In the spirit of taking a closer look at the new and frankly increasingly disturbing crop of GOP leaders, let’s head down to the political swamplands of Florida to examine the education and culture wars recently ignited by Gov. Ron DeSantis. These provide a preview of what we might expect to hear more regularly as DeSantis weighs a primary challenge to reigning MAGA king Donald Trump.
DeSantis was back in the news on Wednesday with an unusual direct challenge to the College Board. As the National Review breathlessly reported, on January 12 the DeSantis administration, through its Department of Education’s “Office of Articulation,” blocked approval for an AP African American Studies (APAAS) curriculum in the state, claiming to the College Board that the course is “contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”By “Florida law,” the Department means the cringe-inducing “Stop WOKE Act” which bans the teaching of “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) in the state. CRT is a heady analytical framework that seeks to deconstruct and reframe how racism has shaped laws and institutions in the United States, but the right has sought to reduce its meaning to any and all discussions about race and systemic discrimination.
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