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Florida cites critical race theory references among reasons for rejecting 54 math textbooks

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Florida’s Department of Education announced on Friday that the state had rejected 54 math textbooks out of a total of 132 submitted, citing references to critical race theory (CRT) among the reasons for the rejections.

The state agency said 28 textbooks had been rejected because “they incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT.” 

Among some of the state’s other reasons for rejecting the mathematical materials, the department cited the inclusion of social emotional learning (SEL) and Common Core in the textbooks. 

SEL programing is intended to help students develop and manage healthy relationships and identities, manage their emotions and make responsible choices, among other aims. Some conservative activists have claimed it’s a vehicle for CRT, according to according to The Washington Post, which is generally taught in institutions of higher education and centers the United States’ legacy of institutional racism in understanding past and current history.

“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,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said in a statement about the math book rejections. 

“I’m grateful that [Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran] and his team at the Department have conducted such a thorough vetting of these textbooks to ensure they comply with the law.”

This comes as conservative activists and politicians around the country seek to bar CRT and the discussion of other race- and gender-related issues from schools. CRT was banned from Florida classrooms by the state’s Board of Education last year, for example.

Following the move, DeSantis claimed CRT was “state-sanctioned racism” and that it “teaches kids to hate our country and to hate each other.”

Democrats immediately slammed the Florida Education Department’s latest move. 

“#DeSantis is hysterically pulling math books outta FL schools claiming they ‘indoctrinate’ kids with CRT,” state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D), tweeted. This isn’t just crazy right-wing pandering— next they’ll spend MILLIONS of tax dollars forcing schools to buy math books from GOP campaign donors.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Florida Republican leaders are preparing to ban Algebra from high schools. They object to the subliminal use of [brackets] as an indoctrination to the concept of inclusion, they don’t like the equal sign, and they hate solving problems!” state Rep. Anna Eskamani (D) tweeted.

Tags Florida Florida Department of Education Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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