Jul 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Florida Board of Education approves controversial Black history standards

Demonstrators protest Florida Governor Ron DeSantis plan to eliminate Advanced Placement courses on African American studies. (Photo by Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Florida State Board of Education on Wednesday approved new, controversial standards for how Black history would be taught in schools, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: It's the latest development in the ongoing education battle in Florida, and one that critics say "sets a scary standard."

  • The board passed the new standards unanimously, per the Post.

Details: The new standards include:

  • Noting that slaves developed skills for their personal benefit.
  • Teaching about "acts of violence" perpetrated by African Americans in addition to acts of violence against them.

Flashback: Earlier this year, Florida rejected an Advanced Placement African American History course despite backlash from Black leaders.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and conservative politicians said the AP course teaches critical race theory, a college-level framework that is rarely taught in grade school but is often conflated with teachings on systemic racism.

What they're saying: The Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, called the new standards a "big step backward" for the state and that they do a "disservice" to Florida's students.

  • State Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D) said the changes are now "blaming the victims."
  • State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D) said the new standards were "inaccurate and a scary standard for us to establish.”
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