Read: Florida releases ‘problematic’ examples from banned math textbooks

Read: Florida releases ‘problematic’ examples from banned math textbooks

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.”

Florida faced many requests to share examples of what led to the bans, the department posted 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.

In another example, a colored graph features levels of “racial prejudice” by age. Another example, under the heading “adding and subjecting polynomials”, begins with the words: “What? Me? Racist?” and uses the statistical results of a common survey about unconscious bias as an example for a set of mathematics problems.

Other examples make references to “social and emotional learning” or “social awareness.”

“Those examples were given with no context and were not even elementary-level material,” Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association that represents more than 150,000 educators, said. “So it seems like it’s more about smoke and mirrors of trying to accomplish a political agenda than really about what we are teaching our kids.”

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.



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