Florida bans 41% of math books because of CRT

By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

(NNPA) – Florida’s Department of Education said the state rejected more than 50 math textbooks before the 2022-23 school year.

The department cited references to critical race theory among the reasons for the rejections.

Officials said they would not accept about 41% of the books – 54 of 132 – on Florida’s adopted list because the books did not meet state standards.

“Today, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran approved Florida’s initial adoption list for math instructional materials properly aligned with Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (BEST) standards,” wrote the department in a press release.

“The approved list follows an extensive review of submissions to the Department, which found that 41% of submitted textbooks were prohibited by new Florida standards or contained prohibited subject matter – the most in Florida history.

Despite rejecting such a high percentage of submitted papers, the department asserted that every course and year of core math is covered by at least one textbook.

The names of the rejected books were not included in the publication.

Florida’s new law states that teaching in schools must be factual and objective.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ tenure specifically prohibits “theories that distort historical events” — which includes teaching critical race theory.

Florida banned works such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, which attacked the transatlantic slave trade.

“They won’t tell us what [the banned books] are or what they say because it is a lie,” Florida Democratic Rep. Carlos Smith wrote on Twitter.

“DeSantis has turned our classrooms into political battlegrounds, and this is just the beginning.”

Anna Eskamani, a member of the State House, added: “I understand. The purpose of math is to solve problems that the Republican Party of Florida doesn’t like to do.