Florida Department of Education rejects dozens of math textbooks, citing ‘attempts to indoctrinate students’
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Department of Education says it rejected 41% of math textbooks submitted for the 2022-23 school year because they didn’t meet state standards, and some of those books were denied because they made references to Critical Race Theory.
The math textbooks were also denied because they kept some Common Core standards in the curriculum and included references to Social-Emotional Learning, according to DOE.
DOE says this is the most books it rejected in Florida’s history because of the state’s new standards and extended list of prohibited topics.
Gov. Ron DeSantis accused some textbook publishers of trying to indoctrinate Florida’s youth.
“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,” says DeSantis. “I’m grateful that Commissioner Corcoran and his team at the Department have conducted such a thorough vetting of these textbooks to ensure they comply with the law.”
Of the 132 submitted textbooks, 54 were rejected. DOE provided the following statistics regarding review of the textbooks:
· 78 of 132 total submitted textbooks are being included on the state’s adopted list
· 28 (21%) are not included on the adopted list because they incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT
· 12 (9%) are not included on the adopted list because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. Standards.
· 14 (11%) 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
DOE says it alerted publishers in June 2021 that textbooks must meet Florida’s new B.E.S.T. Standards. Publishers do have the chance to revise submitted materials to better meet Florida’s specifications, the press release says. Publishers also have the option to appeal the state’s decision to reject their materials.
The Florida Education Association says it wants to know more about the process for rejecting so many textbooks.
“We would like to see more transparency from the Department of Education about how it made its decisions on math textbooks. If elementary-level textbooks are rejected for critical race theory or social-emotional learning, how about further defining those terms and giving examples of objectionable content?” FEA President Andrew Spar said in a statement.
“Who reviewed the textbooks, and what are their qualifications? As it stands now, only one publisher’s full suite of K-5 math textbooks is available to Florida districts, and we don’t have a detailed understanding of why. The state has an obligation to ensure that every child is getting the math instruction they need with the highest quality materials,” Spar said.
FEA isn’t the only group asking to see behind the curtain. The Democratic Governors Association is asking Gov. DeSantis to release the names of the textbooks that were rejected.
“Banning 40% of proposed math textbooks in public schools is just the latest dangerous example of Ron DeSantis putting his own divisive politics ahead of Florida’s kids, schools and parents,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “The DGA is calling on DeSantis to stop hiding what books he’s ripping away from school shelves.”
You can find more information on Florida’s academic standards at this link. The state’s current adopted list of materials can be found at this link. A list of the instructional material that was not recommended can be found here.
Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.