Florida Bans Math Propaganda Textbooks

 

The Left is relentless in pushing its agenda, particularly on our children, who are vulnerable and naïve about the effects of propaganda in the schools. Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to hold the Left and its cohorts accountable for their actions and agenda, and they continue to misrepresent what they are doing.

The latest salvo from the Florida Department of Education and the legislature has been the rejection of math books being offered to the state. Propaganda in math books, you ask? How is that possible? The political Left has found a way. They cloak their teaching in the framework of critical race theory, by offering euphemisms for that term. Worse yet, they have taken a subject that was probably relatively harmless in its original form—Social and Emotional Learning Theory—and have redefined it through the racist content of the class. Before I explain how this manipulation of our education has evolved, I’d like to explain the actions that the FL Dept. of Education took just over a week ago:

Last Friday, the FLDOE announced in a press release that it is rejecting 54 of the 132 new math textbooks submitted for approval this year—the highest number of banned textbooks in the state’s history. The press release was titled ‘Florida rejects publishers’ attempts to indoctrinate students.’

According to the FLDOE, what made them reject all these books were references to Critical Race Theory, inclusions of Common Core, and ‘the unsolicited addition of’ Social Emotional Learning. Some books simply didn’t match Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking, a set of standards set by the state.

The publishers that were affected were Accelerate Learning, Bedford Freeman and Worth Publishing Group, Big Ideas Learning LLC, Cengage Learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Math Nation, McGraw Hill LLC, and Savvas Learning Company LLC.

Gov. DeSantis has made his protest against these books eminently clear:

On Monday, DeSantis tweeted: ‘Math is about getting the right answer, not about feelings or ideologies. In Florida, we will be educating our children, not indoctrinating them.’

Works for me.

The FLDOE gives several examples on its website, but this is one of the most blatant:

Under an exercise supposed to be teaching students about polynomials, a kind of mathematical expression, the first few words introducing the teaching instructions are highlighted as guilty of mentioning the FLDOE’s ‘prohibited topics.’

‘What? Me? Racist?,’ read the instructions, before mentioning that the students will be working with a mathematical model measuring bias that has been used by over two million people to test their racial prejudice through the Implicit Association Test.

Once the State of Florida realized that, in spite of the Left’s protests to the contrary, the FLDOE saw that CRT (without using the term) was appearing under the guise of Social and Emotional Learning. The proponents of SEL state that teaching this curriculum is helpful to children:

Social-emotional learning (SEL) describes the mindsets, skills, attitudes, and feelings that help students succeed in school, career, and life, such as growth mindset, grit, and sense of belonging at school. Educators use many names for these skills, such as ‘non-cognitive skills,’ ‘soft skills,’ ‘21st century skills,’ ‘character strengths,’ and ‘whole child.’ Social-emotional learning is an important part of a well-rounded education. Research shows that SEL is an important lever for boosting academic achievement. Positive social-emotional skills are also correlated with improved attendance and reduced disciplinary incidents.

It sounds pretty harmless, doesn’t it? The description leaves out the latest infiltration of the focus on racism:

Our mission at Empowering Education is to enable learning through social and emotional learning. That includes helping children wrestle with the racism and injustice of the world, learn to appreciate differences, and develop the skills to resolve conflicts. We need SEL more than ever so that our children grow up in a world where they feel valued, respected, and heard no matter their skin color.

Fortunately for the citizens of Florida, Gov. DeSantis and his Department of Education are well aware of the insidious nature of the Left’s education curriculum.

They are adamant about forcing their agenda on all of us.

We all need to keep a watchful eye on the Left’s efforts to brainwash our children.

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  1. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Totally agree with your last sentence.  However, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the Left’s dizzying attacks on every facet of our education systems.

    Just yesterday, I was reading about some “national” group of English educators calling for the end of essay writing and reading books in favor of watching TikTok videos and items of this nature.  Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

    At times, I’m tempted to advocate for a simple compromise with the Left:  You can teach all the CRT you want but only if your school tests with the top five percent of the world population.  

    Seems simple enough but I doubt that there’ll be too many takers.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Totally agree with your last sentence. However, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the Left’s dizzying attacks on every facet of our education systems.

