Fla. Rejects 35% of Social Studies Textbooks

    Fla. Rejects 35% of Social Studies Textbooks
    Last updated May 10, 2023
    Image credit: Pedro Portal


    • The Florida Department of Education on Tuesday announced it rejected 35% of social studies textbooks that were submitted.[1]
    • This announcement comes after the state worked with publishers to revise many books before approving 66 out of 101. Previously, the Department had rejected 82 textbooks over what was considered “inaccurate material, errors and other information that was not aligned with Florida law.”[2]
    • The state listed on the department’s website several examples of rejected material from the textbooks — including a passage that was deemed “not age appropriate” about why some citizens choose to take a knee during the national anthem, and a change to a section on socialism in a book for middle schoolers.[3]
    • A section about social justice, which mentioned Black Lives Matter and the 2020 killing of George Floyd by police, was removed from one middle school textbook.[4]
    • The textbook approval process has received more attention since Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Stop WOKE Act” last year. The act prohibits the teaching of concepts that make students feel responsible for past wrongdoings because of their race, sex, or national origin.[3]


    Republican narrative

    DeSantis is laser-focused on making sure students in Florida get educated without being indoctrinated by any specific ideologies or inaccuracies that some on the woke left want to peddle to children. The state acted reasonably in working with the publishers to make sure the textbooks adhered to state law and will continue to do so moving forward.

    Democratic narrative

    DeSantis is doing a disservice to students and teachers by limiting what can be learned and taught in Florida schools. This mass rejection of social studies textbooks comes on the heels of the expansion of the law banning the teaching of gender identity and sexuality, and the establishment of restrictions on what can be taught about race and racism. These policies do the opposite of educating Florida’s children and set a dangerous precedent.

    Political split



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