Historically, when Florida school districts re-evaluate the math instructional materials they will use, they have several publishers to choose from.
Now, the only publisher approved by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education for K-5 math is Accelerate Learning, a company based in Houston, Texas.
“In a field as broad as K-5 math, it’s unusual that there’s only one publisher to choose from,” said Billy Epting, assistant superintendent of academic services for schools. of Leon County.
For subscribers:Florida schools grapple with questions after state rejects historic math book count
Past:Florida cancels dozens of math textbooks on Critical Race Theory and Common Core standards
Florida’s DOE rejected more than 50 math textbooks — about 40% of those submitted — for not meeting Florida’s new learning standards or because they “contained prohibited topics” that included references to the critical race theory.
For regular math classes, STEMscopes Florida math books from Accelerate Learning are the only option for school districts.
There are two other publisher options for Accelerated Math, McGraw Hill LLC and Savvas Learning Company LLC, formerly known as Pearson K12 Learning LLC.
The DOE said more than half of the banned textbooks incorporated “banned subject matter or unsolicited strategies, including CRT,” while others were disallowed because publishers had “rebranded” the standards from common basis.
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According to the Accelerate Learning website, the Florida Math Book was “built from the ground up to Florida BEST by practicing educators using the 5E flexible lesson model.”
The K-5 math books were also created in partnership with Rice University.
DeSantis has taken a leading role nationally in Republican efforts to aggressively push back against liberal cultural values and what he calls “woke indoctrination.”
A measure titled “Personal Liberty,” also known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” was passed during this year’s legislative session and is still awaiting the governor’s signature.
Legislation (HB 7) prohibits any teaching that might make students feel personally responsible for historical wrongs because of their race, color, sex, or national origin.
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In the workplace, employment practices or training programs that cause an individual to feel guilty for similar reasons could be considered an illegal employment practice and subject a company to prosecution as a violation of civil rights.
Accelerate Learning’s website includes an undated diversity statement that says the company is committed to conducting more diversity training, reviewing current business and recruiting practices, and continuing to be inclusive at all levels of the company.
“Black communities across our country have long faced the repeated and damaging effects of systemic racism within the justice and education systems,” the statement said.
The company also matched all employee donations to NAACP, Black Lives Matter and Equal Justice organizations.
“Accelerate Learning, Inc. is committed to supporting diversity in all of its manifestations, which requires a consistent commitment to equity and inclusivity,” the statement read.
The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, acquired Accelerate Learning on Dec. 20, 2018, according to the company’s website.
Meanwhile, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin was the company’s co-CEO. After 25 years with the company, Youngkin stepped down in 2020 to run for office in Virginia.
The first thing Youngkin did as governor of Virginia was sign an executive order to “end the use of inherently divisive concepts, including critical race theory, and restore excellence in teaching.” K-12 audience in the Commonwealth,” a measure comparable to DeSantis. “Stop the WOKE act.”
Youngkin graduated from Rice University in 1990 and majored in mechanical engineering and management studies, according to the university’s student newspaper The Rice Thresher.
Contact Ana Goñi-Lessan at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @goni_lessan.
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