Ron DeSantis has abandoned his First Amendment defense
David M. Perry, the Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, and how he has been accused of lying about the 2020 election
David M. Perry, a journalist and historian, is the co-author of The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe. He is a senior academic adviser in the history department of the University of Minnesota. Follow him on social media. His own views are expressed here. CNN has more opinion on it.
What’s worse though is that as a politician, Sasse has regularly taken positions that will make it difficult – and according to some of his future prospective students impossible – for him to lead the whole of the University of Florida community.
What Sasse has going for him is political clout and a reputation as a man of integrity, due to his principled criticism of President Donald Trump for lying about the 2020 election and his vote to impeach the president. Why is he potentially aligning himself with a person who wants to become the next generation of Trumpism when he has such integrity?
Why did Ron DeSantis become president of Florida in 2024? The impact of the same-sex marriage ruling on students, staff and administrators
When college presidents have been named before, they have usually been politicians, but in recent years only a small percentage of them have come from elected or appointed office. And as bad as things were in 2014, we’re even more polarized today.
I like Sasse because, like me, he has a PhD in history. He is one of the most well-known history PhDs in American politics. He received his doctorate from Yale in 2004 with a thesis on the rise of the Christian religious right in the US, worked for former President George W. Bush’s administration, and was subsequently the president of a tiny Lutheran college in Nebraska.
The Supreme Court decision that required all states to recognize the same-sex marriage of their own citizens was spoken out against by Sasse. What does the position of the boss mean to the students and staff of Florida? Students are worried.
The kind of reassuring rhetoric used by nominees to the Supreme Court was used to address the criticism that Obergefell is not the law of the land.
If he were to become president of a large university, he would have responsibilities over reproductive health of students and employees since so many access health care from university-affiliated sources.
Some students and advocates say they believe DeSantis has proposed sweeping changes to Florida’s colleges and universities for political gain because he is expected to run for president in 2024.
Diversity, equity and inclusion programs are intended to promote multiculturalism and encourage students of all races and backgrounds to feel comfortable in a campus setting, especially those from traditionally underrepresented communities. The state’s flagship school, the University of Florida, has a “Chief Diversity Officer,” a “Center for Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement” and an “Office for Accessibility and Gender Equity.”
In December, the governor asked all state universities to account for their spending on programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion or critical race theory.
The introduction of a bill in the Florida House that mirrors the ideas of Ron DeSantis for higher education is expected to take place at the New College of Florida rally.
One of DeSantis’ new board members, Eddie Speir, wrote in an online post that he planned to propose in that meeting “terminating all contracts for faculty, staff and administration” of the school, “and immediately rehiring those faculty, staff and administration who fit in the new financial and business model.”
College Board teachers insist that they weren’t consciously bowed to the pressure of the governor when they removed edgier topics from the AP African American History curriculum. But the mechanisms of censorship are insidious – threats and intimidation cause people to shift their views, choose their words and stay away from certain topics without even recognizing that they are doing so.
The organization clarified that the course framework is only an outline, and certain controversial topics such as Black Lives Matter were always optional in the pilot program and not required to be taught.
The course is currently being tested at 60 schools around the U.S., and the official framework is intended to guide the expansion of the course to hundreds of additional high schools in the next academic year. The College Board, which oversees AP courses, said developers consulted with professors from more than 200 colleges, including several historically Black institutions.
The draft curriculum for the pilot classes has gone through several revisions and the College Board is taking their input.
The Wretched of the Earth: Black History Month in Louisiana, taught by Emmitt Glynn and Malina Ouyang
“To wake up on the first day of Black History Month to news of white men in positions of privilege horse trading essential and inextricably linked parts of Black History, which is American history, is infuriating,” said David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. Black trans people, queer people and non-conforming people’s stories should not be diminished or erased.
Students in schools where the course is available have been very fond of it. At Baton Rouge Magnet High School in Louisiana, so many students were interested that Emmitt Glynn is teaching it to two classes, instead of just the one he was originally planning.
