Opinion: First, it was Florida man. Now, it’s Florida math

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended the culling of math textbooks for CRT and divisive content, saying this week, “You do have things like social and emotional learning, and some of the things that are more political in there.” (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended the culling of math textbooks for CRT and divisive content, saying this week, “You do have things like social and emotional learning, and some of the things that are more political in there.” (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Florida nixes math textbooks for containing critical race theory and divisive content

Florida recently earned national headlines after the state Department of Education rejected more than 50 math textbooks — 40% of those submitted — because they “contained prohibited topics” such as critical race theory or referenced Common Core education standards.

Gov. Ron DeSantis defended the culling of textbooks: “You do have things like social and emotional learning, and some of the things that are more political in there.”

The decision has sparked a lot of backlash, including a Twitter jibe from state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, a Florida Democrat: “Maybe they don’t like the equal sign in math problems.”

In a guest column today, retired University of Georgia professor Peter Smagorinsky adds his tongue-in-cheek take on the situation.

By Peter Smagorinsky

The Florida Department of Education recently reviewed textbooks for adoption in the state’s schools. The reviewers rejected 41% of the ones submitted for examination. They determined that banished books are inappropriate for school, especially for elementary students. “Reasons for rejecting textbooks,” read the announcement, “included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.”

The announcement did not identify which books were rejected, and did not quote passages from them that were considered too offensive to use in Florida’s schools. DeSantis is quoted as saying that the rejected books are the work of publishers bent on promoting “indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students.”

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Peter Smagorinsky (Courtesy photo)

Peter Smagorinsky (Courtesy photo)

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Peter Smagorinsky (Courtesy photo)

This statement might leave the concerned reader wondering exactly what was screened out, and why. I am writing to explain this vetting process so that the public can understand both the textbooks’ anti-American content and the Board of Education’s decision.

These books, I have learned, are full of something called “division.” Given that DeSantis is committed to eliminating divisive concepts like critical race theory, it makes sense to ban the teaching of anything that might be divisive. The first mathematical concept subtracted from the curriculum, therefore, ought to be division.

This ban should also include the odious “fractions,” designed to undermine patriotism in the USA. We need to unite behind traditional values, not the mathematical fractions that divide us.

We must then ban the CRT propaganda about “fair-share division,” a socialist agenda that is surreptitiously indoctrinating them into Marxism. “Fairness” is one of those “equity” issues that the woke mob is imposing via social emotional learning, and needs to be driven out of schools immediately.

I have so far directed my attention to the CRT bias embedded in mathematics textbooks, which is the focus of the new policy in Florida. I will next turn my attention to an equally sinister social engineering operation lurking beneath the surface of seemingly innocent math problems: the gay agenda.

The recruitment of young people into the gay lifestyle is evident in the term “LGBTQ+.” All of those “addition” problems in math books are actually coercive attempts to create a gay nation. Floridians need to awaken to this challenge to traditional values and demand that addition be banned from mathematics instruction.

Next is the Trojan horse of “additive identity property.” It slyly uses its code word “addition” to encourage children to have multiple sexual identities. These textbook publishers and their teacher cronies in the classroom are attempting to groom children into their world of pedophilia. This is not about math. It is about luring your children into a dark alley.

Mathematics books are full of “plots.” Just what are you plotting out there, math teachers? I think we know. We’re also concerned about something called “expected value.” That sounds like the failed politically correct outcomes-based education movement to me. Not on my watch.

As if these subtle efforts to destabilize society weren’t enough, the books rejected in Florida’s recent purge include the word “radical,” as if it’s a math term. Sure.

Along these lines, the books refer to something called a “rational number.” Rational thinking is banned in Florida. Promoting it in schools is a disgrace, not to mention illegal. And don’t talk to me about their use of the notion of “validity.” Florida’s educational policy is not now, and never will be, valid.

I have saved the most horrific, values-threatening issue for last: the emphasis in math instruction on “standard deviation.” What would you think if your third grader came home asking about “mean absolute deviation”? How would you even begin to answer that question, knowing its true meaning? What could threaten the moral fabric of the country more than making deviants standard?

My insight into this secret agenda has led me to see the ways in which “sine” — or “sin” with a silent “e” — is built into mathematics instruction. We are fortunate that DeSantis and the Florida Board of Education are making sure that math is purified and that our children’s math lessons will not serve as a sneak attack on real American values.

I hope that my explanation of the latest Florida educational initiative helps prepare Georgia to act now and prevent mathematics from destroying the hearts, minds, and souls of our children. Remember, it’s not banning if you really believe you’re right.

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