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.

Published in Education
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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    RyanFalcone (View Comment):

    This reminds me of a skit I wrote about 15 years ago. It was about a student who took a math test after having not studied for one second and she answered every problem verbally instead of numerically (ex. 4+4=racism, 1/2 x 3/16 = class oppression, etc.). The teacher couldn’t in good conscience give the student a failing grade so she instead gave her a grade of “happiness”. Of course nobody aside from morons in a Democrat-run city would hire her after she got her engineering degree. When a bridge that she designed collapsed killing dozens, it was blamed on racism and class oppression and she was given a raise.

    Sounds real, actually.

    Maybe something similar happened with that Florida building collapse, I don’t seem to have heard much about that for some time.

    It could have been salt in rising groundwater weakened the concrete foundation. There was evidence of a lot of above-ground corrosion too, so there might have been multiple factors. The building had been sinking since the 1990s.

    Maybe it’s the cause of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse though.

    That bridge was constructed and pretensioned before being deployed. It started cracking almost immediately. The engineers saw that, but thought that it wouldn’t be a safety issue and could be repaired later.

    Another engineer that got a “happiness” grade in math?

    It appears that it was a novel design. Florida International University has – or perhaps had – a reputation for bridge design.

    Maybe everything “novel” should be built at ground level, until they have some time to work things out.

    • #91
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I sometimes don’t understand the customer’s requirements perfectly.

    It’s okay. They usually don’t either. That is why there are preliminary design reviews. 

    • #92
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Latest Orlando Sentinel garbage. Oh! Only one math textbook publisher has been approved! Must be political! They must have donated to DeSantis’ campaign!

    Uh, no!

    Well, there must be some connection to DeSantis! Oh! Gov. Youngkin in VA likes the publisher!

    Uh, so?

    BTW, another publisher just needs to make minor changes for approval. I expect they will.

    • #93
  4. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Latest Orlando Sentinel garbage. Oh! Only one math textbook publisher has been approved! Must be political! They must have donated to DeSantis’ campaign!

    Uh, no!

    Well, there must be some connection to DeSantis! Oh! Gov. Youngkin in VA likes the publisher!

    Uh, so?

    BTW, another publisher just needs to make minor changes for approval. I expect they will.

    That link that Henry Racette provided had a list of approved curriculum from multiple publishers, so I am not sure if I’m misreading or the Sentinel is lying.

    • #94
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stina (View Comment):
    That link that Henry Racette provided had a list of approved curriculum from multiple publishers, so I am not sure if I’m misreading or the Sentinel is lying.

    I think they just conveniently “ignored” the other information.

    • #95
  6. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    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.

    Zafar, did you see any on the list that you think the schools should have kept?

    • #96
  7. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    I’m actually on Florida’s side with the math books. Wrt Toni Morrison and Art Spiegelman (Maus) I see it trending the other way.  Some subject matter is uncomfortable and disturbing. Maus is possibly the gentlest way to educate about the Holocaust without minimising it.

    • #97
  8. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Zafar (View Comment):

    I’m actually on Florida’s side with the math books. Wrt Toni Morrison and Art Spiegelman (Maus) I see it trending the other way. Some subject matter is uncomfortable and disturbing. Maus is possibly the gentlest way to educate about the Holocaust without minimising it.

    I know folks here are divided about Maus. I’ll just suggest that maybe a gritty account of the Holocaust isn’t appropriate for an audience sufficiently unsophisticated that a graphic novel is the preferred medium. But I’m generally skeptical of the idea of conveying horror to young people, given that I think they’re rarely sufficiently developed to appreciate man’s inhumanity. A simple historical account, sans explicit shooting-in-the-head stuff, might be best.

    • #98
  9. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I know folks here are divided about Maus. I’ll just suggest that maybe a gritty account of the Holocaust isn’t appropriate for an audience sufficiently unsophisticated that a graphic novel is the preferred medium. But I’m generally skeptical of the idea of conveying horror to young people, given that I think they’re rarely sufficiently developed to appreciate man’s inhumanity. A simple historical account, sans explicit shooting-in-the-head stuff, might be best.

