Florida’s Education Dept. rejects 54 school textbooks for ‘prohibited topics’

DeSantis administration doesn’t disclose list of rejected books, only claims they contain ‘CRT,’ ‘Common Core,’ ‘social-emotional learning’

DeSantis administration doesn’t disclose list of rejected books, only claims they contain ‘CRT,’ ‘Common Core,’ ‘social-emotional learning.’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In its review of 132 math textbooks that were submitted for consideration, the Florida Department of Education rejected 54, claiming they contain ‘prohibited topics’ such as critical race theory, social-emotional learning and Common Core frameworks.

Late Monday afternoon, News4JAX obtained the list of banned books. The Florida Department of Education also provided this list of approved books.

The DeSantis administration did not originally release the list of the books that were submitted, but News4JAX filed a public records request to obtain that information, and got it.

Though it did not cite specific examples, the FDOE said in a press release on Friday that 28 textbooks were rejected because they “incorporated prohibited or unsolicited strategies, including CRT,” 12 were rejected “because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. standards,” and 14 more were rejected for both of the aforementioned reasons.

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The messaging from the DeSantis Administration has been that the education system is being used as a means to subtly inject political opinions into the minds of school-aged children, though he did not cite any specific examples in Florida’s schools.

“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,” DeSantis said in a press release. “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.”

The math book submissions were made in response to a 2021 call for bids for mathematics instructional materials to be included on the state’s adopted list, which included an additional message informing publishers that the materials must “not incorporate unsolicited strategies, such as social-emotional learning and culturally responsive teaching.”

Democratic state lawmakers strongly criticized the move, accusing the administration of waging a dishonest culture war in Florida’s classrooms to bolster political support for DeSantis’ gubernatorial reelection bid.

A spokesperson for Governor DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, posted an example of something the administration deems inappropriate for ninth-grade students. The question was included, not in a math textbook, but in a worksheet that’s available to download from online teaching resource databases such as Teachers Pay Teachers.

Pushaw shared the image that was posted on social media by a local political activist from Missouri.