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DeSantis Faces Swell of Criticism Over Florida’s New Standards for Black History


BarryLaverty

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I wonder when it will hit him that driving Florida back into the past and championing the 'woke' war by attacking all marginalized groups of people didn't win him the voting power or popularity he sought. What a loser. 

(NY Times)

DeSantis Faces Swell of Criticism Over Florida’s New Standards for Black History
In one benchmark, middle schoolers would learn that enslaved Americans developed skills that “could be applied for their personal benefit.”


By Sarah Mervosh
July 21, 2023, 6:46 p.m. ET
After an overhaul to Florida’s African American history standards, Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state’s firebrand governor campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, is facing a barrage of criticism this week from politicians, educators and historians, who called the state’s guidelines a sanitized version of history.

For instance, the standards say that middle schoolers should be instructed that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” — a portrayal that drew wide rebuke.

In a sign of the divisive battle around education that could infect the 2024 presidential race, Vice President Kamala Harris directed her staffers to immediately plan a trip to Florida to respond, according to one White House official.

“How is it that anyone could suggest that in the midst of these atrocities that there was any benefit to being subjected to this level of dehumanization?” Ms. Harris, the first African American and first Asian American to serve as vice president, said in a speech in Jacksonville on Friday afternoon.

Ahead of her speech, Mr. DeSantis released a statement accusing the Biden administration of mischaracterizing the new standards and being “obsessed with Florida.”

Florida’s new standards land in the middle of a national tug of war on how race and gender should be taught in schools. There have been local skirmishes over banning books, what can be said about race in classrooms and debates over renaming schools that have honored Confederate generals.

Mr. DeSantis has made fighting a “woke” agenda in education a signature part of his national brand. He overhauled New College of Florida, a public liberal arts college, and rejected the College Board’s A.P. course on African American studies. And his administration updated the state’s math and social studies textbooks, scrubbing them for “prohibited topics” like social-emotional learning, which helps students develop positive mind-sets, and critical race theory, which looks at the systemic role of racism in society.

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With Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Biden now both official candidates in the 2024 campaign, each side quickly accused the other of pushing propaganda onto children.

Florida’s rewrite of its African American history standards comes in response to a 2022 law signed by Mr. DeSantis, known as the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” which prohibits instruction that could prompt students to feel discomfort about a historical event because of their race, sex or national origin.


The new standards seem to emphasize the positive contributions of Black Americans throughout history, from Booker T. Washington to Zora Neale Hurston.

Fifth graders are expected to learn about the “resiliency” of African Americans, including how the formerly enslaved helped others escape as part of the Underground Railroad, and about the contributions of African Americans during westward expansion.

The teaching of positive history is important, said Albert S. Broussard, a professor of African American studies at Texas A&M University who has helped write history textbooks for McGraw Hill. “Black history is not just one long story of tragedy and sadness and brutality,” he said.

But he saw some of Florida’s adjustments as going too far, de-emphasizing the violence and inhumanity endured by Black Americans and resulting in only a “partial history.”

“It’s the kind of sanitizing students are going to pick up,” he said. “Students are going to ask questions and they are going to demand answers.”

The Florida Department of Education said the new standards were the result of a “rigorous process,” describing them as “in-depth and comprehensive.”

“They incorporate all components of African American History: the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Alex Lanfranconi, the department’s director of communications.

One contested standard states that high school students should learn about “violence perpetrated against and by African Americans” during race massacres of the early 20th century, such as the Tulsa Race Massacre. In that massacre, white rioters destroyed a prosperous Black neighborhood in Tulsa, Okla., and as many as 300 people were killed.

By saying that violence was perpetrated not just against but “by African Americans,” the standards seem to grasp at teaching “both sides” of history, said LaGarrett King, the director of the Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education at the University at Buffalo.

But historically, he said, “it’s just not accurate.”

By and large, historians say, race massacres during the early 1900s were led by white groups, often to stop Black residents from voting.

That was the case in the Ocoee Massacre of 1920, in which a white crowd, incensed by a Black man’s attempt to vote, burned Black homes and churches to the ground and killed an unknown number of Black residents in a small Florida town.

Geraldine Thompson, a Democratic state senator who pushed to require Florida schools to teach the massacre, said she was not consulted in the formation of the new standards, though she holds a nonvoting role on the Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force.

She said she would have objected to the standards as “slanted” and “incomplete.” She questioned, for instance, why more emphasis was not placed on the history of African people before colonization and enslavement.