    I don’t know enough to agree or disagree, but somehow this comment reminded me of a quote from Chesterton:

    “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

    • #99
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I know folks here are divided about Maus. I’ll just suggest that maybe a gritty account of the Holocaust isn’t appropriate for an audience sufficiently unsophisticated that a graphic novel is the preferred medium. But I’m generally skeptical of the idea of conveying horror to young people, given that I think they’re rarely sufficiently developed to appreciate man’s inhumanity. A simple historical account, sans explicit shooting-in-the-head stuff, might be best.

    I don’t know enough to agree or disagree, but somehow this comment reminded me of a quote from Chesterton:

    “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

    Another quote:

    • #100
  11. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Zafar (View Comment):

    I’m actually on Florida’s side with the math books. Wrt Toni Morrison and Art Spiegelman (Maus) I see it trending the other way. Some subject matter is uncomfortable and disturbing. Maus is possibly the gentlest way to educate about the Holocaust without minimising it.

    Number the Stars was excellent reading for elementary and middle school. No one recommends that book anymore.

    Night is superb for high school students. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not terrible for kids, though it requires parental involvement.

    When it comes to teaching young children about the Holocaust, you don’t need to put the horrors center stage. Death, to young kids, is horrific enough. Personalizing and identifying with the loss is enough. Seeing the other as human and being rightly appalled at humans thinking they were not is enough.

    Maus may be appropriate for the higher end of high school, but there’s plenty of Holocaust material that is far more gentle.

    • #101
  12. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I know folks here are divided about Maus. I’ll just suggest that maybe a gritty account of the Holocaust isn’t appropriate for an audience sufficiently unsophisticated that a graphic novel is the preferred medium. But I’m generally skeptical of the idea of conveying horror to young people, given that I think they’re rarely sufficiently developed to appreciate man’s inhumanity. A simple historical account, sans explicit shooting-in-the-head stuff, might be best.

    I don’t know enough to agree or disagree, but somehow this comment reminded me of a quote from Chesterton:

    “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

    I’m okay with telling kids fairy tales. I don’t particularly want them seeing real horrors graphically presented in class.

    Incidentally, your quote reminds me of something I’ve long said on the subject of “dragons” (so to speak):

    “It’s necessary to know that monsters exist, but it isn’t necessary to know about every monster.”

    Make sure they know that great evil has occurred and can occur, but be careful about haunting their young imaginations with vivid images of it.

    • #102
  13. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Stina (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    I’m actually on Florida’s side with the math books. Wrt Toni Morrison and Art Spiegelman (Maus) I see it trending the other way. Some subject matter is uncomfortable and disturbing. Maus is possibly the gentlest way to educate about the Holocaust without minimising it.

    Number the Stars was excellent reading for elementary and middle school. No one recommends that book anymore.

    Night is superb for high school students. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not terrible for kids, though it requires parental involvement.

    When it comes to teaching young children about the Holocaust, you don’t need to put the horrors center stage. Death, to young kids, is horrific enough. Personalizing and identifying with the loss is enough. Seeing the other as human and being rightly appalled at humans thinking they were not is enough.

    Maus may be appropriate for the higher end of high school, but there’s plenty of Holocaust material that is far more gentle.

    What it really comes down to in my mind is what gets taught when, how, and why. 

    It is necessary to let children know what their culture finds evil, appalling, good, noble, etc. 

    But these things are not universal within our culture, despite our public schools’ agenda. 

    History can be taught with less visceral bits, and should be. Those visceral bits are meant to trigger emotions which are about acculturating. 

    Rage, resentment, contempt; these are not healthy things to feed to the gullible and impressionable because it makes them unstable and manipulable. 

    • #103
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