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Tipsheet

Florida DOE Rejects Math Textbooks Over Inclusion of CRT

AP Photo/John Raoux

The Florida Department of Education announced it had rejected 41 percent of submitted mathematics textbooks because the books contained "prohibited topics" such as Critical Race Theory and Social Emotional Learning.

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"Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics," the Florida DOE said in a press release Friday. 

"The highest number of books rejected were for grade levels K-5, where an alarming 71 percent were not appropriately aligned with Florida standards or included prohibited topics and unsolicited strategies," the release continued. "Despite rejecting 41 percent of materials submitted, every core mathematics course and grade is covered with at least one textbook."

Of the 132 textbooks submitted for use in Florida's public schools, 54 were rejected, including 28 that incorporated "prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT" and 14 others that do not properly align with state standards and incorporate "prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT." The remaining 12 books were not accepted purely because they do not properly align with state 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," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said in the release.

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Last year, DeSantis announced a legislative proposal to ban CRT in Florida's schools. The Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act, otherwise known as the W.O.K.E. Act, equips Floridians with the tools they need to combat "woke indoctrination."

"In Florida, we are taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory," DeSantis said in a statement announcing the legislation in December. "We won't allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other."

According to Friday's press release, publishers were notified in the summer of 2021 that textbooks must adhere to the state curriculum and could not include "unsolicited strategies" like SEL.

Materials built on Common Core were not accepted after DeSantis issued an executive order in 2019 indicating a commitment to the elimination of the educational initiative.

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