His students read a novel by Frantz Fanon, “The Wretched of the Earth” which deals with the violence inherent in colonial societies. In a lively discussion, students connected the text to what they had learned about the conflict between colonizers and Native Americans, to the war in Ukraine and to police violence in Memphis, Tennessee.
“We’ve been covering the gamut from the shores of Africa to where we are now in the 1930s, and we will continue on through history,” Glynn said. He said he was proud to see the connections his students were making between the past and now.
For Malina Ouyang, 17, taking the class helped fill gaps in what she has been taught. “I realized how little is said in other classes,” she said.
Matthew Evans, 16, said the class has educated him on a multitude of perspectives on Black history. The political controversy is not important, according to him.
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program: An “Unflinching Experience with African American History and Culture,” CEO David Coleman said
The College Board offers various AP classes, including math, science, social studies, foreign languages and fine arts. It’s optional to take the courses. College students who do well on the final exam are typically given course credit at their university.
In a written statement Wednesday, College Board CEO David Coleman said the course is “an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African American history and culture.”
“No one is excluded from this course: the Black artists and inventors whose achievements have come to light; the Black women and men, including gay Americans, who played pivotal roles in the Civil Rights movements; and people of faith from all backgrounds who contributed to the antislavery and Civil Rights causes. Everyone is seen,” he said.
The African American Studies course is the latest addition to the College Board’s Advanced Placement, or AP, program, which allows high school students to take classes for college credit.
Her daughter said she was ridiculous that they weren’t letting this one AP class be thought of. “It affects us directly. If we cant learn about the past, our future will not be the same.
Light bulbs go off after I tell them the information. I ask them, ‘How does it affect you? He wanted to know how he felt about learning this. “It’s also new for me, and I’m just taking it in stride. We are making history even though we are learning history.
The Florida Department of Education and the “Slander” Children’s Libertarian Education: Response to an Educator’s Dispatch with the College Board
The Florida Department of Education informed the College Board of its decision to reject the new course in a January 12 letter that later became public and drew widespread criticism from Black leaders in Florida as well as the White House.
In a lengthy statement released Saturday, the national education nonprofit said it should have more quickly addressed claims by Florida’s Department of Education that the course was indoctrinating students and lacked educational value, which the College Board called “slander.”
The organization stated that the changes to the final curriculum the College Board made were not affected by Florida’s public and private objections.
“Florida is attempting to claim a political victory by taking credit retroactively for changes we ourselves made but that they never suggested to us,” the College Board said in a statement.
In January, the Florida Department of Education rejected the new course, with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press secretary Bryan Griffin saying it was a “vehicle for a political agenda.”
Several laws were signed recently that restrict what may be taught in Florida schools. The law called the “Parental Rights in Education” is officially called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, but critics say it’s a ban on classroom discussions of sexual orientation. The Stop W.O.K.E. Act limits how races can be discussed in school.
“We have made the mistake of treating FDOE with courtesy we always accord to an education agency, but they have instead exploited this courtesy for their political agenda,” the organization said in its statement. “After each written or verbal exchange with them, as a matter of professional protocol, we politely thanked them for their feedback and contributions, although they had given none.”
New College Students and Faculty: What Have They Learned and Why Have They Been Done? How Students Are Feeling the Pressure to Change
The denizens of the quiet campus are feeling a pervasive sense of uncertainty. Should they stay, or flee? Is the type of student drawn to New College going to change? Will junior faculty be given tenure? As one of the new trustees suggested, will the board or president fire the staff all at once?
“Everything that’s been happening has been very disruptive,” said Elizabeth C. Leininger, an associate biology professor, noting that the spring semester began the day before the Jan. 31 board meeting. When a storm comes to us here in Florida, everyone is preoccupied.
The college performs poorly in state metrics — such as the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in high-demand fields and the percentage of graduates making at least $30,000 a year after graduation — designed for huge universities with economies of scale that the school just does not have.
Still, unsupported claims by Mr. DeSantis and his allies that New College’s students are being indoctrinated by far-left professors have offended students, faculty, parents and alumni, who feel misrepresented. Many said that the school welcomed young people who might not fit elsewhere — intensely bookish kids, bullied kids, kids with disabilities, queer kids — and required them to be driven.
