BREAKING NEWS

FDOE reinstates more textbooks previously rejected over ‘prohibited’ content; questions remain over examples released

Total of books added to state adoption list now at 17

The Florida Department of Education has reinstated some math textbooks that were previously rejected because the state said they contained “prohibited” content such as critical race theory, social emotional learning and Common Core frameworks.

The Florida Department of Education has reinstated more math textbooks that were previously rejected because the state said they contained “prohibited” content such as critical race theory, social emotional learning and Common Core frameworks.

On its website, the state’s education department had posted a message saying: “Publishers are aligning their instructional materials to state standards and removing woke content allowing the department to add nine more books to the state adoption list over the past 11 days.”

On Friday, there was a new message on the website saying: “Publishers are aligning their instructional materials to state standards and removing woke content allowing the department to add 17 more books to the state adoption list over the past 14 days.”

So far, no clearer details have come forth from the textbook publishers or from the state.

The state rejected 54 math textbooks and then released examples that it says back up its rejection of the textbooks. FDOE released examples of what it calls critical race theory and an example of social emotional learning that Gov. Ron DeSantis said was found in unpublished books.

In one of the examples, a bar graph is pictured that asks students to measure levels of racial prejudice based on age and political identity. Another, according to state educators, contained references to social emotional learning, which has been banned in the state of Florida.

The FDOE website says “the following are examples provided to the department by the public,” but Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar says this doesn’t add up.

The full message on the FDOE website states: “Based on the volume of requests the Department has received for examples of problematic elements of the recently reviewed instructional materials, the following are examples provided to the department by the public and presented no conflict in sharing them. These examples do not represent an exhaustive list of input received by the Department. The Department is continuing to give publishers the opportunity to remediate all deficiencies identified during the review to ensure the broadest selection of high quality instructional materials are available to the school districts and Florida’s students.”

Spar says it’s the public who is being left in the dark.

“The only examples I saw were examples that they said came from the public, and as such, we don’t even know if they were in those textbooks. It’s really hard to know exactly what the concerns were because they haven’t specifically come out with a list of what was the concern in each book and give it exactly so anyone can look at it and see it,” Spar said.

Spar says DeSantis is using the critical race theory rhetoric for his own political gain.

″What was said from the beginning was that it seemed like this was a politically motivated decision and I think it pans out that way. Again, they’ve never been transparent on it, they’ve never released any real information to show what the concerns were with the book and now what was changed. They just put a post out that they’ve taken the woke stuff out, but we do not what that means,” Spar said.

News4JAX reached out to a spokesperson for the governor’s office and asked where the examples specifically came from. DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw said the governor’s office does not know who provided the examples and the governor’s office is not involved in the review process at all. She directed News4JAX to the state Department of Education, and News4JAX is waiting for a call back.


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.