By Kelly Hayes
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has approved the states initial adoption list for mathematics textbooks after eliminating 41% of submitted materials considered “impermissible” due to new standards or for containing “prohibited topics.”
For grades K-12, Florida is initially not including 54 of the 132 (41%) submitted math textbooks on the state’s adopted list. The number of math books disapproved by the Florida Department of Education in the new adoption list is the most in Florida’s history, according to a news release sent out by the department.
“We’re going to ensure that Florida has the highest-quality instructional materials aligned to our nationally-recognized standards,” Corcoran said in a statement. “Florida has become a national leader in education under the vision and leadership of Governor DeSantis. When it comes to education, other states continue to follow Florida’s lead as we continue to reinforce parents’ rights by focusing on providing their children with a world-class education without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in our classrooms.”
When the FDOE reviewed the submitted materials to create the approved list, the department rejected textbooks that included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), included Common Core and featured the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics, according to a news release from the department.
The highest number of books rejected were for grade levels K-5, in which 71% of submitted materials were deemed inappropriate under Florida standards. For middle school grade levels, 6-8, 20% of materials were rejected, and for high school levels, 9-12, 35% of textbooks were disapproved of.
The department offered a breakdown of why the books were disapproved — 21%, or 28 textbooks, were not included because they “incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT,” 9%, or 12 books, were not included because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. Standards, and 11%, or 14 books, do not align with standards and incorporate prohibited topics.
Despite the large number of books excluded, the department ensured that every core mathematics course and grade is covered with at least one textbook.