Florida governor foils plot by diabolical math geeks

Don’t feel for sorry for math geeks. They brought it on themselves with their incessant lefty demands for equality: X equals this; X equals that.

Gov. Ron DeSantis knows that what X really equals is a sneaky plot to indoctrinate Florida school children with critical race theory.

Damn these algebraic formulas anyway, obviously part of the hidden agenda that DeSantis has discovered in math textbooks: converting unwitting Florida school kids into apostles of wokeness. But not while DeSantis is governor. There’ll be no more talk of equality seeping into Florida classrooms.

Of course, the most egregious sin committed by mathematicians — the real reason the MAGA mob hates them — has been their rejection of Professor Giuliani’s Theorem: that 232 (as in the sum total of Donald Trump’s electoral college votes) exceeds 306 (the number that went to the other guy).

Lowdown math subversives have also produced statistics indicating that the death rate from COVID-19 produced by DeSantis’ to-hell-with-the-CDC pandemic strategy was 2.6 times higher than the death rate in liberal California, where state officials were all about masks and vaccines.

Obviously, arithmetic is awash with liberal bias.

Since taking office, DeSantis has courageously ignored issues that might occupy a less ambitious governor, like the escalating cost of property insurance or tumble-down condo towers or algae-choked waterways or the scarcity of affordable housing or Matt Gaetz’s party girls.

Instead, he instigated a Florida version of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Chairman Ron has purged “indoctrinating concepts” — progressive ideas about race and gender and public health — from Florida public schools, state universities, corporate workplaces, school boards, cruise ships, school libraries and any outfit with the temerity to insist on masks or vaccinations.

He has embraced legislation requiring Florida schools to sweeten their presentation of American history. Kids in Florida classrooms will be taught uplifting, guilt-free accounts of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow violence. Florida schools will put a happy face on the Trail of Tears. And DeSantis has cleansed classrooms of discussions of gay and transgender folks. Because, you know what that leads to.

Thanks to DeSantis, parents inclined to vigilantism can sue if they suspect their children has been exposed to forbidden talk about race or gender.

After all that, you’d think the governor would have exhausted Florida’s supply of the school curricula controversies that drive the Republican core constituency crazy and get him prime-time bookings on Fox News.

A less dedicated cultural warrior might have looked for new material. Not Ron, who goes after wokeness with the ferocity of Donald Trump in pursuit of a cheeseburger. Somehow, the governor was able to suss out liberal allusions in math textbooks that had been so well camouflaged that no one else — and I mean no one — had noticed them.

His administration announced last week that 54 mathematic textbooks had been rejected by the Florida Department of Education, 28 of them because they were contaminated with “prohibited topics or unsolicited strategies, including CRT [critical race theory].”

On Wednesday, the Florida DOE finally released a single textbook page supposedly tainted by critical race theory. It wasn’t much: a math exercise derived from a statistical model (based on an actual survey with two million respondents) that charted degrees of racial bias harbored by various age groups.

DOE also offered three examples of another taboo, something called “social-emotional learning,” an uncontroversial concept until Florida came looking for a tussle. The idea is to leaven math instruction with exercises in perseverance and cooperation, to help students overcome their math phobias. But the DeSantis administration won’t tolerate highfalutin’ notions that include squishy words like “social” or “emotional.”

The four obtuse citations hardly supported the DeSantis administration’s dark warnings of a diabolical plot to brainwash school children. “What we’ve seen is obviously a systematic attempt by these publishers to infiltrate our children’s education by embedding topics such as critical race theory; things that have nothing to do with math,” Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez told Fox News.

Apparently, math book publishers, in their “attempts to indoctrinate students,” were deviously clever in disguising the aberrant passages. Reporters across the state consulted teachers and college professors and other experts on math education, who seemed befuddled by the textbook rejections.

But that’s the genius of the great textbook commie conspiracy. The leftwing propaganda was so subtly hidden that it could only be discerned by a leader hypersensitive to such threats. Someone like Ron DeSantis.

After the math book purge, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran assured Floridians that it was finally safe to send their kids to school “without the fear of indoctrination or exposure to dangerous and divisive concepts in our classrooms.”

Which leads to the sad assumption that it’s too late for Florida school children exposed to math education before DeSantis and Corcoran instigated their purge.

Those poor kids must already have been corrupted by sneaky liberal agitprop, somewhere between algebra and calculus.

Fred Grimm, a longtime resident of Fort Lauderdale, has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1976. Reach him by email at or on Twitter: @grimm_fred.

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