Last week, the Florida Department of Education announced that it would not allow the use of dozens of mathematics textbooks in K-12 public school systems throughout the state. This was allegedly because they included content that discussed critical racism theory.
When asked for examples, however, neither Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) would do so, in spite of claiming that the process had been “transparent.”
In a statement lauding the decision to reject the titles, DeSantis said that he was “grateful” that the department “conducted such a thorough vetting of these textbooks to ensure they comply with the law.” The department stated that it had engaged in a “transparent instructional materials review process” that “ensures the public has the opportunity to review and comment on submitted textbooks.”
But critics noted that the titles of the books — and examples of why the books had been rejected — were not readily provided to the public.
Fifty-four mathematics books were rejectedThe state received 41 percent of the total 132 titles submitted for review. The department did not include the names of the books that were rejected, leaving Floridians and news media unable to scrutinize the state’s decision to ban their use.
“@EducationFL just announced they’re banning dozens of math textbooks they claim ‘indoctrinate’ students with CRT. They won’t tell us what they are or what they say b/c it’s a lie,” contended state Rep. Carlos Smith (D).
Andrew Spar, president of Florida Education Association, attacked DeSantis’ and the state Department of Education’s intransigence about their decision-making process.
“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?,” Spar asked in a series of tweets. “Who reviewed the textbooks, and what are their qualifications?”
DeSantis’s spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, responded to the criticism by tweeting images of math homework that she said was inappropriate and worthy of rejection from the state. She did however share the homework. was from an unapproved assignment a teacher gave students in MissouriNot Florida.
DeSantis claims his administration’s refusal to share the titles he deemed “indoctrinating” was because such material is “proprietary.” But Christopher Finan, executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, said that the lawmaker’s refusal to share the titles is troubling.
“Textbook selection has always been a highly politicized area. It is not a surprise that textbooks are being attacked,” Finan said to The Miami Herald. “It just seems so bizarre that they managed to find [critical race theory]In math textbooks. It is direct from satire.”
Conservative lawmakers across the nation have turned critical race theory — a collegiate-level set of studies that This article examines the intersection between race, racism and U.S. Law — into a new election-year boogeymanDespite the fact the framework rarely, if at all, makes its way into K-12 classrooms. However, legislation and policies that ban critical race theory are not banned. have resulted in a chilling effect on teachers’ lesson plans — making it difficult for educators to effectively teach about the history of racism in the United States.