Allie Pitchon of The Miami Herald reported that state officials told some publishers of math textbooks why the state would not buy their books. The initial announcement said that some math books were too “woke,” contained “critical race theory,” or included concepts from Common Core, which Governor Ron DeSantis turned against because former President Obama endorsed it. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the conservative education guru, also championed Common Core, but that did not mollify DeSantis’s rejection of it.

Publishers were left in the dark about why their math books offended DeSantis, and yesterday the state provided some details. The state informed publishers what had to make changed to get on the state approved list and gave them two weeks to resubmit.

The state posted a few examples on its website.

One example: A colored bar chart showing how levels of racial bias can vary by age group. It is part of a mathematical brain teaser involving polynomial models and is nestled on the bottom right-hand corner of page 56 in a pre-calculus online textbook consisting of more than 1,000 pages. The book is not identified on the state’s website

Two other examples that originated with public complaints make reference to Social Emotional Learning (SEL), a methodology wherein students try to get in touch with their emotions and demonstrate empathy for others.

Here is the woke bar graph:

Publishers were well aware, the Department of Education said, that their books would be rejected if they had even a trace of “critical race theory” or “social-emotional learning” or Common Core.

The press release provided a withering quote from Gov. Ron DeSantis: “It seems 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.”

Education Secretary Richard Corcoran chimed in, stating Florida was “focusing on providing … children with a world-class education without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in our classrooms.”

In a tweet, Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, went further, while addressing those who take issue with “book banning”: “The state declining to purchase certain textbooks isn’t banning them. If you want to teach your kid Woke Math, where “2+2=4” is white supremacy, you’re free to buy any CRT math textbook you want. You just cannot force Florida taxpayers to subsidize this indoctrination.” She’s right that local school districts can allocate at least part of their book buying budget toward textbooks not on the state’s approved list.

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