The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) rejected 41% of math textbooks from next year’s school curriculum, citing references to critical race theory and other topics that did not align with Florida standards.
In a press release, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and the department stated that 54 of the 132 submitted textbooks in the state’s adopted list for grades K-12 were eliminated, noting that they were “impermissible with either Florida’s new standards” or contained “prohibited topics.”
“We’re going to ensure that Florida has the highest-quality instructional materials aligned to our nationally-recognized standards,” said Corcoran. “Florida has become a national leader in education under the vision and leadership of Governor DeSantis. When it comes to education, other states continue to follow Florida’s lead as we continue to reinforce parents’ rights by focusing on providing their children with a world-class education without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in our classrooms.”
FDOE added that the cut textbooks — the most in Florida’s history — were rejected because they included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.
The department’s breakdown showed that grades K-5 had the most books not added — with 71% of materials being rejected — followed by grades 9-12 (35%), and grades 6-8 (20%). Additionally, 28 (21%) textbooks were not included on the adopted list because they incorporated prohibited topics, such as CRT.
In total, FDOE said that 78 of 132 submitted textbooks are being included on the state’s adopted list.
The news comes on the heels of the 2022 Legislative Session that saw Republicans push a bill (HB 1467) that empowers parents and requires school districts to be transparent in the selection of instructional materials. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the legislation into law in March.
“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 DeSantis. “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.”
Opponents pushed back on Monday, voicing their concerns over the list. Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith lambasted Corcoran for not offering any public evidence surrounding the rejected textbooks.
“DeSantis had three days to provide basic info on the 54 math books he banned from schools for allegedly ‘indoctrinating’ kids with CRT,” Smith said in a tweet. The best his propaganda machine could do was deflect to a Missouri district that apologized for a homework assignment they didn’t approve.”
#DeSantis had three days to provide basic info on the 54 math books he banned from schools for allegedly “indoctrinating” kids with CRT.
The best his propaganda machine could do was deflect to a Missouri district that apologized for a homework assignment they didn’t approve.👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/2KkUqqWMNl
— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) April 18, 2022