The New York Times reports that Florida has rejected 42 of 132 math textbooks proposed for use in public school classrooms because they “incorporate prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies” including social-emotional learning and critical race theory, according to the state’s Department of Education.
The tone of the Times article is framed to advance the “Wow, look at what radical conservative hate-mongering Neanderthals they have running the asylum in Florida, with that racist, transphobic Ron DeSantis as governor!” narrative. But this is only a partisan issue because one party’s core ideology, the Democratic Party, has, in “Happy Days” parlance, “jumped the shark,” or in my parlance, is in the process of sliding toward totalitarianism.
Here’s reporter Dana Goldstein’s second paragraph:
But Florida has a new law, which goes into effect in July, limiting the way that sexual orientation, gender identity and social-emotional skills are taught. Gov. Ron DeSantis is also expected to sign legislation, known as the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” prohibiting instruction that could prompt students to feel discomfort about a historical event because of their race, sex or national origin.
What does that have to do with a Department of Education deciding that mathematics textbooks should be entirely–not substantially, not mostly, but entirely, about mathematics? It doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t, what distractions, pet agendas, tangential advocacy or ideological indoctrination is in a math textbook. It doesn’t belong there. Standing for that rather simple and, I would think, obvious principle is not a partisan position, unless one party is interested, indeed invested, indeed determined to advance in something other than education. That something is indoctrination, and indoctrination of the young is essential for totalitarianism to grab a nation, culture, society and people by the throat. Continue reading