Department of Education explains process for reviewing textbooks


Florida Classrooms now have 19 more textbooks to choose from after those books were approved by the Florida Department of Education.

For the first time, we are getting an in-depth look at how the Department of Education decided which textbooks are OK for students to be taught from and which ones are not.

The Florida Department of Education provided thousands of pages worth of examples of the review process. It shows how the reviewers determined whether the 132 textbooks submitted were a fit for Florida classrooms.

Reviewers must rate subject matters inside the textbook from one to five. One is least aligned with the curriculum, and five is most aligned.

Every textbook review includes a small section that asks questions about the inclusion of critical race theory and social-emotional learning.

One person reviews each book and gives ratings to those questions. Reviewers rated some parts of a book a 5, saying those topics were not noted, and in other sections gave a one meaning multiple problems exist.

One reviewer said a section of one of the textbooks implies that people are racially prejudiced based on age, education level, or political affiliation. That backs up claims the governor announced last month when 54 of the 132 textbooks were rejected by the Department of Education.

“So most of the books that did not meet Florida standards for whatever reason happened to be in the early grades. As you get into the older grades, most of those books did meet the standards. But we’re going to continue to focus the education on the actual strong academic performance of the students. We don’t want things like math to have some of these other concepts introduced, it’s not been proven to be effective, and quite frankly, it takes our eye off the ball,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

A majority of the questions reviewers answered had nothing to do with social-emotional learning or critical race theory.

The Department of Education said publishers are aligning their materials to state standards and removing ‘woke’ content.

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