    Just yesterday, I was reading about some “national” group of English educators calling for the end of essay writing and reading books in favor of watching TikTok videos and items of this nature. Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

    At times, I’m tempted to advocate for a simple compromise with the Left: You can teach all the CRT you want but only if your school tests with the top five percent of the world population.

    Seems simple enough but I doubt that there’ll be too many takers.

    CA, it’s so easy to get discouraged; their efforts are ubiquitous and persistent. I think we need to identify key areas where they are likely to make inroads and keep an eye on those. I didn’t mention that Florida school districts don’t have to buy their books from approved publishers, but the state supplies only 50% of the cost if they are on the approved FL list. That is at least something!

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    If they can’t figure out a way to work their “Social Emotional Learning” into standardized math tests, Florida students are going to waffle-stomp New York and California students in the math scores.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    If they can’t figure out a way to work their “Social Emotional Learning” into standardized math tests, Florida students are going to waffle-stomp New York and California students in the math scores.

    Ah, yes. But will anyone care? Those tests are so inconvenient…

    • #4
  5. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Totally agree with your last sentence. However, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the Left’s dizzying attacks on every facet of our education systems.

    Just yesterday, I was reading about some “national” group of English educators calling for the end of essay writing and reading books in favor of watching TikTok videos and items of this nature. Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

    At times, I’m tempted to advocate for a simple compromise with the Left: You can teach all the CRT you want but only if your school tests with the top five percent of the world population.

    Seems simple enough but I doubt that there’ll be too many takers.

    AND they allow Christian teachers to read the Bible in class.

    • #5
  6. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Makes one wonder how our country was built without the benefit of socially aware mathematics? Sadly we may find out in a few years how badly our systems and infrastructure are maintained by socially aware engineers. When will we find out that “engineer” is essentially sexist or racist?

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    If they can’t figure out a way to work their “Social Emotional Learning” into standardized math tests, Florida students are going to waffle-stomp New York and California students in the math scores.

    Ah, yes. But will anyone care? Those tests are so inconvenient…

    Folks that want planes that fly and bridges that don’t collapse had better care.

    • #7
  8. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Makes one wonder how our country was built without the benefit of socially aware mathematics? Sadly we may find out in a few years how badly our systems and infrastructure are maintained by socially aware engineers. When will we find out that “engineer” is essentially sexist or racist?

    No lie.  Each time I watch Apollo 13 I think about how brilliant those engineers were and what a bunch of dullards we’re putting into the pipeline now.

    If Apollo 13 happened today, the “engineers” would just go, “Just three white guys that we’ve never met; let them die; they were just more examples of white supremacy.”

    • #8
  9. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    There are some interesting historical examples of inserting political messages into math problems.  Some textbook used in the Confederate States during the Civil War had word problems like this:

    “A Yankee infantry regiment runs away at 5 mph.  If they are pursued by Confederate cavalry at 15 mph and the Yankees have a 20-minute head start, how long does it take to catch them and how far have they gotten?”

    German textbooks during the Nazi era had word problems like:

    “It cost X marks per year to support the care of a severely disabled man.  If a healthy German couple can be helped to buy a farm for Y marks, how many couples could be provided with farms for the cost of supporting this one individual?”

    • #9
  10. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I can’t imagine how I managed to graduate from high school without a drop of CRT or SEL education.

    • #10
  11. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Here’s an interesting present-day example from a 9th grade class in Missouri.

    Even if one buys the idea that the book is appropriate for 9th graders, I think it is terrible pedagogy.  The ‘problem’ part of the problem has nothing to do with the ‘word’ part of the problem.  Solving the simultaneous equations for X and Y (in Problem 5) gives you (4,5) which when arbitrarily mapped into the possible answers to the question tells you that the protagonist worked not just as a pimp and drug dealer, but also as a night club dancer, but this has nothing to do with showing students how simultaneous equations might actually be used.

    ‘Educators’ seem all too often to feel that students cannot possibly have any sense of intellectual curiousity or even intereset in learning things that might be useful; hence, everything has to be made ‘relevant’, and, in this case relevant to some very stereotypical view of what their students are all about.

