The Florida Department of Education did respond to the request for specifics and examples of what content in math books resulted in rejection. However, the response did not include an answer to the question. Instead, it linked to the same information that has already been given, and noted that there is an appeal process, without giving any specific examples or information about what materials rejected math books contained.
Original story follows:
After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pushed his Don’t Say Gay bill, the state’s Department of Education rejected 54 textbooks, including math textbooks, saying that they don’t align with the state’s standards due to inclusion of “references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL).”
However, it’s not entirely clear why math books, specifically, were rejected, and the reviews are mixed.
The Department of Education, in a statement titled “Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students,” asserts that books were rejected for the reasons mentioned above — CRT (which is a college-level discipline, but the right-wing typically conflates the term with any teaching about racism or discrimination); Common Core, which would seem the most likely reason for rejecting math texts, since conservatives have been complaining about it since the beginning of its implementation under President Barack Obama; and Social Emotional Learning, the practice of including social and emotional skills (such as self-regulation and empathy) into education.
When it comes to math, the release specifically complains about “unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics,” but the state’s Lieutenant Governor seems to suggest there’s a different reason.
Citing zero specific examples, Desantis’ Lt. Gov Jeanette Nunez on FL’s rejection of 71% of math textbooks: “What we’ve seen is a systematic attempt by these publishers to infiltrate our children’s education by embedding topics such as CRT.” pic.twitter.com/BZGhbV1UEr
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) April 18, 2022
She’s complaining about Critical Race Theory being embedded in math, and nods along with references to “gender issues” in math problems. However, neither she nor the DOE is releasing any specific examples of math content they found inappropriate.
HillReporter has reached out to the Board of Education for clarification on exactly what drove the rejection of math texts, and any examples they’re willing to share, and an update will be issued if they respond.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com