The big story: Florida’s new standards for the teaching of African American history went viral a day after the State Board of Education adopted them.
Much of the attention focused on a standard suggesting that some enslaved people learned skills that could be used for personal benefit.
In response, the Florida Department of Education issued a statement from two members of the state’s African American History Standards Workgroup doubling down against the mounting criticism.
“The intent of this particular benchmark clarification is to show that some slaves developed highly specialized trades from which they benefitted. This is factual and well documented,” members William Allen and Frances Presley Rice wrote, listing examples such as shoemakers, blacksmiths, tailors and teachers.
A department spokesperson told Fox News that the opposition was about the Florida Education Association teachers union trying to prove its worth, and that the department “proudly” stands behinds the standards.
University leadership: State Rep. Randy Fine has been recruited to become president of Florida Atlantic University, as Republicans seek to exert more control over the State University System, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The search was suspended after three finalists, not including Fine, were named. • Right-wing culture warrior Christopher Rufo has been attempting to derail the candidacy of FAU presidential applicant Vice Admiral Sean Buck, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Teacher shortage: The Martin County School Board unanimously approved spending $255,000 on a program designed to help train paraprofessionals to become teachers, TC Palm reports.
Superintendents: The Palm Beach County School Board extended superintendent Mike Burke’s contract through 2028, WPBF reports. • WLRN took a closer look at new Broward County superintendent Peter Licata’s back story.
Mental health services: The Palm Beach County school district is revising its policy on how to use the Baker Act, after having lost a lawsuit alleging it improperly removed children from school, WPBF reports.
Book challenges: A Clay County parent activist who has objected to thousands of books in the school district has filed a challenge to “Arthur’s Birthday,” a book based on the popular PBS children’s show, Popular Information reports.
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From the court docket ... A judge ruled that a reenactment of the 2018 Parkland school shooting massacre may proceed using live ammunition, WTVJ reports. The event is scheduled as part of a civil lawsuit against former deputy Scot Peterson.
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Before you go ... Since you can’t be in Alaska, cool down with the bears virtually.
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