The Florida Department of Education has released examples of what it calls “problematic” material that led it to ban dozens of math textbooks — including a lesson with an algebra graph measuring racial prejudice.
The DOE rejected 54 math textbooks – about 41 percent of publisher submissions — for content that officials said tried to “indoctrinate” students or expose them to “dangerous and divisive concepts.”
Facing a slew of requests to share examples of what led to the bans, the department posted four photos of math problems on its website Thursday.
“What? Me? Racist?” says a lesson titled “Adding and Subtracting Polynomials.”
“More than 2 million people have tested their racial prejudice using an online version of the Implicit Association Test. Most groups’ average scores fall between ‘slight’ and ‘moderate bias, but the differences among groups by age and political identification, are intriguing,” the problem states.
It goes on to share a formula, telling students they will partake in exercises using a model to measure bias.
Another problem involves graphs that supposedly measure levels of racial prejudice and are broken down by age and political identification. They were based on the Implicit Association Test, as was the polynomials lesson, although it wasn’t clear if both problems were from the same rejected textbook.
A third posted lesson said its objective was for students to “build proficiency with social awareness as they practice with empathizing with classmates.” The so-called Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in math is prohibited in Florida.
The fourth image shows text that says the problem’s goal is “focusing on students’ social and emotional learning.” The context of that assignment isn’t included on the website.
A message on the DOE’s site said, “These examples do not represent an exhaustive list of input received by the Department.
“The Department is continuing to give publishers the opportunity to remediate all deficiencies identified during the review to ensure the broadest selection of high quality instructional materials are available to the school districts and Florida’s students,” it added.
Under Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Sunshine State also has eliminated “critical race theory” from curricula in its schools.
Most of the rejected math books were on grade levels K-5, the department said.
Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has said the department is focused on protecting parents’ rights “by providing their children with a world-class education without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in our classrooms.”