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DeSantis Offers Discussion Of Florida's New African American History Education Standards With VP Harris

'What An Example We Could Set For The Nation—A Serious Conversation On The Substance Of An Important Issue!

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has offered vice president Kamala Harris to visit the state and discuss new African American history standards.

The letter follows pushback from critics including the vice president who take issue with the new rules and standards for teaching African American History in schools recently passed by the Florida Board of Education.

“Florida is the number one state in the nation for education. We’ve achieved this by making record investments in our students, teachers, and schools by enacting universal school choice,” reads the letter from DeSantis. “Our approach has empowered parents and families, who are actively disenfranchised in many other states around the nation.”

The letter tout’s Florida’s successes in education as a “return to the fundamentals.”

“We are committed to teaching truth, not partisan narratives,” the letter continues, noting the Sunshine State has removed the teaching and implementation of Critical Race Theory (CRT) from classrooms along with removing Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) from school administration, hiring practices, and classrooms.

“We have, instead, focused on the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, civics and history.”

“Time and again, D.C. politicians choose to malign our state and its residents,” the letter continues, referencing the vice president’s recent criticism over the Board of Educations new standards. “Our state pushed forward nation-leading standalone African American History standards—one of the only states in the nation to require this level of learning about such an important topic.”

“One would think the White House would applaud such boldness in teaching the unique and important story of African American History,” DeSantis continued. “But you have instead attempted to score cheap political points and label Florida parents ‘extremists.'”

“It’s past time to set the record straight.”

The letter continued:

In Florida we are unafraid to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues. And you clearly have no trouble ducking down to Florida on short notics. So given your grave concern (which, I must assume, is sincere) about what you think our standards say, I am officially inviting you back down to Florida to discuss our African American History standards. We will be happy to host you here in Tallahassee. I will ask Dr. William Allen—instrumental in the development of our impressive new standards—to join. We welcome you, of course, to bring Randi Weingarten or someone else who shares your views about the standards.

The Florida governor said he would be willing to meet as early as Wednesday this week though would defer to Harris’ schedule in case she was scheduled to visit the nation’s southern border. “What an example we could set for the nation—a serious conversation on the substance of an important issue!”

Last week, vice president Harris criticized the standards, which include teaching enslaved people “developed skills” which “could be applied for their personal benefit” in some instances, saying the state was replacing “history with lies.”

“Middle school students in Florida, to be told that enslaved people benefited from slavery,” Harris said. “High schoolers may be taught that victims of violence of massacres were also perpetrators.”

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