     

    • #11
  12. KevinKrisher Inactive
    KevinKrisher
    @KevinKrisher

    In North Korea, the math textbooks ask children to calculate how many “Yankee bastards” can be killed with different types of ammunition.

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Texas needs to get on board.  Apparently they are also big players in the public school textbox marketplace.  They (and all concerned states) should tell the textbook publishers what they will and will not buy.

    And anything written by Howard Zinn should be on the “Don’t Buy” list . . .

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    KevinKrisher (View Comment):

    In North Korea, the math textbooks ask children to calculate how many “Yankee bastards” can be killed with different types of ammunition.

    No surprise there…

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    KevinKrisher (View Comment):

    In North Korea, the math textbooks ask children to calculate how many “Yankee bastards” can be killed with different types of ammunition.

    And on an empty stomach, since they have no food.

    • #15
  16. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

     

    So is that an admission that blacks are less capable than whites, and that therefore racial discrimination against blacks is rational, justified, and proper?

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    So is that an admission that blacks are less capable than whites, and that therefore racial discrimination against blacks is rational, justified, and proper?

    It’s amazing how often they act in ways that destroy their own basic ideas, isnt it? But no one has the good sense to evaluate the big picture–or even the last thing they’ve said. It is sad.

    • #17
  18. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

     

    So is that an admission that blacks are less capable than whites, and that therefore racial discrimination against blacks is rational, justified, and proper?

    The rational and proper thing to do is to evaluate each student by his own demonstrated abilities, without regard for the color of his skin.

    • #18
  19. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

     

    So is that an admission that blacks are less capable than whites, and that therefore racial discrimination against blacks is rational, justified, and proper?

    The rational and proper thing to do is to evaluate each student by his own demonstrated abilities, without regard for the color of his skin.

    Ha, ha, ha.  That went by the boards a long time ago, and it probably won’t come back.

    • #19
  20. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

     

    So is that an admission that blacks are less capable than whites, and that therefore racial discrimination against blacks is rational, justified, and proper?

    Yep and they don’t have valid ID In their wallets like any competent adult either, so voter I.D. laws are racist. The Democrats constantly reveal their true attitude toward minorities. They never stopped being the party of the KKK and slavery. They just changed the name of the plantation to Welfare.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Somewhere in Virginia, there was a local NAACP who successfully persuaded a private school to lower its math standards for black students.

     

    So is that an admission that blacks are less capable than whites, and that therefore racial discrimination against blacks is rational, justified, and proper?

    Yep and they don’t have valid ID In their wallets like any competent adult either, so voter I.D. laws are racist. The Democrats constantly reveal their true attitude toward minorities. They never stopped being the party of the KKK and slavery. They just changed the name of the plantation to Welfare.

    Berkeley vs Harlem.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):
    Berkeley vs Harlem.

    I LOVE this video!! Thanks, Percival.

    • #22
  23. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Berkeley vs Harlem.

    I LOVE this video!! Thanks, Percival.

    I remembered it as soon as I read @rightangles‘ comment.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Berkeley vs Harlem.

    I LOVE this video!! Thanks, Percival.

    I remembered it as soon as I read @ rightangles‘ comment.

    It was interesting how a few of them were reluctant to call those beliefs “racist”; I wonder if that was because Ami was white?

    • #24
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Berkeley vs Harlem.

    I LOVE this video!! Thanks, Percival.

    I remembered it as soon as I read @ rightangles‘ comment.

    It was interesting how a few of them were reluctant to call those beliefs “racist”; I wonder if that was because Ami was white?

    I admire the kind of restraint and even goodwill that had them preferring ‘ignorant’ over ‘racist’ [which] stands in marked contrast to the certainty of the white students’ judgements, both of black people’s reduced capabilities/opportunities, and those evil Republicans who are somehow instrumental in the presumed reductions.

    Edit: Dropped in missing clause.

    • #25
  26. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Here’s an interesting present-day example from a 9th grade class in Missouri.