Many of the young adults who are self-electing are progressive and feel drawn to the existing student body. They said that it wasn’t necessarily a correlation between what is taught in classes and students’ views.
Joshua, who plans on graduating from New College in the fall, said that he is more conservative there now that he has completed his college work. He said that professors who teach many points of view encourages students to make their own decisions. He changed his major to quantitative economics to become an investment banker or a corporate lawyer.
A protest against the rejection of a new advanced placement course on African American studies at the Tallahassee State Capitol on Wednesday
Hundreds of marchers, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and other activists, held a protest outside of the state capitol on wednesday over the rejection of a new advanced placement course for African american studies
“If you would have studied history long enough, you would have known to mess with us in education always ends in your defeat,” Sharpton told the crowd of marchers in Tallahassee.
To know how bad you were, and to know how strong they are, our children need to know the whole story. They were fighters from the back of the bus to the front of the White House.
“Make note that we are all marching together,” said Sharpton, noting that the crowd included members of the LGBTQ, Native American and Latinx communities. “You should have left us alone. You brought us all together.
The marchers chanted slogans like, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ron DeSantis has got to go!” And I am Black and I am proud. Some carried signs with messages such as “Save our history” and “We will not be silenced.”
Shaia Simmons, a former teacher at the march, called the state’s rejection of the new course a gross injustice.
The testing organization behind the new course last weekend accused the state Education Department of “slander” and spreading misinformation about it for political gain.
The framework of the new course on African American studies were released by the College Board earlier this month but some of the topics objected to were removed.
In January, DeSantis replaced six of the 13 members on the college’s board of trustees with conservative allies, including Christopher Rufo, who has fueled the fight against critical race theory.
Richard Corcoran was appointed as interim president by the board after the president was forced out. Corcoran will serve on the job from February 27 to September 1, 2024, and will earn a base salary of $699,000.
A Critique of Anti-DEI Measures in Higher Education Policies: New College of Florida as a Test Case for Conservatism in Schools
“People are very scared for what’s to come, especially kids who aren’t graduating any time soon,” Sharf told CNN. This is a political act that is hostile.
The New College of Florida has seen a decline inEnrolling and is focused too much on diversity and inclusion, according to the office of the governor.
Some critics also worry the state might influence other Republican-led states to adopt similar measures, dwindling their options even further. Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demanded that state agencies stop using diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in hiring with his office, calling the practice “illegal.”
DEI programs and policies are created to help people who have been discriminated against due to their race, religion, or sexual orientation.
The American Association of University Professors said that people could go to a school in another state if they want to get a graduate degree.
“The consequences for students are enormous,” Mulvey said. “They are denied the opportunity to learn and grow, students are denied the opportunity to hear important perspectives. That’s the real tragedy.”
The executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition said that policy makers in Florida will only push people away from higher education if they reject diversity and inclusion.
“So much of what the policies are designed to do and the language more specifically … is to tell people that they don’t matter,” he said. The way in which they attempt to strengthen democracy does not matter, and should not be considered part of the version of America that they are now calling classical.
Johns likened the risks of anti-DEI measures to anti-abortion legislation adopted by several other states after Georgia passed the “heartbeat bill” in 2018. He believes New College of Florida is a test case for pushing conservatism in schools.
Some students at New College of Florida are already considering other options for their education. The school has 700 students and 100 full-time faculty.
The New College of Florida: How to be a Hilldale of the South, or How to become a ‘Classical’ College for Black Students
Sharf was concerned that the new board would erase the queer culture on campus, making the college more attractive for traditional affluent White students.
Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz said in a statement that officials wanted New College of Florida to “become Florida’s classical college, more along the lines of a Hillsdale of the South.” Hillsdale College is a private conservative Christian college in southern Michigan.
Sharf said that he would not want to attend a school that was named Hilldale of the South. I would probably have to leave, because it wouldn’t be friendly to trans students.
