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DeSantis defends rejection of math textbooks as Dems seek evidence of critical race theory lessons

Asked Monday what a math lesson on critical race theory might look like, DeSantis said that “there are a number of reasons” the state rejected textbook proposals outside of this issue. The majority of rejected textbooks were for kindergarten through fifth grade.

DeSantis noted that Florida recently approved new teaching standards attempting to eliminate traces of “common core” in the state’s curriculum. DeSantis has made education and parental rights a top priority since being elected in 2018, more recently pushing the Republican-led state legislature to approve a measure banning the teaching of critical race theory and backing another, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by opponents, which bars educators to teach classroom lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation for students in kindergarten through third grade.

“You have things like social and emotional learning, and some of the things that are more political in there,” DeSantis said of frowned upon math textbooks, though he didn’t provide specific examples. .

Critical Race Theory is an analytical framework that examines how race and racism have become entrenched in American law and institutions since slavery and Jim Crow. Conservatives have used it to criticize how race is taught in the K-12 education system. Most public school officials across the country say they don’t teach the theory — even in districts where lawmakers seek to ban it.

Democrats are pressing the DeSantis administration to provide examples of what the state has called “critical race theory references” embedded in math texts offered to the 2.8 million college students. Florida public schools.

Education officials say publishers ignored state guidelines and tried to slip ‘renowned teaching materials’ and other ‘dividing concepts’ or ‘unsolicited indoctrination strategies’ into books “. To that end, 28 proposed math textbooks — or 21% — were dropped from the adoption list due to “banned topics,” including critical race theory.

Florida Department of Education officials have yet to respond to POLITICO’s requests to provide examples of textbooks deemed “ineligible” by state standards.

In an example of how “CRT is being injected into math education,” DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw cited a math homework of a Missouri public school surrounding Maya Angelou’s past. Pushaw included an email from local school officials apologizing for the mission that asked about the poet’s time as a prostitute and pimp, something they said came from outside the curriculum. official.

“So instead of having a whistle fit because @GovRonDeSantis banned CRT math textbooks, ask yourself why CRT is being injected into math education to begin with?” push button wrote on Twitter during the weekend. “I promise you that in China, children don’t learn pimping in math class.”

Democrats called the out-of-state example the DeSantis administration’s attempt to “distract and divert.”

DeSantis “had three days to provide background information on the 54 math books he banned from schools for allegedly ‘indoctrinating’ children with CRT,” says Rep. Carlos G. Smith (D-Orlando) wrote on Twitter. “The best his propaganda machine could do was head to a Missouri district that apologized for a duty it didn’t approve of.”

The Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, has joined Democrats in calling for more transparency on textbook decisions.

“The state has an obligation to ensure that every child receives the math education they need with the highest quality materials,” FEA Chairman Andrew Spar said in a statement.

DeSantis said he would be open to the state making sample textbooks public, but argued the content is considered “proprietary information” because publishers weigh possible calls for rejections.

“I would love for it to be released, but I also respect the process,” DeSantis told reporters Monday.


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