“Our history doesn’t begin with slavery,” she said in an interview. “It begins with some of the greatest civilizations in the world.”

The Florida standards were created by a 13-member “work group,” with input from the African American history task force, according to the Florida Department of Education.

Two members of the work group, William Allen and Frances Presley Rice, released a statement responding to critiques of one of the most dissected standards, depicting enslaved African Americans as personally benefiting from their skills.

“The intent of this particular benchmark clarification is to show that some slaves developed highly specialized trades from which they benefited,” they said, citing blacksmithing, shoemaking and fishing as examples.

“Any attempt to reduce slaves to just victims of oppression fails to recognize their strength, courage and resiliency during a difficult time in American history,” they said. “Florida students deserve to learn how slaves took advantage of whatever circumstances they were in to benefit themselves and the community of African descendants.”

Florida is one of about a dozen states that require the teaching of African American history.

Other states with such mandates include South Carolina, Tennessee, New York and New Jersey.

The state mandates date back decades — Florida’s was passed in 1994 — and often came in response to demands from Black residents and educators, said Dr. King, at the University at Buffalo.

“There is a legacy of Black people fighting for their history,” he said.

But for as long as Black history has been taught, he said, there has been debate about which aspects to emphasize. At times, certain historical figures and story lines have emerged as more palatable to a white audience, Dr. King said.

“There is Black history,” he said. “But the question has always been, well, what Black history are we going to teach?”

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I will say this first, I think that slavery is a terrible thing and needs to rooted out of every country on this planet.....but since the beginning of time, there have been slaves, of all colors and all shapes, so I doubt it will end anytime soon. 

 

From the article:For instance, the standards say that middle schoolers should be instructed that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” — a portrayal that drew wide rebuke.

Why would this NOT be true? Didn't most slaves, owned by those 9% of people in the United States during the time of slavery, learn actual skills, such as farming, blacksmithing, and building? I would think that all of those skills could be applied for a personal benefit, especially once they were freed. Which did happen for many slaves in the 1860s. 

So what happened that they lost those skills after they were freed? What caused this entitlement thought that 160 years later that they should be "repaid" for something that not a single one alive today ever experienced? 

Seems like more racist slandering from the left, when they DON'T have a good and decent message to put out there.....just more governmental control over everyone's life.....it's sad that we have people that expect the government to provide for them their entire lives......

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7 hours ago, DannyZuco said:

I will say this first, I think that slavery is a terrible thing and needs to rooted out of every country on this planet.....but since the beginning of time, there have been slaves, of all colors and all shapes, so I doubt it will end anytime soon. 

 

From the article:For instance, the standards say that middle schoolers should be instructed that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” — a portrayal that drew wide rebuke.

Why would this NOT be true? Didn't most slaves, owned by those 9% of people in the United States during the time of slavery, learn actual skills, such as farming, blacksmithing, and building? I would think that all of those skills could be applied for a personal benefit, especially once they were freed. Which did happen for many slaves in the 1860s. 

So what happened that they lost those skills after they were freed? What caused this entitlement thought that 160 years later that they should be "repaid" for something that not a single one alive today ever experienced? 

Seems like more racist slandering from the left, when they DON'T have a good and decent message to put out there.....just more governmental control over everyone's life.....it's sad that we have people that expect the government to provide for them their entire lives......

That you would pretend to miss the point of the obvious spin of even using the word BENEFIT when it comes to slavery is sorta sad but not shocking. And, how is that not 'government control' to diminish the curriculum and paint the narrative that Florida is mandating? 'Nothing to see here regarding slavery, but benefits, yeah, benefits!' Gimme a break. 

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12 hours ago, DB2point0 said:

Morons like Barry can only stay on their talking points they’ve been told.  When you hit them with a knowledgeable reply they can’t handle it

Agree at least he is consistent with his idiotic statements and defense to his cultish party that is counterproductive to his country. 

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10 hours ago, BarryLaverty said:

That you would pretend to miss the point of the obvious spin of even using the word BENEFIT when it comes to slavery is sorta sad but not shocking. And, how is that not 'government control' to diminish the curriculum and paint the narrative that Florida is mandating? 'Nothing to see here regarding slavery, but benefits, yeah, benefits!' Gimme a break. 

You never have a point. 

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13 hours ago, BarryLaverty said:

That you would pretend to miss the point of the obvious spin of even using the word BENEFIT when it comes to slavery is sorta sad but not shocking. And, how is that not 'government control' to diminish the curriculum and paint the narrative that Florida is mandating? 'Nothing to see here regarding slavery, but benefits, yeah, benefits!' Gimme a break. 

