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Florida Rejects Math Books With References to Critical Race Theory

Governor DeSantis said CRT will cause children to identify primarily with 'skin color, rather than based on the content of their character'

Florida has rejected a myriad of math textbooks submitted by publishers because they contained prohibited subjects, including critical race theory.

On Friday, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) announced that Richard Corcoran, the outgoing commissioner of education, had approved an initial adoption list of instructional materials for math. However, the state rejected 41% of the material that was deemed “impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics,” the announcement read. 

The FDOE said many of the books were not aligned with the state’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking, or BEST.

However, it also stated that it had chosen to reject textbooks that “included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.”

The department did note that they were adopting 78 out of 132 textbooks submitted.

In their statement, the FDOE noted that its review process was intended to ensure “inappropriate, ineffective, or unsolicited concepts and strategies” were not accepted in approved instructional materials. 

In 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order for Florida schools that was focused on eliminating Common Core, developing higher education standards, and increasing the quality of instructional materials.

“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 Governor DeSantis.

CRT is an academic notion centered around the idea that racism is systemic — not just individual prejudice, but woven into our nation’s legal and structural systems.

Last year, Governor DeSantis began promoting a measure banning CRT from Florida classrooms. When he addressed the FDOE at the time, he said, “I think it’ll cause people to think of themselves more as a member of particular race based on skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they’re trying to accomplish in life.”

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