The big story: Governor Ron DeSantis argues that Florida needs to teach the facts of African American history. State law, he points out, requires it.
At the same time, DeSantis argues that certain parts of that history are akin to political indoctrination. The example of Rosewood descendants seeking reparations comes to mind.
Advocates of ensuring Florida’s black history is not lost or whitewashed see a problem with the governor’s approach. They suggest that any modest achievements the state has seen in adding more specific stories to the curriculum, such as the 1921 Ocoee massacre, could fall by the wayside under the current political climate.
“Is there a concerted effort to suppress the teaching of the African and African-American experience?” Florida A&M associate professor Bernadette Kelley-Brown asked rhetorically. “The answer is yes.” Read more here.
college presidents: Ben Sasse emailed students and staff on his first day as UF’s new president. He asked for input on a strategic planning effort. The students greeted Sasse with protests and demands, the Gainesville Sun reports. Sasse is expected to announce plans to expand the school’s presence in Jacksonville on Tuesday, the Florida Times-Union reports. • The trustees of the New College of Florida have called a single-issue meeting for February 13 to consider a contract for Richard Corcoran as interim president, the Herald-Tribune reports.
Teacher Pay: Volusia County teachers and the school district reached a contract agreement after being at an impasse, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
Student data: Some Duval County parents complain that the school district asks kids in high school about their sexual activity as part of an annual youth risk behavior survey, reports WTLV.
Library books: Teachers at a Broward County school were told to cover their classroom libraries in response to state law, reports WLRN. Officials said it was not a district-level directive.
Equity and diversity: The Palm Beach County School District is set to remove references to inequalities and institutional racism from its equity policy, to align with new state law, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Shortage of employees: The Alachua County School Board will consider lowering the education requirements for some jobs as a way to attract more applicants, the Main Street Daily News reports.
academic freedom: Attempts by Florida Republican government officials to limit instruction at universities and overhaul their operations could mark a significant shift after a century of greater academic freedom in post-secondary education across the country, the Washington Post reports.
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Today in Tallahassee… He House PreK-12 Assignments Subcommittee is scheduled to meet at 2 pm to hear presentations on the governor’s budget proposal and on the school choice scholarship and voucher programs. HB 1 to create universal savings accounts for education is not on the agenda. The Hill offers an explanation of education savings accounts. • He Senate Committee on PreK-12 Education meets at 9:30 am His agenda includes a bill to require instruction in the proper use of social media and to allow charter school students to play sports at private schools without attending there. • The Legislature also continues its special session, which includes legislation to reform a special tax district that benefits Disney. The effort comes after Disney failed to support the “parental rights in education” bill last year.
From the court file… An Orange County family sued the school district, alleging their daughter was tricked and kidnapped while using a district laptop that did not have proper controls, reports WKMG.
Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s summary is just a click away.
Before you leave … Beyoncé set the record for the most Grammy Awards. She did it with Break My Soul.
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