Alex Obraud, a third-year anthropology student, said DeSantis’ overhaul feels like backlash against the nation’s progress on LGBTQ rights and racial justice.
Obraud thinks that it is an attempt to undermine the educational freedom and the safe space that universities across the country offer for students.
Making education accessible to everyone is a huge part of making sure that people feel safe and in a good place to learn, Obraud said.
Chris Kottke, a math professor at the New College of Florida, rejected Republican lawmakers’ claims that the school was a bastion of liberal indoctrination.
Instructors have always taught students not to think in a certain way. Kottke said while most of the diverse clubs on campus don’t rely on state funding, he worries about whether they will be able to continue to safely operate.
Free Enterprise as a Mean to an End – A Reconciling DeSantis, Trump, and the Problem of Education in Florida
DeSantis has built his political reputation on protecting the rights of others. He called his spending plan the Freedom First Budget, and this year’s financial blueprint theFramework for Freedom. He pitched the tourism slogan “Vacation to Freedom” during the pandemic and “Freedom over Faucism” is a frequent applause line in his speeches. On election night last fall, he stood victorious behind a podium adorned with a sign: “Freedom Lives Here.”
DeSantis is so far drawing the most support from Republicans looking to move on from former President Donald Trump, according to recent polls. Some have suggested DeSantis could be Trump without the baggage of his first term, his two campaigns and his post-presidency obsession with the 2020 election. For his part, DeSantis has privately told supporters he believes Trump’s divisiveness and addiction to political drama distracted from advancing his agenda. Some around the governor believe that he can beat the former president in a primary, but that Trump is more effective.
As Florida state lawmakers met earlier this month to hand DeSantis new authority over Disney World – punishment for the company’s opposition to a measure restricting certain classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity – Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire took a shot at the power grab.
Sununu, who is considering a bid for president, said he is a free-market conservative. “For others out there that think that the government should be penalizing your business because they disagree with you politically, that isn’t very conservative.”
Progressive leaders need to draw the line at approaches that seek to silence criticism, including through demonization and stigmatization that make the cost of raising questions too high. Conservatives need to reject a approach that involves out-and-out government censorship and chilling of speech. Florida education officials should teach administrators, principals and teachers how to maintain a classroom that is open to all ideas, rather than react to the exclusion of views they want to keep.
The Florida governor said at the National Conservatism Conference last year thatCorporatism is not the same as free enterprise and that Republicans have wrongly viewed limited government as a way to do the economy. free enterprise is the best economic system but that is a means to an end.
The State of the Art and the State of Public Works: A Critique of Rastafist Insensitivity by a Republican Supporter of Bill DeSantis
“Being perceived as racially insensitive is not a good place for him to be in the long term,” a Republican supporter of DeSantis said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly about an area of rising worry.
The supporter said that the fight between the College Board and the governor could be alienating to some voters who would otherwise support him.
But Republicans voters have yet to be introduced to many potential contenders for the party nomination. The Club for Growth has indicated they will get involved in the primary.
Frayda Levin, a member of the Club for Growth’s board of directors, said there is great interest in DeSantis but she is increasingly concerned that he has become “too heavy-handed” in his pursuit of hot-button social issues. One of the six Republicans invited to a Club for Growth donor summit in Florida is Ron Dellesq, a man that Trump has criticized. They include former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Sen. Tim Scott of Virginia.
“I’m a genuine libertarian; I’m kind of a live-and-let-live kind of girl,” Levin told CNN. She said she has no problem with candidates espousing strongly held personal beliefs on social issues but said she objects to DeSantis “putting the power of his state behind his socially conservative views.”
“DeSantis is always talking about he was not demanding that businesses do things, but he was telling the cruise lines what they had to do,” former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow Republican, said of DeSantis last year. Hogan has criticized the Florida governor as he considers entering the race for the GOP nomination.
Meanwhile, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another potential GOP contender, has also compared her Covid19 record against DeSantis in ways that suggest Florida was too hands-on – for ideologically disparate reasons. Noem said Friday it was her state, not Florida, that “set an example of freedom” by refusing to shut down at all. Early in the Pandemic, Florida, which has been referred to as a Citadel of Freedom and closed schools, bars and theme parks, restricted other economic activity.
