The Florida education department has banned 54 mathematics textbooks from its curriculum, some on the grounds of allegedly incorporating critical race theory (CRT) into learning concepts. The books make up a record total of 41% of the 132 submitted for review, in a move which has faced strong criticism from opponents.
Out of the 54 banned books, 28 were specifically rejected because they “incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT,” a statement from the department said.
A number of other books were rejected for containing elements of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a nationwide education initiative now subscribed to by 40 states following Florida’s departure from the doctrine.
Critical race theory has been described as an examination of racism and its structural impact on society. Opponents claim it to be “anti-white” and have rallied against inclusion of such topics. Subjects of racism are not typically taught in mathematics classes and at present it is unclear how such a high number of books could have featured such topics.
Details of which books have been rejected have not been released.
In addition to allegedly teaching CRT, the department rejected twelve books for failing to meet the Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (BEST), Florida’s answer to Common Core.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had campaigned to eliminate Common Core since his election in 2019.
“It seems that some publishers attempted to slap a coat of paint on an old house built on the foundation of Common Core and indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students,” DeSantis said.
A further 14 books were rejected because they both included prohibited topics and failed to meet the standards of BEST.