Florida vs. Young Minds
Name a flashpoint in the US culture wars – and then think about how it intersects with education – and you’re sure to find Florida. The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, is a devoted and ubiquitous culture warrior who has put the public education of Florida’s children, teenagers, and college students on the front lines of a battle over what is and isn’t appropriate for the classroom. The stakes, as DeSantis has defined them, involve preserving parents’ prerogatives, curtailing harmful discussions of race, gender and historical injustices (or “wokism,” in his description), and reasserting the state’s right to be an educational arbiter. DeSantis’s critics, including Tim, say Desantis’ policies are retrogressive and benighted – and undermine students’ understanding of their own bodies, minds, histories and place in the world. Today we’re going to focus on contentious debates around how two subjects are taught: African-American history and sex education. Marlon Williams-Clark is a high school social studies teacher in Florida, and Lisa Jarvis is a science columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.
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