Facing a torrent of criticism from customary allies on the left for having caved to Ron DeSantis on the AP African-American Studies (APAAS) curriculum, the College Board issued an attack on Florida’s governor at the unlikely hour of 8 p.m. Saturday night. What can account for so oddly timed a salvo? Friday’s calls from the National Black Justice Coalition, among others, for the resignation of College Board CEO David Coleman may have had something to do with it.
The College Board laughably pretends not to have understood what Florida was getting at. How could Florida have influenced APAAS’s curriculum revisions when Florida couldn’t even make its own concerns clear? Come on. The College Board knew exactly what Florida was worried about. It can’t even maintain a consistent pose of naïveté throughout the text of Saturday’s letter. Toward the end of that letter, the College Board actually makes fun of Florida for acting as though it needs to explain the controversy over terms such as “intersectionality” and “systemic” racism. The idea that you have to explain this controversy to us is ridiculous, says the College Board. Exactly. The College Board understood Florida’s concerns perfectly well from the start. It needed no detailed roadmap to curriculum revision from FDOE.
The College Board played dumb with Florida for months because it understood perfectly well that FDOE would never approve APAAS if it knew what was actually in it. APAAS is thick with advocacy for CRT and radical Marxism. The trick is that this radicalism was buried by the initial curriculum, which mentioned authors without listing specific assignments or concepts. You had to read extensively in the work of various authors, and guess which essays and books would actually be assigned, to catch the drift of all the advocacy. The College Board backtracked in February, not because it didn’t understand Florida concerns, but because it understood them all too well.
The College Board’s real problem was its failed attempts at secrecy and deception. Only when it realized that Florida wouldn’t be fooled by a vague and confusing curriculum framework did the College Board modify APAAS. Throughout its latest letter, the College Board expresses regret for its failure to communicate. Saturday’s statement is filled with phrases such as “We should have made clear,” “We have not succeeded in focusing the conversation,” “We were naïve not to announce,” etc.
On Friday, incumbent Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is competing against Vallas in the Feb. 28 election, went further in an interview with NBC News.
“Ron DeSantis has perfected being a bigoted, racist demagogue. But Paul Vallas is fast on his heels,” Lightfoot charged.
Lightfoot blasted Vallas for embracing the Chicago FOP, whose conservative leader, John Catanzara, has danced in and out of controversies for years. She also criticized Vallas for appearing before the conservative group Awake Illinois last year, something for which Vallas later apologized.
At Awake Illinois’s June fundraiser, Vallas sat on a panel alongside former Indiana school administrator Tony Kinnett and Waukegan teacher Frank McCormick, vocal critics of curriculum that includes critical race theory. Other panelists included Nicole Neily, the president of a campus free speech organization, and Pastor Randy Blan, who challenged the state’s mask mandate as headmaster of a private Christian school in northern Illinois. Corey DeAngelis, a national leader for school choice, gave the keynote speech.
Kate Ruane, a director at the free-speech nonprofit organization PEN America, said in an interview that Duval’s termination of Covey may have violated the teacher’s First Amendment rights.
“What the district has done is clearly an attempt to chill the speech of public school teachers,” Ruane said.
“In my interview last Friday with Vice President Harris, I was imprecise in summarizing Gov. DeSantis’ position about teaching slavery in schools,” she said. “Gov. DeSantis is not opposed to teaching the fact of slavery in schools, but he has opposed the teaching of an African American studies curriculum as well as the use of some authors and source materials that historians and teachers say makes it all but impossible for students to understand the broader historic and political context behind slavery and its aftermath in the years since.”
An important footnote to the story. “Sulwe” has been banned in some Florida schools and might be banned statewide under the Stop Woke Act. [Illustrator Vashti] Harrison says it’s disappointing and upsetting, but she will continue to work on stories with diverse characters. The fact that Sulwe, a character, trying to find her identity and be okay with it would be banned because she’s a black character, she just couldn’t believe it, but these are stories for everyone.
Miller provided no evidence that a statewide ban is probable beyond simply asserting it. This is also the second Saturday in a row, CBS has had trouble with the state of books in Florida. News reports on “Sulwe” bans center on Duval County, which is the same county that saw a substitute teacher fired for spreading misinformation about the state of school libraries and the manufactured Roberto Clemente controversy that was ginned up by political activists trying to make a scene.
A new bill in Florida would require bloggers writing about Ron DeSantis to register with the state or be finedThe bill, S.B. 1316, requires anyone who writes "an article" or "a series of stories" about DeSantis and gets paid for it to register with the state.www.businessinsider.com