After math textbooks were recently rejected by the Florida Department of Education for claiming they contained “banned topics” like critical race theory, the department released examples of what was in these books.
Two math equations were published in two of the 54 math books that were rejected by the state education department. In both of these examples, students are asked to interpret data showing levels of racial bias. This type of math is usually taught in eighth or ninth grade algebra.
Students are asked to calculate the bias using an algebraic model. The different levels are labeled “little or no bias”, “slight bias” or “moderate bias”.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis calls this pernicious ideology.
“We are here today because we believe in education, not indoctrination,” DeSantis said.
Speaking in South Florida, surrounded by students carrying “stop woke” and “stop CRT” signs — which stands for Critical Race Theory — DeSantis signed into law the Stop WOKE (Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees) Act on Friday. Legislation restricts how workplaces and classrooms handle discussions about race.
Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar said the examples cited by the state are not examples of critical race theory.
“I don’t think these are real problems. I don’t think there’s any evidence to really back it up. I think they feel pressure because everyone is like, ‘What are you talking about critical race theory and math?’” Spar said.
Spar tells News4JAX that the state has provided no context for the math equations and that the CRT controversy is fabricated, saying many of the rejected books are already in use in Florida schools. He says the biggest change is to change them to the recently adopted Florida BEST (Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking) standards.
“I think what we’re seeing here is every time the word race is mentioned, every time someone’s color or ethnicity is mentioned in a textbook, are we going to say that’s a problem? And it’s not allowed? And are we then whitewashing the story at this point? Spar said.
DeSantis says eliminating language like this in math questions frees students from indoctrination.
“And another thing that people will say is, ‘There’s no class called CRT in our K-12 schools. And it is indeed true. There are classes like that in law school, that’s really where it should stay. But what we do is enumerate the principles of CRT put into practice in a variety of subjects,” DeSantis said.
Spar says race isn’t just an issue steeped in history, but he says it’s often an issue in current events. He says teaching the breed to age-appropriate students is a requirement of education in Florida.
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