Florida rejects 54 math books, citing critical race theory and Common Core : NPR

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at The Rosen Shingle Creek in February in Orlando, Fla.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at The Rosen Shingle Creek in February in Orlando, Fla.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Florida education department has rejected 54 mathematics textbooks for its K-12 curriculum, citing reasons spanning the inclusion of critical race theory to Common Core learning concepts.

The rejected books make up a record 41% of the 132 books submitted for review, the Florida Department of Education said in a statement.

Of them, 28 were rejected because they “incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including [critical race theory],” the statement said.

Critical race theory has been described by scholars as an examination of racism and its impact through systems, such as legal, housing and education. However, it is typically not taught in K-12.

Twelve books were rejected because they did not meet Florida’s benchmark standards, while 14 books were rejected because they both included prohibited topics and failed to meet curriculum standards.

The names of the rejected books were not included.

Some Florida Democrats voiced their opposition to the move on Twitter.

@EducationFL just announced they’re banning dozens of math textbooks they claim to ‘indoctrinate’ students with CRT,” said State House Rep. Carlos Smith. “They won’t tell us what they are or what they say b/c it’s a lie. #DeSantis has turned our classrooms into political battlefields and this is just the beginning.”

“Apparently CRT is being taught in mathematics in Florida, so the @EducationFL has banned some of the math books. No, this is not 1963, it’s 2022 in the ‘Free State of Florida,'” said State Sen. Shevrin Jones.

State House Member Anna Eskamani said“I get it. The goal of math is to solve problems which the Republican Party of Florida doesn’t like to do.”

Among grade levels, 70% of the math materials for kindergarten through fifth grades were rejected. Twenty percent of the materials for grades 6-8 were rejected, and 35% of materials for grades 9-12 were rejected.

“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 Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In 2020, DeSantis removed Common Core concepts, a group of national academic targets in reading and math, from the state’s curriculum. They were replaced by the Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking, or BEST, standards, also dedicated to reading and math.

In 2021, DeSantis banned the teaching of critical race theory, which he described as “the theory that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white person .”

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