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Crazy Curriculum Additions in Florida for 2023 – Will Your Kids Be Ready?

As we step into 2023, crazy curriculum additions in Florida seem to be the buzzword among parents and teachers alike. This term refers to a series of unexpected and unique changes that Florida’s education system will implement in the upcoming academic year. These additions have stirred up quite a discussion, leaving many wondering, “Will our kids be ready?”

Florida’s public school curriculum has seen many transformations over the years. From the introduction of Common Core to its recent replacement with the B.E.S.T. standards, the state has continually strived to provide a robust and comprehensive education for its students. But the changes set to take place in 2023 are unlike anything we’ve seen before.

These new additions cover a broad range of topics, some of which have sparked controversy. From unusual educational resources to changes in teaching, it is undergoing a significant overhaul. As we delve into these changes, it’s important to remember that the ultimate goal is to prepare our children for the future, no matter how ‘crazy’ the methods might seem.

The End of Common Core: Florida’s Shift to B.E.S.T.

The shift from Common Core to B.E.S.T. (Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking) in the 2023 academic year marked a significant turning point in Florida’s education system. This change was initiated by Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order 19-32, which aimed to eliminate ‘Crazy Math’ and other elements of the Common Core, as stated on the Florida Department of Education’s official website.

Jacob Oliva, Chancellor of the Florida Board of Education, explained that the new B.E.S.T. standards are designed to promote clear and concise learning objectives. They aim to boost students’ critical thinking skills and prepare them for future challenges, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Here’s how this shift might impact students:

  • Standardized Tests: With the implementation of B.E.S.T. standards, most state-standardized tests will be replaced with the SAT and/or ACT, aligning Florida’s educational benchmarks with nationally recognized testing standards according to USATestPrep.
  • Mathematics and Language Arts: The new standards focus more on enhancing students’ understanding of mathematics and language arts. The intent is to move away from rote learning towards fostering a deeper understanding of these fundamental subjects as explained by We Are Teachers.
  • History Teaching: The new history standards have sparked some controversy. Critics argue they may not adequately represent the diversity and complexity of American history, as highlighted by the National Education Association.

This transition to B.E.S.T. represents a significant step for Florida’s education system. As these new standards are implemented, it will be crucial to monitor their effect on student learning outcomes.

Embracing Diversity: Florida’s New Black History Guidelines

The Florida Department of Education has recently made significant changes to its guidelines for teaching Black history in public schools. These changes, as outlined on the department’s official website, aim to provide a more in-depth and accurate portrayal of African-American history and contributions. However, these changes have not been without controversy, as reported by various sources such as EdWeek and CNN.

Here’s a closer look at some key aspects of these new guidelines:

  • African American Experiences and Contributions: The guidelines aim to delve deeper into the experiences and contributions of African Americans in early Florida, as highlighted by Florida’s State Academic Standards – Social Studies, 2023. The objective is to provide students with a more comprehensive understanding of African-American history.
  • Positive Influences: For students in kindergarten through fourth grade, the standards encourage them to recognize and identify African Americans who have had “positive influences” on society, as noted by the Tampa Bay Times.
  • Controversial Perspectives: Some elements of the new standards have drawn criticism. For example, as reported by NBC News, there’s controversy over the suggestion that some Black people benefited from slavery because it taught them useful skills.
  • General Backlash: The new guidelines have faced backlash for a variety of reasons. Critics argue that the teaching of racism has been limited, bypassing much of the state’s African American history, as noted by The New York Times.

These new guidelines denote a significant shift in Florida’s approach to teaching Black history. As the debate continues, it will be vital to observe how these changes are implemented and received in classrooms across the state.

The Rise of PragerU: An Unusual Addition to Classroom Resources

The recent decision by the Florida Board of Education to incorporate videos from PragerU Kids into K-12 curricula is a significant development in the field of education. This change in educational resources, as reported by outlets such as WUSF and NPR, reflects a broader shift in the landscape of learning resources.

