Florida rejects math textbooks for ‘banned’ subjects, including critical race theory

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In its latest bid to lead the nation in restricting what happens in public school classrooms, Florida said it rejected a pile of math textbooks submitted by publishers in part because that they “contained forbidden subjects”, including critical race theory.

The Florida Department of Education announcement Friday that Richard Corcoran, the outgoing education commissioner, approved an initial adoption list of teaching materials for mathematics, but 41% of textbooks submitted were rejected – most of them for primary school.

Some were not aligned with Florida’s content standards, called Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking, or BEST. But others, the ministry said, were rejected for the subject. “Reasons for textbook rejection included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), Common Core inclusions, and the unsolicited addition of social-emotional learning (SEL) to math,” he said. he said in a statement. announcement on the department’s website.

In ‘socio-emotional learning’, the right sees a more critical racial theory

Although the department described the textbook review process as “transparent,” it did not mention which textbooks were rejected or cite examples from the offending passages.

“It seems some publishers have tried to paint an old house built on Common Core foundations and indoctrinate concepts like racial essentialism, especially, oddly, for elementary school students” , Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said. was quoted as saying in the ad.

Critical Race Theory is an academic concept centered on the idea that racism is not simply individual prejudice, but is systemic, woven into our legal systems. An example of this is when government officials in the 1930s viewed certain areas – often inhabited by black people – as bad financial investments, making it difficult for them to get mortgages and buy their own homes, according to education week.

The concept emerged in the 1970s, but the 2020 murder of George Floyd gave it new life as some schools tried to better address race in the classroom. Although critical race theory is not directly taught in K-12 schools — used only as a basis for coursework — the move has been hotly debated, with some saying students should have a broader understanding of racism in the states. States and others claiming that it encourages discrimination by dividing people into two groups: victims and oppressors.

Critics immediately attacked the rejection. State Representative Carlos G. Smith (D) tweeted: “@EducationFL just announced that they are banning dozens of math textbooks that they claim to “indoctrinate” students with CRT. They won’t tell us what they are or what they say because it’s a lie. #DeSantis has turned our classrooms into political battlegrounds and this is just the beginning.

“No, it’s not 1963,” says Sen. Shevrin D. “Shev” Jones (D) tweeted“It’s 2022 in the ‘Free State of Florida’.”

DeSantis led the charge in Florida to restrict what teachers can say and discuss in the classroom on topics including race, racism, gender and history. He recently signed a law banning classroom discussion of LGBTQ issues from kindergarten through third grade and, for all students, says any such discussion must be “age or developmentally appropriate.”

Last year, his administration established new rules banning ‘critical race theory,’ and DeSantis is expected to enact the law soon. “Stop Woke Act” which codifies its executive order but also goes further, affecting not only what happens in schools but also the working practices of private companies by restricting how they can promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Critical Race Theory is an academic framework taught largely in law schools that establishes a framework for examining systemic racism. Conservatives have accused K-12 public schools of using it — even though they don’t — to try to restrict classroom conversations about America’s racist history and present. Now Tory activists have targeted social-emotional learning programs – which aim to help students deal with social and emotional issues that can affect their academic performance – saying they too are promoting critical race theory .

The Florida Department of Education also mentioned that some of the textbooks were tied to the Common Core, a reference to the Common Core state standards that Florida and most other states adopted more than a dozen years ago. of years. The standards have since been superseded in a number of states, including Florida, which has seen a succession of different content standards over the past twelve years.

The BEST standards were adopted two years ago, when even Jacob Oliva, who is the Florida Chancellor for the Department of Education’s Public Schools Division, acknowledged that some of the new standards were similar to the Common Core. Corcoran said that wasn’t true.