The state Board of Education is meeting in Jacksonville on June 10th and the public is invited

On June 10th, 2021 the Florida State Board of Education is meeting in Jacksonville.

You might want to address this issue during the public comment period at the meeting on June 10th (or by email if you can’t make the meeting):

What does education commissioner Corcoran mean by traditional as compared to factual?

A new rule proposed by education commissioner Richard Corcoran would require Florida teachers to align their civics lessons to a traditional view of American history. The rule would address a concern raised by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who wants to make sure “critical race theory” — an approach to teaching the role of racism in U.S. society — isn’t used in the district run public schools. The measure, which is headed to the State Board of Education on June 10, states that teachers “may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” The rule also would require teachers not to share their personal views or attempt to indoctrinate students to a point of view that deviates from the state’s newly adopted academic standards.

WHO drafted these standards:  

Who suggested “benchmark” SS.4.HE.1.2?

SS.4.HE.1.2 Compare the similarities of Judaism to other major religions celebrated around the world, and in the United States and Florida, to see how they are similar and different.

I worry about Christian Nationalists (hashtag NOT ALL Christians) using benchmark SS.4.HE.1.2 to promote their version of Christianity. Older folks remember when some Protestants denigrated the Catholics in public schools. I have no problem with an elective comparative religion studies class but what is the purpose of this benchmark SS.4.HE.1.2 being part of the course required by 1003.42 (2)(g)?

Who suggested the wording of benchmark SS.912.HE.1.3?

SS.912.HE.1.3 Analyze how the Treaty of Versailles led to the increasing spread of antisemitism in Germany … 

Certainly the reparations included in the Treaty of Versailles caused the German workers hardships. The broad statement, in this benchmark SS.912.HE.1.3, that the treaty itself led to anti-Semitism isn’t historically accurate.

Powerful people use scapegoats to fuel tribalism and certainly that should be included in the courses required by Florida statute 1003.42 (2) (g) and (h)

Please ask the board of education if they have the authority to require the courses mentioned in the statutes to be taught not only at the district run schools but also at the voucher funded private schools and the charter schools, i.e. at all publicly funded schools.  I was sad that SB 772 (which aimed to do that) wasn’t even given a hearing in the committee to which it was assigned:

For reference:

Florida statute 1003.42(2) .. 

(g) history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions, including the policy, definition, and historical and current examples of anti-Semitism, as described in s. 1000.05(7), and the prevention of anti-Semitism. Each school district must annually certify and provide evidence to the department, in a manner prescribed by the department, that the requirements of this paragraph are met. The department shall prepare and offer standards and curriculum for the instruction required by this paragraph and may seek input from the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on Holocaust Education or from any state or nationally recognized Holocaust educational organizations. The department may contract with any state or nationally recognized Holocaust educational organizations to develop training for instructional personnel and grade-appropriate classroom resources to support the developed curriculum.
 (h) The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African Americans to society. Instructional materials shall include the contributions of African Americans to American society. includes the following beginning on line 38:

Section 1. The Commissioner of Education’s African  American History Task Force is directed to examine ways in which the history of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots will be included in instruction on African-American history required pursuant to s. 1003.42(2)(h), Florida Statutes. The task force shall submit its recommendations to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education by March 1, 2021.   

The Florida Board of Education is meeting June 10th in Jacksonville

Have you analyzed the new suggested standards?
Standards Under Review – Spring 2021

As this op-ed suggests, teaching kids to think critically is paramount: However, we shouldn’t distort the facts to fit our political agenda.

I am reading a book about Christian nationalists (hashtag NOT All Christians) that mentions a Hillsdale College propaganda flyer about Putin.  Please read it and tell me if you want Hillsdale College to be part of the standard setting process: I heard that Hillsdale College was a contributor to the standards. Please ask the board if that is true. I’ve sent a public records request but it went unanswered.

Another troubling issue that you might want to bring up with the Board of Education is Corcoran telling school districts to fire teachers based on his ideology.

Last week, she was led to believe that she had been fired based on a speech by state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. In the speech posted on a YouTube video by Hillsdale College in Michigan, where Corcoran gave the address, he said that “we made sure she was terminated” as part of his effort to keep teachers from “indoctrinating” students with critical race theory, according to news reports.

Another issue (the church/state issue) you might want to mention is the importance of publicly funded schools being nonsectarian. As this article indicates, when schools are NOT nonsectarian, the non-majority religion may feel discriminated against. Let religious doctrine be taught at home and in the religious institutions not in publicly funded schools.

Catholic schools began in the United States as a reaction against a growing publicly-funded school system that was essentially Protestant.

Here are some of the proposed standards that I found troubling.

SS.7.C.1.12 Recognize how Judeo-Christian values influenced America’s Founding ideals and documents.
● Students will identify Judeo-Christian values (e.g., rule of law, God-given rights, equality of mankind, limited government, separation of powers, consent of the governed) in founding documents.
● Students will recognize the influence of the Protestant work ethic on economic freedom and personal responsibility.
● Students will recognize the influence of the Ten Commandments on establishing the rule of law in America.
SS.7.C.3.13 Explain the advantages of capitalism and a free market system over government controlled economic systems (e.g., socialism and communism) in generating economic prosperity for all citizens.
SS.912.C.1.5 Analyze the influence of Judeo-Christian values on America’s Founding ideals and documents.
• Students will recognize Judeo-Christian principles of law and government in primary sources (e.g., rule of law, God-given rights, equality of mankind, limited government, separation of powers, consent of the governed) in primary sources to including but not limited to, the Articles, Lawes and Orders, Divine, Politique and Martiall for the Colony in Virginea (1610-1611); Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639); Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641); Constitution of Massachusetts (1780)).
SS.912.C.4.1  Analyze the advantages of the United States constitutional republic and free market economic system over authoritarianism (e.g., autocratic or oligarchic) and government-controlled economic systems (e.g., socialism and communism).

Part of the problem is church/state separation issues as I mentioned above. Another issue is not distinguishing between regulated capitalism and crony capitalism. The standard that reads “advantages of capitalism over socialism” has the logical fallacy of a false dichotomy.

The Florida Board of Education is meeting June 10th at 9 am
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Advanced Technology Center
401 West State Street,
Room T140/141
Jacksonville, FL 32202

These are the board members:
Chair, Andy Tuck –
Vice Chair, Marva Johnson –
Monesia Brown –
Ben Gibson –
Tom Grady –
Ryan Petty –
Joe York –

The Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran can be contacted:
Karen Dennis Phone: 850-245-0505
Email: Commissioner@fldoe.orgEDIT

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