Editorial: Bad news, Tallahassee: Florida students are already awake
Students are challenged to envision their life in a different culture or a different time. And because human beings are moral people, students will invariably place their knowledge into frames of justice versus injustice, generosity versus greed, transparency versus deception, acceptance versus exclusion, freedom versus tyranny. There’s a reason students often cite social-studies classes among their favorites. In new standards for social-studies textbooks issued last week, Florida educational officials acknowledge the critical need to satisfy students’ thirst for relevance. Which ones? The standards rely on misappropriated buzzwords and threatening emotions to define their targets. In context, it’s quite clear that the state is only targeting some forms of indoctrination.
It’s a little more difficult to determine which theories aren’t welcome. And certainly, students should not be asked to consider acting to correct any bias they perceive through this deceptive ideological fog. So if the average annual income of Florida women is $7,700 less than that of men, that’s their problem. One more objectionable point, among many: Teachers “may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence. Any high-school sophomore could blow a hole in that: The Declaration’s “universal principles” may be lofty, but they aren’t universal. There’s one more big problem with the department’s facile new guidelines, one that lies in its deceptive pretense that only certain concepts are banned (as if that weren’t bad enough).
So that information will be excluded ― a little lesson in economics all by itself. The state’s recent witch hunt for “critical race theory” material in math books now makes a lot more sense. What does it say about Florida’s Republican leadership, that these impulses are something they wish to suppress? And what does it say about them, that they see the word “woke” as obviously, inherently pejorative? Here’s the thing about Florida students: Many of them won’t be content to snooze through 12 years of forced ignorance. Education officials can try to fill textbooks with lullabies and bedtime stories. The Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board consists of Opinion Editor Krys Fluker, Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson, Viewpoints Editor Jay Reddick and El Sentinel Editor Jennifer A.
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