hits on two truths in "Why the Left Hates Horatio Alger."

First, that the left really does hate Horatio Alger and second, why it is politically expedient to vilify Horatio Alger.

The left is eager to inculcate young minds with a sense of victimhood, despair, and futility; it ultimately translates into votes for the liberal left.

As a 26-year, high school math teacher in Alameda, California, I had frequent collisions with the woke, the left, the indolent and enabling parents.

Denying opportunity represents a labor-saving device: if the situation is hopeless, why waste time and effort grinding out math problems?

To simplify homework assignments, I made worksheets that sifted math problems from the assigned textbook as well as other sources.

The worksheets carried titles that indicated the specific math topic but also hinted at alternative realities beyond the liberal bubble.

One such odious title was "Land of Opportunity Requires Hard Work."

A day after distributing this disturbing worksheet, a parent stormed into the principal's office demanding my apology.

It was too late for a retraction; a pebble had already been dropped into the millpond of family insouciance sending dissonant ripples through their Zen state.

Math in California is the evilest manifestation of Eurocentrism: old white, nerdy men (Gauss, LaPlace, Newton, Fibonacci, Fourier, Pythagoras, et. Al.) tormenting students with irrelevancy, from beyond the grave.

Dropping the gauntlet at the feet of trusting children, telling them that with a bit of grit they can ascend the socioeconomic ladder, and coupling it with reverberations of the Protestant Work Ethic was incendiary.

As the parent ranted, my supportive principal bobbled her head, vehemently agreeing with the parent and expressing astonishment and indignation that a teacher, trusted with students, could attach such a title to an assignment.

The furrows of concern, etched in her forehead, were so deep, her frontomaxillary sutures were exposed to drying air.

Both the parents and the student felt vindicated.

Having tossed a teacher under the bus, the principal gained a sense of job security while the dossier maintained on an evil math teacher gathered even more girth and critical mass.

Jeff Smith
Lieutenant Commander/Naval Aviator USN-Retired
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Buffalo
Master of Education, Boston University

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Other reader comments on this item

Title By Date
⇒ Concurrence [369 words]Jeffrey R SmithAug 13, 2023 10:49
Opportunities Like Never Before [55 words]Lee MikellAug 12, 2023 19:52
Great article [37 words]P:KAug 12, 2023 11:17
The Root Cause of Anti-Capitalism Movements [179 words]JimAug 12, 2023 10:39
A Few Thoughts [403 words]Peter GreulichAug 12, 2023 10:07

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