As y’all have probably heard, the edu-grift douchebag who runs the Florida Department of Education, former GOP speaker of the Florida House and failed FSU presidential candidate Richard Corcoran, put out a deranged statement Friday announcing that the state was rejecting dozens of math textbooks publishers submitted for review because reasons. Here’s an excerpt of the statement, which can be read in full here:
Florida Rejects Publishers’ Attempts to Indoctrinate Students
Tallahassee, Fla., April 15, 2022 – Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran approved Florida’s initial adoption list for mathematics instructional materials properly aligned to Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) [Jaysus, that’s the best they could do? — ed.] Standards. The approved list followed a thorough review of submissions at the Department, which found 41 percent of the submitted textbooks were impermissible with either Florida’s new standards or contained prohibited topics – the most in Florida’s history. 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 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. Despite rejecting 41 percent of materials submitted, every core mathematics course and grade is covered with at least one textbook.
We’re talking MATH books here, and this latest dumb reactionary stunt has further cemented Florida’s already solid reputation as a national laughingstock, with many folks pointing out that the DeSantis school wrecking crew probably objects to the equal sign or numerals’ Arabic origins. The governor’s troll appointees/donors/fluffers haven’t tackled social studies textbook reviews yet, but that’s coming up and guaranteed to be a shitshow.
Reporters from Florida dailies have asked for examples of objectionable content in the rejected math books and have been stonewalled so far:
Asked for examples, the department sent links to lists of reviewed and approved books, and issued this response: “We were very clear in the specifications what expectations needed to be met for materials to be added to the state adopted list. Bids that met those specifications were included. Bids that did not meet those specifications were not included.”
We have asked again.
Spokespeople for the education department and Gov. Ron DeSantis did not respond to requests for specific examples that prompted the decision.
As Steve M. pointed out on Twitter, enterprising reporters may be able to compare Florida’s rejection rate with those of other red states for a rough idea of how much this is driven by DeSantis’s desire for Fox News facetime. Maybe education reporters can get down in the weeds and interview publishers of rejected books. Since state officials refuse to provide examples of content that violated the criteria, reporters should definitely GUESS what landed books on the banned list.
Will anyone but the DeSantis Fan Club on Fox News lap this textbook bullshit up? I have no idea.
Meanwhile, Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor of Florida who hopes to run for his old job a second time as a Democrat (he lost to Rick Scott in 2014), picked up a high-profile endorsement (TB Times):
As the Democratic primary for Florida governor heats up, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced an endorsement Monday from one of the most notable, and controversial, names in national politics — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“From his tireless work in Congress to his commitment to Floridians across the state, Charlie Crist has an impenetrable record of fighting for the people of the Sunshine State and delivering results that matter,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Huh. The logic of this endorsement escapes me because one thing the Crist people tout is that he’s a moderate who can appeal to moderate Republicans who may be turned off by DeSantis’s hard-right heel turn. If such voters exist, they probably aren’t huge Pelosi fans.
Does Pelosi usually weigh in on gubernatorial primaries? I can’t recall her doing so in the past, but maybe I just missed it. Also, “impenetrable” certainly is an interesting word choice!
Anyhoo, the Dem gubernatorial primary takes place in August, and the winner will go up against an authoritarian gobshite whom we desperately need to contain at the state level before he’s loosed upon the nation. I’m not sure Crist is the right man since he lost to Rick fucking Scott, but whatever. If it’s Crist, I’d swim through alligator-infested cesspools to vote FOR him and AGAINST DeSantis, were that required. Same with the other candidates, including any cesspool-dwelling alligators on the ballot.