    Even if one buys the idea that the book is appropriate for 9th graders, I think it is terrible pedagogy. The ‘problem’ part of the problem has nothing to do with the ‘word’ part of the problem. Solving the simultaneous equations for X and Y (in Problem 5) gives you (4,5) which when arbitrarily mapped into the possible answers to the question tells you that the protagonist worked not just as a pimp and drug dealer, but also as a night club dancer, but this has nothing to do with showing students how simultaneous equations might actually be used.

    If they’d read the book they wouldn’t have to do any solvingof the equations at all.  Though if the class was reading the book, and engaging with it, this might be a good way to get them interested in algebra?

    I’m surprised at the number of books banned.

    • #26
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Zafar (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Here’s an interesting present-day example from a 9th grade class in Missouri.

    Even if one buys the idea that the book is appropriate for 9th graders, I think it is terrible pedagogy. The ‘problem’ part of the problem has nothing to do with the ‘word’ part of the problem. Solving the simultaneous equations for X and Y (in Problem 5) gives you (4,5) which when arbitrarily mapped into the possible answers to the question tells you that the protagonist worked not just as a pimp and drug dealer, but also as a night club dancer, but this has nothing to do with showing students how simultaneous equations might actually be used.

    If they’d read the book they wouldn’t have to do any solvingof the equations at all. Though if the class was reading the book, and engaging with it, this might be a good way to get them interested in algebra?

    I’m surprised at the number of books banned.

    They are not banned.  They just aren’t being purchased for use.  I’m sure you can go to Florida and buy as many as you want.

    • #27
  28. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Zafar (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Here’s an interesting present-day example from a 9th grade class in Missouri.

    Even if one buys the idea that the book is appropriate for 9th graders, I think it is terrible pedagogy. The ‘problem’ part of the problem has nothing to do with the ‘word’ part of the problem. Solving the simultaneous equations for X and Y (in Problem 5) gives you (4,5) which when arbitrarily mapped into the possible answers to the question tells you that the protagonist worked not just as a pimp and drug dealer, but also as a night club dancer, but this has nothing to do with showing students how simultaneous equations might actually be used.

    If they’d read the book they wouldn’t have to do any solvingof the equations at all. Though if the class was reading the book, and engaging with it, this might be a good way to get them interested in algebra?

    I’m surprised at the number of books banned.

    I haven’t even heard of most of them, but The Rape of Nanking on a banned (or do not buy) list?  

    Incredible.

    • #28
  29. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Here’s an interesting present-day example from a 9th grade class in Missouri.

    Even if one buys the idea that the book is appropriate for 9th graders, I think it is terrible pedagogy. The ‘problem’ part of the problem has nothing to do with the ‘word’ part of the problem. Solving the simultaneous equations for X and Y (in Problem 5) gives you (4,5) which when arbitrarily mapped into the possible answers to the question tells you that the protagonist worked not just as a pimp and drug dealer, but also as a night club dancer, but this has nothing to do with showing students how simultaneous equations might actually be used.

    If they’d read the book they wouldn’t have to do any solvingof the equations at all. Though if the class was reading the book, and engaging with it, this might be a good way to get them interested in algebra?

    I’m surprised at the number of books banned.

    They are not banned. They just aren’t being purchased for use. I’m sure you can go to Florida and buy as many as you want.

    Fair point.  I’m surprised at the number of books being rejected for including forbidden ideas.  Even Art Spiegelman’s Maus? 

    From the Guardian, predictably:

    Teachers’ representatives, meanwhile, dismissed it as “political theater” by the governor, who is, they say, focused on the wrong priorities.

    “What educators and parents are concerned about is if we don’t have teachers in our classrooms, or bus drivers to get kids to school on time, then our kids aren’t learning math or any other subject,” Spar said.

    “We’re expecting over 9,000 teacher vacancies by the end of the year, according to the state board that he appoints, and we have a massive bus driver, paraprofessional, cafeteria worker, custodian shortage in addition. We’ve heard the governor say or do nothing about it.

    “These kinds of antics and political theater going on over these textbooks is exactly what’s driving people out of the profession.”

    • #29
  30. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    We really need to stop using the word ‘banned’ for anything except the government preventing its sale based on content. 

    Removing a book from a library is not banning it, and opting not to purchase it for a library is simply that. 

    • #30
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