The state rejected dozens of math textbooks. The New York Times reviewed 21 of them to figure out why.

Dana Goldstein:

Dozens of math textbooks last week, the big question was, Why?

The department said some of the books “contained prohibited topics” from social-emotional learning or critical race theory — but it has released only four specific textbook pages showing content to which it objects.

Using online sample materials provided by publishers to Florida school districts, The New York Times was able to review 21 of the rejected books and see what may have led the state to reject them. Because Florida has released so few details about its textbook review process, it is unknown whether these examples led to the rejections. But they do illustrate the way in which these concepts appear — and don’t appear — in curriculum materials.

In most of the books, there was little that touched on race, never mind an academic framework like critical race theory.

But many of the textbooks included social-emotional learning content, a practice with roots in psychological research that tries to help students develop mind-sets that can support academic success.

The image below, from marketing materials provided by the company Big Ideas Learning — whose elementary textbooks Florida rejected — features one common way teachers are trained to think about social-emotional learning.

Ann Althouse commentary.