Florida Targets Math Textbooks for Including CRT

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The Florida Department of Education has determined that a large number of math textbooks attempted to “indoctrinate” students through the inclusion of critical race theory and other prohibited subjects and have been rejected for the 2022 school year.


The department did not list specific textbooks that were rejected nor did it give any examples of why a textbook was rejected.

Fifty-four of the 132 textbooks that publishers submitted for the state’s review were “impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics.” The ax fell heaviest on textbooks designed for grades K-5 — 71% of materials were rejected.

Miami Herald:

“Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics,” the press release said.

The decision comes as efforts to challenge books surge in local school board meetings across the nation. In Florida, Republican lawmakers approved a new law that offers more transparency in the book selection process, casting the issue as one about parental rights.

If it were just an issue of “parental rights,” the state would take much greater pains to explain exactly why certain books were rejected and what was objectionable about them. 

“We’re going to ensure that Florida has the highest-quality instructional materials aligned to our nationally-recognized standards,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “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.”


There’s nothing wrong with a little divisiveness in classrooms. Socrates encouraged it. It makes for a far more enriching learning experience if students challenge what’s being taught rather than sit there like a bump on a log and listen to a teacher drone on.

The state has a textbook adoption cycle that rotates through subjects every six years. When buying books for their schools, districts turn to the state’s approved list to make sure they align with state standards.

Next up is social studies, and many educators have predicted the effort will be more confrontational than in past years — particularly after the approval of a new law that will require schools to open to the public committee meetings where books are reviewed for purchase, and to make all materials available for public review before it is approved.

We should applaud these efforts to give parents more say in their child’s education, and all attempts at left-wing indoctrination should be resisted.

Related: LOL: Beto O’Rourke Flip Flops on Critical Race Theory

But what’s extremely worrying is the slap-dash approach to determining what books are in violation of these standards. Critical Race Theory is a philosophy — a specific, defined set of ideas and principles. But what we’re seeing is that many issues having to do with the teaching of slavery, of discrimination, of segregation — issues that need to be taught and discussed — are being carelessly lumped in with the concepts of CRT.


This is worse than left-wing indoctrination. It denies our children a true picture of their heritage and history. The fact that it’s not a pretty picture is irrelevant. It happened, and each of us has to deal with that history in our own way as Americans.

There is no “collective guilt.” But there won’t be an understanding of why unless there’s a clear-eyed view of the past that includes the glorious with the horrible, the sublime with the shameful.

Is Florida giving that complete picture to its students?


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