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Florida education officials reject math textbooks over critical race theory

The Florida Department of Education has rejected a slew of math textbooks they say attempt to “indoctrinate” students through the inclusion of critical race theory and other prohibited subjects, officials said Friday.

The agency junked 41 percent of publisher submissions for a range of reasons — including “references to critical race theory” and adherence to federal Common Core standards.

“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,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement.

The Florida DOE invited publishers to submit math materials for use in the state’s public schools in 2021.

The DOE said 21 percent of the rejected volumes were declined “because they incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT.”

DeSantis previously banned CRT as a curricular component in Florida schools, arguing that it promotes a corrosive fixation on racial differences and minimizes individual agency.

“We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other,” DeSantis said in announcing the legislation in 2021.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis argued critical race theory lessons are dividing children.
AP Photo/John Raoux

Backers of CRT argue that schools do not place enough emphasis on America’s turbulent racial history and that kids should be exposed to it.

DOE Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Friday that publishers were told not to skirt Florida’s curricular standards in advance.

The state’s approach seeks to provide “children with a world-class education without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in our classrooms,” Corcoran said in a statement.

The DOE also declined to use math textbooks that did not align solely to the subject and veered into other areas like emotional welfare and lessons on social interaction.

“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,” DeSantis said.

The agency rejected 54 of 132 total submissions.

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