The Florida Department of Education has released information that provides insight into the process officials used to decide which textbooks to cut from statewide curriculum due to violations of state standards.

Among those are what education administrators say are teachings related to critical race theory. To help in its deliberation process, FDOE considered textbook reviews from dozens of people, many of them educators, from across the state.

What You Need To Know

  • The Florida Department of Education banned many math textbooks for content officials deemed inappropriate for school learning

  • If a textbook included information that appeared to include critical race theory, social emotional learning, social justice ideas, or culturally responsive teaching, it was removed

  • One reviewer of the textbooks says she reviewed two that were later banned by the state

When reviewing more than 130 math textbooks from kindergarten to 12th grade, state officials asked reviewers to note anything that appeared to contain critical race theory, social emotional learning, social justice and/or culturally responsive teaching.  Some of the reviewers didn’t find references to those and approved use of the textbooks.

One reviewer, Chris Allen, said she reviewed two books that were later banned. Allen, who lives in Vero Beach, has a child in elementary school and is part of several groups including Moms for Liberty, We The People Indian River County and Education Action Alliance.

One of the examples she cited was a math word problem that asked students to calculate a level of racial prejudice, which she believed was an example of critical race theory.

“Critical race theory would be where it’s basically saying that racism is ingrained in American society, and I felt like those specific examples did,” Allen told Spectrum News.

Officials with the Florida Department of Education said they used those textbook reviews, along with the cost of the books and feedback from the public in its decision to cut more than 50 math textbooks over material deemed objectionable. 

Publishers of the banned books have been given the opportunity to make changes and resubmit books for approval.