Florida’s education department refuses publishers’ woke books
The Florida Department of Education has rejected 41% of the books submitted to it for mathematics instruction in public schools. It wasn’t that the math in the books was bad; it was that the publishers were using the books as a vehicle for pushing hard-left social issues. Even worse, the bulk of these improper books (71%) was aimed at the youngest students Kindergarten through 5th grade. At least in Florida, the government is not going to “de-educate” its students with woke math, something that’s already happening at Durham University in England.
Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran approved Florida’s initial adoption list for mathematics instructional materials properly aligned to Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards. The approved list followed a thorough review of submissions at the Department, which found 41 percent of the submitted textbooks were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics – the most in Florida’s history. 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 highest number of books rejected were for grade levels K-5, where an alarming 71 percent were not appropriately aligned with Florida standards or included prohibited topics and unsolicited strategies. Despite rejecting 41 percent of materials submitted, every core mathematics course and grade is covered with at least one textbook.
Overall, Florida is initially not including 54 of the 132 (41 percent) submitted textbooks on the state’s adopted list. The full breakdown is below:
- 78 of 132 total submitted textbooks are being included on the state’s adopted list.
- 28 (21 percent) are not included on the adopted list because they incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT.
- 12 (9 percent) are not included on the adopted list because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. Standards.
- 14 (11 percent) are not included on the adopted list because they do not properly align to B.E.S.T. Standards and incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT.
- Grades K-5: 71 percent of materials were rejected.
- Grades 6-8: 20 percent of materials were rejected.
- Grades 9-12: 35 percent of materials were rejected.
You can read the rest here.
Florida’s stand against leftist math books is important. For a long time, leftist indoctrination was limited to the liberal arts. For example, Shakespeare, with his deep wisdom about the human condition, got pushed out in favor of teaching high school students about life in a South African brothel (as was the case with my children).
However, Democrats have now pushed wokeness into the STEM classes. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, for those unfamiliar with the acronym.) And as always, England is leading the way. Durham University is aggressively working to “decolonise” [sic; British spelling] its math program:
The prestigious institution, ranked seventh in the UK for their maths curriculum, asked academics to question themselves if they are citing ’mostly white or male’ mathematicians in a bid to ‘decolonise’ the syllabus and make the topic ‘more open’.
All staff have been asked to ‘consider giving short biographies’ of the research they will be citing within the module to ensure the subject ‘can be used to assist in trying to achieve equality’.
The guide says that if mathematicians are ‘almost completely (or even completely) white and/or male, ask yourself why they are. See if you can find contributions to the field from mathematicians of other genders/ethnicities’.
According to The Telegraph, Durham University scientists were asked to investigate how the ‘power of 10, represented by the word "billion", ‘differs from country to country’, and how ancient Indian astronomer Brahmagupta ‘assigned a different meaning to the value of zero.’
On their website, the university said decolonising the mathematical curriculum ‘means considering the cultural origins of the mathematical concepts, focuses, and notation we most commonly use.’
The important thing to remember about the left is that it considers everything to be a vehicle for indoctrination. There is no topic too small, no child too young, and no fact too firm that it cannot be bent to the purpose of advancing leftism within a society.
Kudos to Florida for taking a stand. Other states need to follow suit or else, before we know it, our engineers will no longer know how to build a safe bridge but will be able to lecture us about Brahmagupta, who produced his theories in 7th-century India. He was clearly an extraordinary genius, but he did not contribute measurably to the technological Western world in which we function.