Bay District Schools officials address banned math textbooks

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Typically school districts have more than one choice in textbooks. But options are getting slim as the Florida Department of Education is banning dozens of math books, including some currently being used by some students in Bay District Schools.

The FDOE claims 54 math textbooks are trying to “indoctrinate students.”

“We believe an important component of freedom is the, in the state of Florida is the freedom from having oppressive ideologies, imposed upon you without your consent, whether it be in the classroom or whether it be in the workplace,” Governor Ron DeSantis said.

According to the FDOE, the books don’t align with the state’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) standards by referencing things like critical race theory.

“What we will not allow is to be taught that members of one race, color, national origin, or sex are somehow morally superior,” Governor DeSantis said.

Some of those soon-to-be banned books are currently being used in many BDS elementary classrooms. One example is the HMH Florida’s B.E.S.T. Go Math books. But school board officials said they’ll only be used to finish off this school year.

“With the books that are currently being used, all of the teachers and the curriculum were looking at so that the next month that we’re working to get aligned with the state and what they’re wanting us to do,” Pamm Chapman, School Board Chairman, said.

On Tuesday’s school board meeting agenda, there’s a list of new textbooks the district is requesting to purchase for next year, all of which meet Florida’s B.E.S.T. standards.

“But I will say the district schools are all going to be held accountable and we will not be using anything on those ban lists,” Chapman said.

It’s a different situation for local charter schools.

Bay Haven and North Bay Haven Schools officials said they run on five-year cycles. The books currently in use are too old to even be considered for the upcoming adoption.

But officials said earlier this year, they adopted “Big Ideas” math textbooks for this next cycle, all of which are on the rejection list.

Officials said the good news is they’re completely digital, and they said the publishers will be adjusting the books before they use them in the fall semester.

The ban goes into effect on July 1st.

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