Under pressure from leftist demands to show “proof” of math textbooks deviating from teaching math and into “prohibited topics,” the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) released four examples on its website Thursday.
One example teaches students about polynomials with a “What? Me? Racist?” lesson using a controversial mathematical model. The Implicit Association Test purports to measure racial bias and, in the mathematical problem, concludes that most groups’ average is “slight” to “moderate” bias.
It goes on to say that differences in results by age and political identification are “intriguing.” Other problems refer to graphs that show “older conservatives” as being the most racially prejudiced group.
Still other cited examples promote using math to teach Emotional Learning, which includes developing “proficiency with social awareness” and “practicing with empathizing with classmates.”
The FLDOE says some of the math textbooks simply did not match state standards for curriculum materials, while others referred to Critical Race Theory, included Common Core, and added in Social Emotional Learning.
Florida nearly three years ago removed Common Core standards from the state’s curriculum and replaced it with state-specific standards. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said the publishers tried to paint over the old Common Core foundation to make it appear fresh while adding concepts such as “race essentialism” for elementary students.
Education officials rejected 41% of mathematics textbooks submitted for public school use. Most of the objectionable textbooks, according to the FLDOE, were for the K-5 grade levels.
DeSantis declared last week that math in Florida is about “getting the right answer” and not about belief systems and indoctrinating children. Florida schools exist, the governor added, to educate children.
Interestingly, liberal HBO host Bill Maher on Friday’s broadcast of “Real Time,” questioned “why Democrats do this to themselves.” He referenced the insertion of political ideologies into classroom lessons as “real” and a problem that actually exists, even as he stated his belief that DeSantis is “demagoguing” the issue.
This issue is not going away as long as publishers insist on using textbooks for their pet indoctrination projects. Parents and politicians are hardly pulling their objections out of thin air, and as the release of examples shows, education often swerves out of its lane and far away from the “three ‘R’s.”