Here are the key aspects of this landmark decision:

  • First State to Approve: Florida has become the pioneer state to sanction the use of these educational videos in public schools, as outlined by WUSF. The videos, which are aimed at children in kindergarten through sixth grade, offer a new dimension to classroom teaching.
  • Content and Usage: The videos, which can be used both within the classroom setting or assigned as homework, cover a diverse range of topics. They aim to foster critical thinking skills among students, a vital aspect of modern education, as noted by Time.
  • Controversy and Backlash: However, the decision has not been without its critics. Concerns have been raised about potential biases within the curriculum offered by the videos, leading to controversy, as reported by WFSU.
  • Spread Beyond Florida: The influence of these educational videos is not limited to Florida. Other states have also approved the use of this content in their schools, indicating a growing acceptance of this type of learning resource, as stated by WTSP.

This decision marks a significant milestone in Florida’s educational journey. As discussions continue around the implications of this decision, its impact on the future of education in Florida and potentially in other states will be keenly observed.

State Laws and Their Impact on Curriculum and Pronoun Use

Florida’s education system has recently undergone significant changes due to a series of state laws. These laws have had far-reaching implications, affecting teaching about race, gender identity, and sexuality in schools.

  • Curriculum Restrictions: An article by Education Week highlights that these new laws impose specific restrictions on school curricula. These limitations not only confine the scope of discussions within classrooms but also introduce a degree of uncertainty and disruption in educational settings.
  • Effects on Teachers and Students: The voices of students and teachers are crucial in assessing the impact of these laws. As reported by WUSF, there is growing concern that these regulations suppress free expression in schools, creating a climate of anxiety and caution that affects both teaching and learning experiences.
  • Impact on Parental Rights: The new laws enhance parental rights in their children’s education, calling for greater transparency in curriculum content. According to an article from Florida Phoenix, this development empowers parents with more control and involvement in determining what their children are taught in schools.
  • Governor’s Role: Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has been instrumental in driving these changes. An analysis by Vox reveals his conservative vision for education has polarized opinions, garnering both commendations for promoting traditional values and criticism for potentially stifling diversity and inclusivity.

The repercussions of these laws on Florida’s education system are still being determined. It is crucial to monitor the ongoing effects on students, teachers, and the broader educational landscape in the state.

Parental Control: The New Requirement for Nickname Use in Schools

In Florida, a new rule has been introduced that necessitates parental consent for students to use nicknames in schools. This shift has sparked discussions about the balance between parental control and student identity in education.

  • The New Rule: According to a report by WESH, the new legislation requires Florida schools to seek written permission from parents for students to use nicknames. It signifies that a student’s preferred name can only be recognized in school if it has been formally approved by their parents.
  • Governor’s Involvement: As highlighted by News-JournalOnline, Governor Ron DeSantis has been a driving force in implementing this change. The nickname rule is part of a broader initiative by his administration to enhance parental authority in educational matters.
  • Impact on School Districts: The rule is now being enforced across various school districts in Florida, as per a news piece by WFLA. Consequently, parents are required to provide signed consent if they wish for their child to use a nickname in the classroom setting.
  • Critics’ Views: Some critics, as cited by People, have expressed concern that this rule could disproportionately affect certain student populations. They argue that it may limit the ability of students to freely express their identities within the school environment.

The Final Bell: Unpacking the Florida School Changes

To sum up, the education system in Florida is currently experiencing some ground-breaking changes. These changes range from the utilization of contentious educational videos to the implementation of regulations governing curriculum content and pronoun usage, resulting in widespread transformations. Parents now have a greater say in what their children learn, and even the nicknames students use need parental approval. 

However, these changes haven’t come without their critics, with concerns voiced about the freedom of expression and the potential for bias. As we move forward, it’s crucial to continue monitoring these developments. Will these changes truly prepare our kids for the future, or could they be more of a hindrance than a help? Only time will tell.

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