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New Florida Education Standards on Black History Spark Controversy

Florida’s Board of Education approved new rules for teaching black history in the state's public schools Wednesday.

The Details: Several details from the 216-page plan sparked controversy, including how instruction will explore "the various duties and trades performed by slaves" and "how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit." It also includes instruction on "acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans," such as the "1906 Atlanta Race Riot, 1919 Washington, D.C. Race Riot, 1920 Ocoee Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the 1923 Rosewood Massacre."

What Critics Said: "How can our students ever be equipped for the future if they don’t have a full, honest picture of where we’ve come from?," said the head of Florida's largest teachers' union.

What Supporters Said: "These standards will further cement Florida as a national leader in education, as we continue to provide true and accurate instruction in African American History," said a Florida Education Department spokesman.

How the Media Covered It: Headlines from left- and center-rated sources often said the new standards teach that some slaves "benefited" from slavery. Some also took issue with the implication that black people "perpetrated" massacres in the 1920s. Right-rated headlines typically didn't. One writer for Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) highlighted how the word "beneficial" doesn't "appear anywhere in the document in relation to slavery." NBC News and Politico (both Lean Left) led their articles by highlighting critics of the plan.

Posted on 21 Jul 2023 13:44 link