How prevalent was critical race, social and emotional learning theory? – WFTV

VIDEO: Florida’s Rejected Math Textbooks: How Prevalent Was Critical Race Theory, Social-Emotional Learning? Florida’s Rejected Math Textbooks: How Prevalent Was Critical Race Theory, Social-Emotional Learning?

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The April press release was all but guaranteed to go viral. At a time of high polarization and heightened attention to racial issues and prejudice in America, Florida would reject an unprecedented 54 math textbooks for failing to meet state standards.

Notably, officials said, some of the rejections were because the books contained critical race theory.

“This educational institution – it’s become more and more politicized,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said at a news conference. “They are trying to do ideology.”

Naturally, there was an uproar. Mathematics textbooks tend to attract more attention to lull students, rather than contain divisive social issues.

READ: Several central Florida school districts may have to choose new math books for next year

Bombarded by Freedom of Information Act investigations, the Florida Department of Education released a handful of examples of problematic issues shortly after they were announced, adding that the material in question was protected by law. copyright and could not be shared.

On Thursday, staff members provided the 5,825 pages of reviews written by Florida State teachers that laid out everything reported in each book. According to the judges, of more than 5,600 problems in the proposed textbooks, only a handful were due to critical race theory or social and emotional learning, another prohibited concept.

READ: State rejects dozens of math books leaves 1 option for K-5 students

The vast majority of the flags were mundane, curriculum-related or technological issues that would be of little interest to people outside the academic world. A big category was accessibility. State standards require that videos be accompanied by captions and that books be accessible to students who do not have access to the Internet or a computer. Many books have struggled to pass inspection on these points.

Another broad category was learning structure. Educators need problems suitable for all students who may prefer visual, audible, or hands-on learning. Many sections of books were caught up because they weren’t flexible enough.

READ: Florida school districts scrambled after state rejects record number of textbooks

That didn’t mean there weren’t issues with the more controversial sections of the grading rubric. Most of the flags went to social and emotional learning, an academic concept that focuses on the process of developing self-awareness and interpersonal skills that Florida prohibits from schools.

Textbooks that violated this law usually had follow-up questions asking students to reflect on their performance or give themselves a grade.

READ: Florida Governor DeSantis signs bill to limit talk of race

Of the few flags implying a potential critical race theory, most went to a section of books that has already been widely shared. A high school book used a dataset comparing racial bias to political leanings, which one reviewer says can make students uncomfortable about being conservative as adults.

Some flags did not fit any of the usual categories. A few critics drew points from a book that used a TIME magazine report on the workplace pay gap because it did not promote gender equality. A conservative-leaning critic challenged a textbook author who said global warming was a fact and its human origins were widely accepted by scientists. He also accused the author of bias for not saying that “natural immunity” is an alternative to a coronavirus vaccine.

READ: Florida bans ‘critical race theory’ from its classrooms

Finally, a few critics noted another kind of racial problem: not enough non-white children. One said a book only depicted black children in sports-related photos, reinforcing a stereotype. The books usually show various groups of children in many different scenarios.

Publishers are already making adjustments to reported issues in books that weren’t on the accepted list. On Wednesday, the Department of Education said it has made 19 more books available to districts next year after the revisions were approved.

WATCH: What is “Critical Race Theory?

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