Florida's Educational Reforms

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Florida has recently taken steps to direct textbook publishers to exclude specific terminology from their educational materials in order to maintain their market access in the state. Terms such as “critical race theory,” “social-emotional learning,” and “diversity, equity and inclusion” are among those being targeted for exclusion.

This move by Florida follows a similar pattern to previous actions the state has taken, including rejecting textbooks that contain references to “critical race theory” and “social justice” topics. Now, Florida is reportedly also asking authors to reduce references to climate change, despite the state itself being greatly affected by the impacts of our changing climate.

Of particular interest is the fact that high school biology textbooks are now required to cite evidence supporting that “human activity” has caused climate change. However, any political statements urging governmental action on the issue have been removed. This reflects the state’s position on the matter, prioritizing factual evidence over political commentary.

Furthermore, textbook authors have been specifically instructed to remove certain references to “climate change” from science books for Florida’s public schools. The Florida Department of Education has yet to comment on these changes. The list of approved textbooks was posted on the department’s website in late July, but no official statement has been made as of yet.

There are other educational changes happening in Florida as well. For instance, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is in the process of selling land to New College, a move that is still pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Another significant development is in Hernando County, where the local school district has plans to collaborate with two colleges. The goal of this collaboration is to develop a training pipeline for guidance counselors and school administrators. This initiative aims to strengthen the educational support system for students in the region.

Florida is taking a proactive approach to shaping the content of educational materials and the structure of educational institutions within the state. As these changes unfold, it will be important to monitor the impacts on the quality and breadth of education for Florida’s students.


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