Florida Department of Education Defends Black History Curriculum: It ‘Is Based on Truth’

florida department of education defends black history curriculum it is based on truth
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The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is defending the state’s newly approved black history program, asserting it is “based on truth” and “builds on our continued efforts since 2019 to teach our students unbiased African American history.”

Florida’s Board of Education initially came under fire over the weekend after news surfaced of a new black history curriculum, which includes that slaves gained skills “which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

The “Florida’s State Academic Standards – Social Studies, 2023” document states that students should “examine the various duties and trades performed by slaves (e.g., agricultural work, painting, carpentry, tailoring, domestic service, blacksmithing, transportation).”

Under benchmark clarifications, it adds that “instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

The Biden White House is among top critics, as Vice President Kamala Harris even traveled to Florida, criticizing the standards approved by the board.

florida department of education defends black history curriculum it is based on truth

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

“These extremist, so-called leaders should model what we know to be the correct and right approach if we are invested in the well-being of our children,” Harris said at the time.

“How is it that anyone could suggest that amidst these atrocities [of slavery], there was any benefit to being subjected to this level of dehumanization?” Harris continued, adding, “I do believe this is not only about the state of Florida. There is a national agenda afoot.”

Despite the widespread backlash, the Florida Department of Education is sticking to its guns.

“The federal government won’t dictate Florida’s education standards. This new curriculum is based on truth. We will not back down from teaching our nation’s true history at the behest of a woke @WhiteHouse, nor at the behest of a supposedly conservative congressman,” Florida Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz said, taking a jab at Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), who said the updated curriculum “did a very good job of covering all aspects of black history in the United States. However, he added that the controversial section perhaps “needs some adjustments.”

florida department of education defends black history curriculum it is based on truth

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., speaks during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 8, 2022 (Jason Andrew/The New York Times via AP, Pool).

Diaz shared a letter from the FDOE, which states that the Biden administration has “intentionally misrepresented our groundbreaking work.”

“I am issuing this memo to reaffirm that we will be moving forward with implementing Florida’s new history standards,” the letter reads, emphasizing that Florida will “promote the teaching of accurate, detailed, and nuanced history free from political sanitation or indoctrination.”

It continues:

To develop these new standards, the Department assembled an august group of African American scholars and Florida educators utilizing a rigorous process, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. The standards are supported by historical accounts of African Americans, including slaves and their immediate descendants. If you wish to look into these accounts yourselves, I encourage you to reach out to the Department for reference materials. As is always the case with new standards, the Department’s social studies team members will prepare professional learning that will guide educators as they implement the new, robust African American History standards.

“Let me be clear: we are not turning our backs on the great work of the African American History workgroup,” the letter adds, noting the standards will be implemented “swiftly, transparently, and honestly”:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis initially defended the standards when a reporter asked him about it, adding that he was not involved in the details.

florida department of education defends black history curriculum it is based on truth

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks as he announces a proposal for Digital Bill of Rights, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

“But I think what they’re doing is, I think, that they’re probably going to show some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith, into doing things later in life,” he said, adding that the curriculum is rooted in “whatever is factual.”

“They listed everything out. And if you have any questions about it, just ask the Department of Education. You can talk about those folks. But I mean, these were scholars who put that together,” DeSantis added. “It was not anything that was done politically”:

Authored by Hannah Bleau via Breitbart July 27th 2023