- Florida has approved a new set of standards for how African-American Studies should be taught.
- The new curriculum emphasizes the ‘personal interest’ of slavery for Black people.
- He has been criticized by the NAACP and Florida’s largest teachers union.
The Florida Board of Education approved a new set of standards for teaching African-American Studies in public schools, including teaching on the “personal benefit” of slavery to Black people.
The curriculum was unanimously approved at the school board meeting in Orlando on Wednesday, ie CNN reported.
It follows legislation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022 introduced to prohibit the teaching of anything that could “embarrass people because of their race.”
The law, known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” was intended to push back against Critical Race Theory, but critics, including the ACLU of Florida, argued that it serves msgstr “whitewash history.”
Document A description of the state’s new academic standards for the African-American Studies program shows that students in Florida public schools will now be taught about the various duties and trades performed by slaves, including agricultural work, painting, tailoring and blacksmithing.
A highly controversial clarification indicates that the teaching will include learning about how slaves developed skills that could, in some cases, be applied to their own benefit”.
Elsewhere in the document, posted on the Florida Department of Education website, the new standards outline how high school students must be instructed about “acts of violence committed against and by African Americans” while learning about the 1920 Ocoee massacre.
30 to 35 of them were killed in the violence in the Ocoee march. Black-owned businesses were burned to the ground during the riot, which occurred after Black landowner Mose Norman tried to vote but was denied twice on Election Day.
The new standards have already sparked outrage among civil rights and teacher groups in the state.
Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers association, said CNN on Thursday: “We are very concerned about the standards here in Florida.”
He said: “What teachers want to do is teach children accurate, complete and honest history – both good and bad. What we see happening here in Florida right now is the governor putting his political agenda ahead of our children’s education.”
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement that the new standards provide a “sanitized and dishonest narrative of the history of slavery” in the US.
“It is imperative that we understand that the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow were a violation of human rights and represent the darkest period in American history,” he said.
The Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. But in a statement provided to CNN, Alex Lanfranconi, the department’s director of communications, said it is “sad” to see people disrespecting the new standards.
“We are proud of the rigorous process that the department took to develop these standards,” said Lanfranconi, per CNN.