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Examples of Florida Forbidden Topics in Math Textbooks Mocked as “Political Theater” | Florida

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Florida education officials have been criticized for putting “political theater” above training after citing four examples 54 textbooks on mathematics they gave up last week.

The state said it refused to use the books because of “forbidden topics,” including alleged references to critical race theory. However, on Friday, after pressure to explain the decision, the education department published several images of math problems from a textbook with highlighted offensive snippets.

In one example, a color chart shows levels of “racial prejudice” by age. Another example, entitled “Adding and Subordinating Polynomials,” begins with the words, “What? Me? A racist? ” and uses the statistical results of a routine survey of unconscious biases as an example for a set of mathematical problems.

'What?  Me?  Racist? '  - Images of mathematical problems from the textbook with highlighted offensive segments.
Images of math problems from a textbook with highlighted offensive segments. Photo: Florida Department of Education

Other examples refer to «social and emotional learning”Or“ social awareness, ”concepts that conservative education activists say are the gateway to left-wing ideology.

“These examples were given out of context and were not even elementary-level material,” said Andrew Sparr, president. Florida An association of education representing more than 150,000 educators. “So it seems to be more about smoke and mirrors trying to reach the political agenda than really about why we teach our children.”

The Florida book ban is widely seen by critics as a continuation of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “cultural war” against the alleged upbringing of children in schools.

He recently signed a controversial state “don’t say gayThe law – officially a bill on parental rights in education – that bans the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in primary school.

Last week, his education department was criticized for banning textbooks without supporting details, and said it was releasing images “based on the volume of inquiries the department received on examples of problematic elements of recently reviewed study materials.”

The department said the examples are not a complete list, and provided images without descriptions or context.

“Social and emotional learning”, an example of “forbidden topics”. Photo: Florida Department of Education

«Social and emotional learning”Was attacked by conservatives. Cited in New York TimesChris Rufo, a senior researcher at the Manhattan Institute, linked socio-emotional learning to a broader discussion of race, gender and sexuality in the classroom and called it a “delivery mechanism for radical pedagogical sciences such as critical racial theory and gender deconstructivism”.

Other content that Florida education officials have objected to is cartoon children appearing in textbook pages that encourage students to “study together,” have “growth thinking,” trying to solve a problem in a new way when they get stuck, or adopt “mathematical thinking” to help understand their feelings.

“Mathematics is getting the right answer. It’s not about how you feel about the problem, “DeSantis told a news conference earlier this week.

In a statement, a spokesman said: “B [Florida education] The department continues to give publishers the opportunity to address any deficiencies identified during the review to provide the widest selection of high-quality educational materials available to Florida school districts and students. ”

Meanwhile, teachers called it a “political theater” on the part of the governor, who allegedly focuses on the wrong priorities.

“Teachers and parents are concerned that if there are no teachers or bus drivers in our classrooms to take their children to school on time, our children are not learning math or other subjects,” Spar said.

“We expect that by the end of the year there will be more than 9,000 vacancies for teachers, according to the state council appointed by them, and in addition, we have a great bus driver, paraprofessional, working cafeteria, keeper. We heard the governor say or do nothing about it.

“Such antics and the political theater that takes place over these textbooks is exactly what drives people out of this profession.”

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