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HomeEducationDeSantis, Florida and a new partisan era of American education

DeSantis, Florida and a new partisan era of American education

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he protects children from indoctrination and political agendas, but the zeal with which he has worked to reshape Florida’s education system also represents a attempt to influence young minds.

However you look at DeSantis’ motivations, he gets results.

The College Board, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Advanced Placement program offered in high schools, said it would change a new AP African American study course that DeSantis said he violated a state law to restrict certain classes about race in schools.

His state’s Department of Education complained that the college-level course mentioned black queer theory and the idea of ​​intersectionality. Learn more about why Florida rejected the course.

“Governor DeSantis, are you really trying to lead us into an era similar to communism where free thought is censored?” the civil rights lawyer Ben Crump said at a press conference on Wednesday in Florida, where he announced he would sue DeSantis on behalf of three high school students if DeSantis did not negotiate with the College Board over the AP course.

DeSantis recently demanded a list of personnel names and programs related to diversity at public colleges and universities, part of a crackdown on “trendy ideology.”

Separately, he wants details about students who sought treatment for gender dysphoria at state universities.

DeSantis too wants the New College of Florida, a small, liberal arts public school, as a kind of “Hillsdale of the South,” according to Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz.

Hillsdale, as USA Today points out, is a private individual, conservative christian university in michigan.

A new DeSantis-appointed member of the New College of Florida board of trustees has clashed with board officials over his request for every open meeting with a prayer.

Republicans across the country are focused on education. They want to be wary of anything seen as pushing up fairness rather than merit.

The governor of Virginia sees a conspiracy in how school districts recognize distinctions in a scholarship program based on scores on the PSAT.

The Attorney General has launched a discrimination investigation into the Fairfax County Public Schools system — including Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a nationally recognized magnet school in Virginia — discriminated against students by failing to notify them of recognition under the National Merit Scholarship program.

The students were eligible for recognition but failed to advance in the competition for a scholarship.

Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin claimed, according to CNN’s report, that these revelations were a Result of the “maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs.”

“The failure of numerous Fairfax County schools to notify students of their national merit awards could serve as a violation of human rights in Virginia,” the governor’s office said in an earlier statement to CNN.

Michelle Reid, Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools, told CNN the acknowledgments should have come sooner, but cited a lack of “division-wide protocol” rather than any sort of fairness mania. Read more about the controversy.

Texas officials also have their eyes on the state’s colleges and universities, according to CNN’s Eric Bradner.

“Our public professors are accountable to the taxpayer because you pay their salaries,” Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said in an inauguration address. Bradner notes that Patrick has pushed for his tenure at Texas public colleges and universities to end.

“I don’t want teachers in our schools saying, ‘America is bad and capitalism is bad and socialism is better,'” he said. “And if that means some of those professors who want to teach aren’t coming to Texas, that’s fine with me.” Read Bradner’s full report.

Meanwhile, South Dakota lawmakers are trying to develop a social studies curriculum based on “American exceptionalism,” propelled by the governor’s desire to bring more patriotism into the classroom.

Republican politicians’ focus on race issues in colleges and in the classroom is mirrored by the potential for a court-mandated turnaround in how American students are viewed for admission.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in two separate affirmative action cases in October and appears poised to say that colleges and universities cannot take race into account in admissions.

Nine states have already banned affirmative action for public universities. California voters were the first to do so, and the end Result was declining enrollment, particularly among black students at the top public schools in the University of California system and at the University of Michigan. Those states both encouraged the Supreme Court not to prohibit affirmative action.

Florida, which also ended the practice, encouraged the court to reject affirmative action.

Education was a major focus for Republicans in the recent election. While it clearly worked for DeSantis in Florida and Youngkin in Virginia a year earlier, the mixed results for major Republicans may call into question the strategy as the 2024 election approaches.

I read on the education journal website Chalkbeat about a new study that predicts more politics in the classroom as Americans increasingly sort themselves by political ideology.

In the working paper, David Houston, a professor of education policy at George Mason University, argues that previous debates about desegregation, prayer and sex education in public schools were divisive, but not inherently partisan.

As proof, he points to the moderate positions of previous presidents. Then-President George W. Bush collaborated with then-Democrat Senator Edward Kennedy on education reform in 2001. Former President Barack Obama was praised by Republicans in 2012 for his work in education.

Those stories feel like they come from another universe when the current Republican governors look to stamp out liberal extremism in schools.

Houston argues in his study, which is based on survey data, that the US may be on the cusp of a new divisive era with “heightened partisan hostility in all aspects of education politics”.

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