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Friday, January 13, 2023

What’s happening to the New College has been happening to Public Education in Florida for years.

 What’s happening to the New College has been happening to Public Education in Florida for years. 

People are rightfully outraged about the proposed plans to turn the new College, Florida’s honors liberal arts university, into the Hillsdale of the south. The thing is DeSantis has been turning Florida’s public education system into the Hillsdale of the south as for quite some time. 

DeSantis has appointed for right ideologues like Ryan Petty, whose hometown rejected him when he ran for school board and QANON conspiracy theorists like Esther Byrd to the state board of education. Neither of these people could get hired as a crossing guard, but there they are, infecting education policy.  There are no educators on the board, and it seems like the two requirements are being completely unqualified or being completely unqualified and haven donated heavily to republican politics.  

He expanded vouchers. Private schools that accept vouchers don’t have to have teachers with certificates or even degrees and can teach whatever they want, including BS like slavery was just African migration and people and dinosaurs lived together, along with as much Jesus stuff they can shovel down kids’ throats. Taxpayers are picking up the dime for all of it too.     

Don’t say gay and stop woke have had a chilling effect on teachers as their jobs have been threatened, and their retirements and liberty as well. 

Then Hillsdale does our civics curriculum. Imagine that. Florida has one of the best university systems in the country. Still, for its civics curriculum, it went to a far-right private college, known for rejecting things like title IX and far-right interpretations of history in Michigan, to write the curriculum. It baffles the mind.  

Bringing in trans-terrorists like Chris Rufo to radically change the New College is despicable and wrong. Still, it just joins a litany of education sins as DeSantis rewrites the age-old adage if you can’t beat them, pass some laws and legislate them into oblivion.   

From Media Matters 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed right-wing activist Christopher Rufo, who rose to national prominence demonizing racial justice advocates and attacking LGBTQ communities, to the board of trustees of the New College of Florida. The appointment is all the more noteworthy given that Rufo lives in Gig Harbor, Washington. 

Rufo is a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and has spent years attempting to inject bigotry and incorrect information into mainstream discourses about gay and trans people, drag queens, and the academic discipline known as critical race theory. Rufo is also a frequent guest on Fox News, including on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time show. 

“My ambition is to help the new board majority transform New College into a classical liberal arts institution,” Rufo tweeted in response to the news. “We are recapturing higher education.” 

Rufo has long wanted to exert conservative control over educational policy, calling teachers “political predators” under a pretext of curriculum transparency. Now, with a new formal appointment, he’s positioned to threaten the safety and well-being of Black and LGBTQ students at New College of Florida, a public liberal arts school with a reportedly significant gay and trans population. 

Recapture higher education from what? Getting a good education. 

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