The Florida Department of Education announced on Friday that it rejected nearly half of proposed math textbooks for next year’s curriculum, citing critical race theory and Common Core, CNN reports.
The department said it rejected 54 out of 132 textbook submissions because they did not adhere with the state’s new standards or contained banned topics.
The department cited references to critical race theory, "inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.”
Governor Ron DeSantis said that officials aimed to "focus the education on the actual strong academic performance of the students."
"We don't want things like math to have, you know, some of these other concepts introduced. It's not been proven to be effective, and quite frankly, it takes our eye off the ball," DeSantis said.
K-5 material targeted:
In all, the department rejected 70% of all math materials for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. The department also rejected 20% of material for grades 6 to 8 and 35% of materials for grades 9-12.
"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.
State Rep. Carlos Smith slammed the department for not releasing a list of the books it banned, arguing “they won’t tell us what they are or what they say” because it’s a “lie.”
“DeSantis has turned our classrooms into political battlefields and this is just the beginning,” he said.
"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,'" tweeted 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."