The Florida Department of Education has rejected 54 math textbooks from next year’s school curriculum, citing alleged references to critical racial theory among a number of arguments for some denials, officials said.
Department said in a news release on Friday, some of the books were rejected for non-compliance with state standards of content, a benchmark for excellent student thinking (best), but that 21% of books were banned, “because they include banned topics or unwanted strategies, including CRT.”
Representatives of the department did not approve an additional 11 books, “because they do not meet the best standards and include prohibited topics or undesirable strategies, including CRT.”
Critical Racial Theory is an academic practice that explores the ways in which racism operates in U.S. law and society.
The release does not list the titles of the books and does not provide excerpts that would indicate the reasons for deleting the books. The announcement came after a series of harsh measures Republicans the state changed teaching in schools when conservatives introduced the problem of critical racial theory into the ongoing wars of political culture in the country.
Last June, the Florida Board of Education ruled prohibit the teaching of critical theory of race in public schools. This included teaching the Pulitzer Prize-winning Project 1619 series from the New York Times, which reviews American history in the context of slavery and its aftermath.
In a statement, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantiswelcomed the announcement by the Department of Education and accused some textbook publishers of “introducing” to children “concepts such as racial essentialism, especially, surprisingly, for elementary school students”.
Florida Democrats blamed the statement. Democratic spokesman Carlos G. Smith claimed on Twitter that DeSantis “turned our classes into a political battlefield, and this is just the beginning.”
In some Republican-controlled U.S. states, steps have been taken to ban the teaching of critical racial theory, which is likely to be a prominent topic of conservative talk in this year’s by-elections.
Many of these bills and ordinances are there vaguely wordedleading to fears of censorship in schools and colleges across the country.