The Florida Department of Education on April 15 rejected 54 new mathematics textbooks from next school year’s curriculum, citing references to critical race theory among its reasons for the rejections.
The Department announced that they rejected 54 of the 132 (41%) submitted textbooks — the most in Florida’s history — because they were “impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics,” including “references to critical race theory, inclusions Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.”
The highest number of books rejected were for grade levels K-5, amount to 71%, the Department said.
The Department did not list the titles of the books or provided any extracts of the books they removed from the state’s adopted list.
Florida banned the teaching of critical race theory in schools in June 2021.
Critical race theory examines the ways in which a history of inequality and racism continues to operate in American laws and society today.
The SEL programming was intended to help students develop and manage healthy relationships, identities, and emotions.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he was “grateful” for the Department to “have conducted such a thorough vetting of these textbooks to ensure they comply with the law.”
“It seems that some publishers attempted to slap a coat of paint on an old house built on the foundation of Common Core, and indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students,” DeSantis said.
Meanwhile, Democratic State Representative Carlos G. Smith criticized the move, saying that DeSantis “has turned our classrooms into political battlefields.”
“This isn’t just crazy right-wing pandering — next, they’ll spend millions of tax dollars forcing schools to buy math books from [Republican] campaign donors,” Smith also said.
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