Florida's governor Ron DeSantis is facing criticism after his administration rejected an African American history course from being taught in schools. The Florida Department of Education said the course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.
The course description states that it reaches into a variety of fields – literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography and science – to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans.
The College Board, the organization that oversees college readiness exams like the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), had announced a pilot program in the summer of 2022. It wanted to offer high school students an evidence-based introduction to African American studies in 60 high schools across the country during the 2022-23 school year. This was to be expanded to other campuses the following year.
State Didn't Block European History
A Florida DOE official said if the course comes into compliance and incorporates historically accurate content, the department will reopen the discussion.
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, said DeSantis administration's rejection of the course was incomprehensible. She noted that the state did not block AP classes like European history. "But the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high-achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture. It is incomprehensible, again, and I will just leave it there to make your own determination of why this occurred and why this happened."
Students and educators expressed concerns that DeSantis administration was trying to rid schools of the so-called trendy ideologies. They fear this is an effort to erase important curriculum on the racial history of the US from schools.
Ivory Toldson, the NAACP Director of Education Innovation and Research, said DeSantis' flippant rejection of an AP African American Studies course shows clear disdain for the lives and experiences that form part of US's national history. "Dismissing this important subject as lacking educational value defies centuries of evidence to the contrary. African American history is American history, and failure to comprehend this very simple fact is un-American in and of itself."
Never Surrender to the WOKE Mob
DeSantis, during his January 3 inauguration, said they seek normalcy and not philosophical lunacy. "We will not allow reality, facts and truth to become optional. We will never surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die." Moreover, the Florida governor is behind the "Stop Woke" act that restricts race-related content in workplaces, schools and colleges. But this law has been temporarily blocked and is in the courts.
Shevrin Jones (D), Florida senator who is the first openly gay lawmaker in the state, believes Florida is doing its best to tilt the scales and shut down important, much-needed discussions of race, slavery, stolen lands and undeniable history. "Gov. DeSantis' whitewashing of history and book bans are his latest assault on American history and our First Amendment rights. Horrifyingly, it is our vulnerable and underrepresented students who will suffer the most as a result."