From what I understand, since you and I are both teachers, is that the state's control what is taught......I don't agree with everything each state does with their education.....I would love more local control on EVERYTHING, but there are certain standards that ALL citizens must be able to do, that I think should be mandated, like being able to read on a high school level.....being able to do math, even in your head.....understand basic science....and understand civil duties and liberties. 

It seems to me that some people want to PERSIST in keeping racism going.......there are NO benefits to slavery. But there are always benefits to learning skills. I am sure if you were a government teacher you'd be teaching the "benefits" of socialism, communism, and autocracies.......because it is mandated. And slavery should be taught....all of it, from the beginning....not just the one sided, southerners were bad people version that you continue to push and claim everyone is still supporting...

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1 hour ago, BarryLaverty said:

You're never remotely smart enough to understand any 'point', poster child for Dunning-Kruger. 

You describe yourself. You are definitely educated but dumb as dirt. Everyone sees it but you. Your lack of self awareness is mind boggling.

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16 hours ago, BarryLaverty said:

DeSantis not claiming any responsibility for the changes, while Chris Christie firmly plants it on him. Why would he deny it if he was proud of it? 
https://www.politico.com/news/2023/07/23/christie-desantis-florida-slavery-curriculum-00107741

Chris Christie stopped pounding donuts long enough to hold a town hall?  Isn't that nice.  

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3 hours ago, Monte1076 said:

Wow. Talk about a lack of self-awareness!

Oh, I am plenty smart, and I am also very confident that there are many things I don't know, but I don't have aspirations to deny that and speak on those subjects I don't know, with authority and oblivious confidence, but why don't you throw out your lengthy back-patting resume again, so we can all nod along? 

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1 hour ago, BarryLaverty said:

Do you have examples?

How about you claiming definitively, on numerous occasions, that the things being posted about "aren't happening" despite clear articles and evidence to the contrary?

I may have only graduated high school, and only attended a semester or so of college, but that doesn't mean that I'm stupid, either, Barry.

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52 minutes ago, Monte1076 said:

How about you claiming definitively, on numerous occasions, that the things being posted about "aren't happening" despite clear articles and evidence to the contrary?

I may have only graduated high school, and only attended a semester or so of college, but that doesn't mean that I'm stupid, either, Barry.

You have been told, over and over again, that your 'evidence is isolated' and that I have personally never witnessed what you like to assert is common practice and overwhelmingly widespread, when it isn't so, no matter how much you like to conflate those two statements into one. 

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4 minutes ago, BarryLaverty said:

You have been told, over and over again, that your 'evidence is isolated' and that I have personally never witnessed what you like to assert is common practice and overwhelmingly widespread, when it isn't so, no matter how much you like to conflate those two statements into one. 

And Gul Madred told Captain Picard over and over again that there were five lights. The Party told the Proles that we were always at war with Eastasia.

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On 7/22/2023 at 9:45 PM, BarryLaverty said:

That you would pretend to miss the point of the obvious spin of even using the word BENEFIT when it comes to slavery is sorta sad but not shocking. And, how is that not 'government control' to diminish the curriculum and paint the narrative that Florida is mandating? 'Nothing to see here regarding slavery, but benefits, yeah, benefits!' Gimme a break. 

Did those skills not benefit or were they a detriment them once they became free, and began to build the many free towns across the South ?  I'm sure that they portray the harsh and evil side of slavery as well.  This article shows the knee jerk reaction by the left without reading the textbooks that will be presented.  As the Florida DOE points out there will be a presentation of the "good, the bad, and the ugly".  They also have a 13 member panel that will work with the African American History task force, but it doesn't mention the race of who is on the panel of the AAH task force.  What if they are all black ?  I highly doubt it, but I would seriously doubt that it's only composed of white people.  You're only parroting the rebuke of the Presidency as well as others that are mentioned in the article.  

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23 hours ago, BarryLaverty said:

Oh, I am plenty smart, and I am also very confident that there are many things I don't know, but I don't have aspirations to deny that and speak on those subjects I don't know, with authority and oblivious confidence, but why don't you throw out your lengthy back-patting resume again, so we can all nod along? 

You speak on them daily…. Lol

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22 hours ago, BarryLaverty said:

Do you have examples? I mean, you don't know jack poop about what is actually taught in the vast majority of public schools, but you fancy yourself an authority by anecdotes and incidents you share. 

Just look no further than your entire posting history.  Lol what a moron!!

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