Florida Rejects Social Studies Topics on Communism, "Taking a Knee"Breaking News
tags: Florida, social studies, critical race theory, Ron DeSantis
Florida initially rejected 81 percent of new K-12 social studies instructional materials publishers submitted to be included on the state’s adoption list for K-12 teachers to use in their classrooms, the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Tuesday. Officials worked with some publishers to make changes and wound up rejecting only 35 percent.
Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. released the approved list of materials that are aligned to state social studies curriculum standards for every grade. A statement from the Education Department said that 66 of the 101 submitted materials have been approved to date but that initially only 19 made the cut. The department said it had spent the past month working with publishers to change what it called “inaccurate material, errors and other information that was not aligned with Florida law.”
The move is the latest move by DeSantis and the state legislature to limit what students can learn and teachers can teach about high-profile topics. Last month, they expanded an existing ban on the teaching of gender identity and sexuality in kindergarten through third grade to include all grades in K-12 public schools. A different law restricts what teachers can say about race and racism in the United States in what state officials said was in part an effort to ensure that students don’t feel guilt about their race because of historical events. Last year, the administration rejected 41 percent of math textbooks submitted by publishers in part because they “contained prohibited subjects,” including critical race theory.
In a statement, Diaz said that material used in the classroom should “focus on historical facts and are free from inaccuracies or ideological rhetoric.” Critics say the DeSantis administration is trying to suppress difficult truths about America’s past and present, and some slammed the restrictions of social studies materials.
“Educators in Florida want to be free to teach a complete and honest history. The continued attempt to hide and whitewash part of our history is not only unethical, it is un-American,” said Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar. “These efforts are making our state less competitive academically and economically. Teachers are trusted professionals and must be allowed to do their jobs.”
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