Math Book Bans: Protecting Students or Political Agenda?

By Jaycie Doerr, WC Opinions Editor

Dozens of math books have been banned in Florida after outrageous claims that the books contain content that teaches Common Core or critical race theory.

The state had not identified which textbooks contain the alleged content. However, one example has been released from an advanced high school algebra book that begins with the phrase, “What? Me? Racist?” The problem has students work with data from an online service that shows different attitudes towards different races.

This release fails to make its point. Data is not inherently racist and by teaching teenagers how to look at data and interpret finding is a good teaching practice. All Florida officials have accomplished is publicly announcing that the education and critical thinking skills of our youth is not as important as a political agenda.

Overall, 40 percent of the textbooks submitted for review were rejected by the state.

In response to the ban, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz said, “What Florida politicians are trying to do now is ignore the judgment of professionals and impose their own political views on every parent and child in Florida.”

The second example released by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is in a first grade textbook. The lesson had students work together as they put the number 1 to 5 in proper order. You may wonder how group work is considered improper by the Florida legislature and the FDOE does not explain this decision.

It seems that the focus of these bans is not to protect students, it is to further the divide in our county, because if the next generation does not learn collaboration between different people, then the issue is human nature, not society.

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