Florida is making strides to remove the teaching of “critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories” from its public school system.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis updated the public on a new direction in education during a press conference on Wednesday. The governor stated that his state’s education should be more focused on “foundational principles” rather than narratives such as critical race theory that view all of history through the lens of race and insist racism still infects every institution in the US.
Critical race theory has gained traction recently, being prominently displayed in The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project,’ which attempted to readjust the history of the United States as a country entirely built on slavery rather than on the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
“Florida civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials, and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories,” DeSantis said.
“Let me be clear, there’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory. Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money. So we will invest in actual, solid, true curriculum and we will be a leader in the development and implementation of a world class civics education.”
DeSantis has, by extension, ordered the Department of Education to develop a Florida Civic Seal of Excellence, along with a $3,000 bonus, to be awarded to teachers who complete a course on teaching traditional American concepts and principles, News4JAX reported.
The governor’s announcement is similar to other moves being made by states and localities to prohibit critical race theory from being taught in public schools across the country. West Virginia Republicans introduced a bill to the state House last month that would ban the critical race theory ideas from the education curriculum.
The West Virginia legislation banned “divisive concepts” such as “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” the “United States is fundamentally racist or sexist,” “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” and “an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.”
The bill introduced echos the executive order issued by former President Donald Trump that attempted to purge critical race theory education from the federal government. President Joe Biden rescinded the Trump order on his first day in office, according to the Daily Wire.
In February, a New York branch of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance denounced critical race theory as “a hateful, divisive, manipulative fraud” and called for it to be expunged from American education and culture.
“CRT appears in our workplaces under the cover of implicit bias/sensitivity training. It infiltrates our schools pretending to be culturally/ethnically responsive pedagogy, with curricula such as the New York Times’ 1619 Project and Seattle’s ethnomathematics. Hate groups, with allies in politics, the press and education, pass CRT off as anti-racism and diversity, equity and inclusion, but CRT is exactly the opposite. From its very roots, CRT is racist, repressive, discriminatory, and divisive,” an open letter by the group said.
“We need to recognize CRT through its fraudulent packaging, call it out, resist. Parents need to watch for CRT in schools, talk to each other, and organize,” the letter continues. “On the political front, President Trump issued an executive order to ban CRT indoctrination at the Federal level. President Biden rescinded that order upon taking office, so our best hopes now rest with the states, several of which have proposals to ban CRT indoctrination.”