They asked for them, and the Florida Department of Education answered.
The DOE has posted on its website examples of wokeness in math textbooks that led the agency last week to reject 41 percent of the proposed books for public schools because of inappropriate material. That group included 71 percent of books for grades K-5.
In one example of the exercises, students are told by the book’s text “What? Me? Racist? More than 2 million people have tested their racial prejudice using an online version of the Implicit Association Test.”
They are then presented with a bar graph to evaluate entitled “Measuring Racial Prejudice” among various groups, as based on the Implicit Association Test results. The test allegedly measures someone’s racial bias, even if unwitting.
The math problem at issue shows one graph that indicates those groups exhibiting the most racial bias are labeled as “slightly,” “moderately,” or “very” conservative. As readers may recall, The Free Press reported last month that Florida State University required students to take the test before working as Resident Assistants, even though the makers of the test admitted it had limited effectiveness, while others called it flawed and rooted in dubious science.
Another questionable math problem at the DOE website features a lesson objective based on Social Emotional Learning, SEL.
SEL is a longtime, little-known, academic theory that bases learning achievement on mental health assessments. The assessments measure children’s “character strengths” regarding self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
The supposed math problem cited by the DOE shows sociology dressed up as arithmetic. The lesson’s learning objective says, “Students build proficiency with social awareness as they practice with empathizing with classmates.”
A third example of a math problem, which also uses SEL, states build “agency” by focusing on social and emotional learning – two things that one would not think are important to learning math.
The significant piece of news about the examples is that the public provided them to the DOE.
“These examples do not represent an exhaustive list of input received by the Department,” the agency’s website says. “The Department is continuing to give publishers the opportunity to remediate all deficiencies identified during the review to ensure the broadest selection of high-quality instructional materials are available to the school districts and Florida’s students.”