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The Florida Department of Education is already complying with state mandates from the legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis to rid the public schools of highly divisive critical race theory curriculum and materials.
On Friday, the department rejected 41 percent of math textbooks, most of them aimed at K-5 students, that had been submitted for use because they included CRT, as well as other materials deemed inappropriate.
Fox News reports:
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has led a push to reform education standards and practices in the state. Florida called for textbook submissions from publishers in 2021 in accordance with a 2019 executive order from DeSantis aimed at eliminating Common Core standards in the state. The textbooks rejected “were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics.”
The 41% rejection rate was the highest in Florida’s history.
“It seems that some publishers attempted to slap a coat of paint on an old house built on the foundation of Common Core, and indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students,” DeSantis noted in a statement accompanying the announcement.
“I’m grateful that Commissioner Corcoran and his team at the Department have conducted such a thorough vetting of these textbooks to ensure they comply with the law,” the governor added.
The Education Dept. also clarified that core math courses and grade level is covered by at least one textbook that has been approved.
“The highest number of books rejected were for grade levels K-5, where an alarming 71 percent were not appropriately aligned with Florida standards or included prohibited topics and unsolicited strategies,” the DOE said in the department’s announcement.
“Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics,” the statement noted further, with the department adding that publishers have a means of appealing the rejection of their textbooks.
Fox News adds: “The move comes weeks after DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, which prevents educators from teaching about gender identity or sexual orientation to kids between kindergarten and third grade.”
Last month during the signing ceremony for the legislation, which opponents have falsely called the “Don’t Say Gay” law because it forbids discussion and/or instruction of transgender or sexual identity curriculum in grades K-3, DeSantis declared the previous legislative session the “Year of the Parent.”
The Daily Wire noted:
The two-month session was marked with high-profile legislation, including a new bill passed in the Florida legislature that would ban the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.
DeSantis was asked by a reporter during the question-and-answer session how businesses would respond to the newly passed bill.
“People actually said that if you don’t have classroom instruction on sexual matters in grades K-3, that somehow businesses don’t want to be in Florida? I think people need to get out of their bubble and actually talk to parents,” DeSantis said. “Because they do not want this in kindergarten, in first grade or second grade.
“We want our kids to be kids,” he declared.
GOV. DESANTIS: “People actually said that if you don’t have classroom instruction on sexual matters in grades K-3, that somehow businesses don’t want to be in Florida? I think people need to get out of their bubble and actually talk to parents.” pic.twitter.com/rZKgYK9SBt
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 14, 2022
The Sunshine State governor also addressed the legislation during his own speech.
“As a parent of three kids that are age five and under, thank you for letting me and my wife send our kids to kindergarten without them being sexualized,” DeSantis said
“I think if you look at what’s been done, both in terms of funding and policy, this really was the year of the parent in the state of Florida,” the governor added.
DeSantis has frequently taken on reporters and critics who use the phrase ‘Don’t Say Gay’ when discussing the bill, including during a viral exchange with a reporter in early March. The journalist, Evan Donovan, shared a video of the exchange to Twitter, where he asked DeSantis if he supported the legislation before signing it.