Friday afternoon heading into a holiday weekend, statewide education officials announced that they rejected 54 math textbooks out of 132 — that’s 41 percent — claiming that some of the materials attempt to “indoctrinate” kids with references to so-called critical race theory.
“Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics,” the Friday press release–headlined “Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students”–says. “The highest number of books rejected were for grade levels K-5, where an alarming 71 percent were not appropriately aligned with Florida standards or included prohibited topics and unsolicited strategies,” the release states.
In an effort to approve math textbooks that conform with new state standards, the Department of Education reported that 41 percent of the math textbooks in consideration were “impermissible.”
However, the press release does not explain what the offending passages were and how the math books allegedly referenced critical race theory or social emotional learning. Not a single textbook title was named.
The Phoenix has requested further information on the offending materials.
But Republican officials have used the misnomer of “critical race theory” to criticize a wide variety of activities examining the role of racism in American society,
In June, the Florida State Board of Education approved a new rule that prohibits critical race theory in classrooms, claiming that the theory “distorts historical events” and is “inconsistent” with the state board’s approved standards.
According to Chalkbeat Colorado, an education news outlet, social emotional learning “teaches students to be emotionally resilient, form supportive relationships, and develop healthy identities.”
“We’re going to ensure that Florida has the highest-quality instructional materials aligned to our nationally-recognized standards,” Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran, said in a written statement. “Florida has become a national leader in education under the vision and leadership of Governor DeSantis. When it comes to education, other states continue to follow Florida’s lead as we continue to reinforce parents’ rights by focusing on providing their children with a world-class education without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in our classrooms.”
The release provided the following breakdown of rejection ratios:
- 78 of 132 total submitted textbooks are being included on the state’s adopted list.
- 28 (21 percent) are not included on the adopted list because they incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT.
- 12 (9 percent) are not included on the adopted list because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. Standards.
- 14 (11 percent) are not included on the adopted list because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. Standards and incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT.
- Grades K-5: 71 percent of materials were rejected.
- Grades 6-8: 20 percent of materials were rejected.
- Grades 9-12: 35 percent of materials were rejected.
–Danielle J. Brown, Florida Phoenix, and FlaglerLive