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Florida reinstates 17 math books after department says publishers removed 'woke content'

The Department of Education has not released examples of what it found to be questionable material; it only published examples provided by the public.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Education reinstated 17 math books to the state's adoption list following the removal of what it calls "woke content."

Last month, the department rejected 54 of 132 submitted math textbooks — 28 of which were said to incorporate "prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies" like critical race theory, or CRT. It recently published a revised list on its website now with 37 math books on the "not recommended list."

After 10 Tampa Bay along with other journalists and lawmakers requested examples of the rejected material, the department released examples of what it calls "problematic elements" within textbooks recently reviewed and rejected by the department. 

However, the examples came in the form of photos on the department's website with a lengthy disclaimer saying, in part: 

"Based on the volume of requests the Department has received for examples of problematic elements of the recently reviewed instructional materials, the following are examples provided to the department by the public and presented no conflict in sharing them."

It's not clear whether the material came from books currently in use in Florida public classrooms.

RELATED: Florida DOE releases examples of rejected math textbooks: See them here

The following message is at the top of the "Instructional Materials" portion of the Department of Education website:

"Publishers are aligning their instructional materials to state standards and removing woke content allowing the department to add 17 more books to the state adoption list over the past 14 days."

Credit: Florida Department of Education

Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk school districts all had intended to purchase at least one book on the state's initial "not recommended list." Spokespeople with the districts are waiting for publishers to appeal or amend their materials before following through with the purchase.

Hillsborough's books weren't approved due to academic reasons. It's unclear why the math books Pinellas and Polk had selected didn't make the cut. A Polk schools spokesperson sent this statement:

"The school district has been informed that several publishers are seeking to appeal the state's evaluation results. We believe that the publishers will work quickly to address any issues or concerns. Polk County Public Schools will not proceed with ordering or purchasing of new materials until this is resolved. For the remainder of this current school year, we will utilize existing materials while this issue plays out."

10 Tampa Bay reached out to the Department of Education asking for examples of the woke content that was removed and what the state's definition of woke is. 

We'll update this story when we hear back.

A spokesperson with the department of education did e-mail 10 Tampa bay saying, "I want to point out this is how the process is intended to work. We have high standards and reject books with unacceptable content because we know that publishers can easily adjust their materials to meet our guidelines, as displayed by the fact that it took less than two weeks for additional publishers to amend entire books, resubmit them and get put on the adoption list."

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