TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After rejecting 54 math books from the coming school year’s approved texts, based on what it called “publisher’s attempts to indoctrinate students,” the Florida Department of Education announced nine books were added back into the list of materials.
Texts that were previously rejected on grounds of including content that “were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics” such as “references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.”
In the announcement, a picture file posted along with a previously published list of rejection examples, FLDOE said the books added back in were updated to “align” with the state’s education standards and “remove woke content” from the math textbooks.
While the first release from FLDOE on April 15 did not include examples of rejected book content, the department later provided four examples, due to “the volume of requests the Department has received for examples of problematic elements of the recently reviewed instructional materials.”
Despite the number of books rejected, a 41% portion of the books submitted for review, FLDOE said, “every core mathematics course and grade” had at least one appropriate textbook to use for the coming school year. The examples that were provided were “not exhaustive” according to FLDOE.
Publishers were provided “the opportunity to remediate all deficiencies identified” to allow their books the potential to be included in the approved texts list again.
Previous commentary by Gov. Ron DeSantis on the books that were rejected focused on removing topics and concepts that didn’t directly lead to solving math equations.
“Math is about getting the right answer,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said April 18. “And we want kids to learn to think so they get the right answer. It’s not about how you feel about the problem, or to introduce some of these other things. It’s there’s a right answer and a wrong answer, and we want our kids getting the right answer.”
At the time, DeSantis said he would respect the process from FLDOE to review or reject books, but said examples should be released. A few days later, the state released the four examples of math textbooks containing what the state called prohibited topics.
Still, before the submissions were shown, publishers told media organizations they didn’t know why the state had rejected their books. Adding the nine books back to the list of approved math textbooks means the state has now approved a total of 87 books for use in the coming school year.
The review process for social studies textbooks is still underway, with the deadline of submissions on May 13 according to FLDOE.