Reconciling State Power and Freedom of Speech: A Conversation with a Founding Governor, Rufo, Griffin, and DeSantis
He has often included government programs such as an office to pursue voter fraud and a new program to conduct missions to surveil, house and tranforming migrants from border states into Democratic states, or flexing government power in unprecedented manners.
DeSantis’ allies have pushed back against the growing chatter. Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at Manhattan Institute, alleged on his verified account that the governor was using his power as an elected leader because of his 19-point victory in the November election.
“The complaint about using ‘state power,’ meaning constitutionally-mandated democratic governance, to correct the ideological corruption of public universities, i.e., state institutions funded by taxpayers, is ridiculous,” Rufo tweeted. The people can’t regulate the state.
Even where there is apprehension among allies, he has not lost their support. The billionaire owner of Citadel and a major philanthropist said that he was troubled by the governor’s move against Disney.
But later in 2022, Griffin touted DeSantis’ “tremendous record” in an interview with Politico and suggested he would back the Florida governor in the GOP primary for president.
DeSantis has also sought to shut down a drag show, citing a 1947 legal precedent banning “men impersonating women.” He has proposed to challenge the landmark Supreme Court decision on libel, narrowing the scope of press freedom.
To escape this escalating tit-for-tat battle of assaults on speech will demand leadership. University presidents need to make sure that everyone gets a fair hearing on campus. They must resist legislation that micromanages curriculum and undermines academic freedom.
DeSantis and his supporters are not wrong to call out the quest for a more inclusive and equitable society when it veers into the outright suppression of speech and ideas. Progressives too often forget that the movements they wage – whether for racial justice, gender justice, climate or anything else – depend upon free speech protections to guarantee the space for dissent; and that such protections must apply equally to speech with which they disagree. Some fail to acknowledge that the solutions can be derived from outside their own ideological spheres.
Questions about pronouns, bathrooms, sports and the autonomy of adolescents have been raised by the new visibility and appreciation of trans and non-binary identities and rights. The 2020 murder of George Floyd spurred schools, colleges and companies to take new steps aimed to root out the entrenched, stubborn legacy of racism in their institutions. These are positive developments, vital to bringing about a more inclusive and equal society.
Efforts to promote equity cross over into censoriousness in some cases. Last week, a publisher announced they would remove references to overweight, wig-wearers and people with horse-like features in books by the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The play “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler was scrapped by a student because the script didn’t acknowledge that not all women have vaginas.
Some curricula and programs offer simplistic, monolithic or flat-out illiberal ideas about racial issues, dismissing challenging questions or alternative perspectives as rooted in racism, reeking of undeserved privilege or otherwise beyond the pale.
In 2020, professor Charles Negy was fired at the University of Central Florida because of his social media postings about black privilege. The university claimed that he was guilty of improper conduct, but an arbiter ordered him back to work. The incident seemed to form part of a broader pattern at the University.
The school community has been up in arms for weeks, with many students saying they fear the college will no longer be a safe place for the LGBTQ community or other marginalized groups. There have been several protests on the campus since the leadership changes.
The bill, filed this week, would also require that general education courses at state colleges and universities promote the values necessary to preserve the republic and cannot define American history in a way that is contrary to the Declaration of Independence. General courses would not be allowed with a curriculum based on exploratory or speculative content.
The bill, filed by a Republican lawmaker last week, would put board of trustee members in charge of faculty hiring; defund diversity, equity and inclusion programs; eliminate majors or minors related to critical race theory or gender studies; and authorize boards of trustees to review tenure of faculty.
The New College of Florida has been in the middle of a debate over control of the small liberal arts college.
New College of Florida has always encouraged “free academic thought” according to Leffler. Lawmakers, he said, are trying to strip away that freedom by telling students what they can and can’t study.
The bill was praised by Rufo, who said on Twitter that it restores the “principle of colorblind equality in higher ed.” The director of the initiative on critical race theory is Rufo.