In an attack on “woke indoctrination,” Florida education commissioner on Friday defended the state’s decision to reject a planned Advanced Placement course in African American studies by claiming that public schools already cover racism and slavery.
The rejection of the course was the most recent in a string of moves by the conservative Republican governor Ron DeSantis’ administration on topics that are sensitive in the nation’s culture wars, including the forbidding of various educational initiatives regarding racism, slavery, and LGBTQ rights. DeSantis is anticipated to run for president in 2024 on the platform of his party.
African American history is proudly required to be taught, Florida’s commissioner of education Manny Diaz Jr. stated on Twitter. We reject woke brainwashing that passes for education.
The College Board, a non-profit that conducts Advanced Placement exams that help high school students earn college credits, devised the program, which is currently in its experimental phase.
According to the NAACP, Florida is one of a number of states that forbid the teaching of “Critical Race Theory” in public schools. This academic perspective holds that racism extends beyond personal prejudices and is “embedded in laws, policies, and institutions that uphold and reproduce racial inequalities.”
Florida informed the College Board in a letter dated January 12 that the AP course violated Florida law and was of no instructional value.
The White House denounced the action on Friday, with spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre describing the decision as “incomprehensible.” She emphasized that Florida was not prohibiting AP classes on European history and claimed that DeSantis’ past actions, such as his restriction on teaching LGBTQ concerns to young children, were in line with this latest measure.
Diaz presented a spreadsheet outlining the state’s concerns with the course and labeled the White House’s remarks as “lies.”
Readings on intersectionality, the notion that discrimination can affect a person in various ways if they belong to multiple marginalized groups, a section on Black Queer Studies, a discussion of Black feminism, and a subject called Movements for Black Lives were among the topics that raised concerns. According to the chart, there are no reasons presented opposing the idea of the United States paying reparations to the descendants of slaves. It disapproves of the 1960s radicalized Angela Davis reading in which she was referred to as a “self-avowed” Communist.
DeSantis’ spokesperson, Bryan Griffin, told TradingTwist that the course “as filed, is a vehicle for a political agenda and leaves significant, confusing voids that might be filled with extra ideological material.”
“As Governor DeSantis has said, education, not indoctrination, will take place in our classrooms,”
The state will reevaluate if the course is changed to adhere to Florida’s standards and legal requirements, according to Griffin and Diaz.
An inquiry for comment from TradingTwist on Friday did not receive a prompt response from the College Board. The course, however, is intended to “examine the critical contributions and experiences of African Americans,” according to a statement provided to TradingTwist on Thursday. The statement said that because it is a humanities subject, it does not teach theory.