Tags: desantis | race theory | education

DeSantis Debunks Critical Race Theory in Civics Curricula

ron desantis speaks onstage at cpac
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hyatt Regency on Feb. 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Thursday, 18 March 2021 02:24 PM

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, in outlining how he’d spend $106 million in pandemic-related relief funding for his state, declared there’ll be not a cent spent on the critical race theory in civics.

During a news conference Wednesday, DeSantis described how $17 million of the new federal funding boost would be targeted for developing civics curricula with "foundational concepts" — and not "unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory."

"Florida’s civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories," DeSantis said in his breakdown of the funding.

"Let me be clear: There is no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory," he continued. "Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money."

DeSantis said, instead, Florida "will invest in actual, solid, true curriculum and we will be a leader in the development and implementation of a world-class civics education."

Critical race theory examines the way race and racism influences politics, culture, and the law. According to Purdue University, critical race theory scholarship shows how racism continues to be persuasive and why it denies individuals their constitutional rights.

Former President Donald Trump cracked down on diversity training at federal agencies that employed critical race theory. Trump’s memo came after the United States spent a summer reckoning over racial injustice in policing and other spheres of American life.

Proponents of the training say it can help the government eliminate bias in areas such as the awarding of federal contracts. 

President Joe Biden signed an executive order reversing a Trump-era policy limiting the ability of federal agencies, contractors, and grantees to implement diversity and inclusion training.

DeSantis said that civics education should lessen the polarization currently in the nation by giving everyone a common foundation of values.

"No matter if your family came on the Mayflower or you became a naturalized citizen, these principles belong to you," DeSantis said.

Florida isn’t the only state where the critical race theory has been criticized. In one survey taken in Illinois, residents disapprove of several progressive education  proposals, including whether K-12 schools should teach that America is systematically racist and founded on slavery.

The survey, obtained by Politico, was conducted by 1892 Polling on behalf of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

It found that many Illinois residents oppose changing the state’s curriculum in many areas regarding history and race, and comes after the state finalized a wide-ranging overhaul of the rules for training teachers that focuses on raising cultural awareness.

Meanwhile, proposals in Arkansas, Iowa, and Mississippi would prohibit schools from using a New York Times project that focused on slavery's legacy. Georgia colleges and universities have been quizzed about whether they're teaching about white privilege or oppression. And GOP governors are backing overhauls of civic education that mirror Trump's abandoned initiatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, in outlining how he'd spend $106 million in pandemic-related relief funding for his state, declared there'll be not a cent spent on the critical race theory in civics. During a news conference Wednesday, DeSantis...
desantis, race theory, education
Thursday, 18 March 2021 02:24 PM
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