This may be a mistake, as in it should probably be a new thread. But, anyway, the bleeding head Ron DeSantis, the very Trumpian governor of Florida, who is now trying to out-Trump Trump, is pushing a law that would ban Florida universities from teaching any courses with a curriculum based on theoretical content. The specific phrasing is “with a curriculum based on unproven, theoretical or exploratory content”. Florida is slipping into the sea anyway, so it may not matter much, but worth a thought for anybody with an academic interest that leans toward theory (of any kind, really).
Fact check: based on the text
, I'd call that FALSE.
From the text of the bill:
Section 1000.05(4)(a), which I think was passed into law last year and which (by my reading) completely obliterates provisions that had been related to affirmative action, reads
"... and provide direction to each constituent university on removing from its programs any major or minor in Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, or Intersectionality, or any derivative major or minor of these belief systems, which is any major or minor that engenders beliefs in the concepts defined in s. 1000.05(4)(a)."
Section 1000.05(4) had previously read
(4)(a) It shall constitute discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex under this section to subject any student or employee to training or instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such student or employee to believe any of the following concepts:
1. Members of one race, color, national origin, or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin, or sex.
2. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
3. A person’s moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.
4. Members of one race, color, national origin, or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, color, national origin, or sex.
5. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex, bears responsibility for, or should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of, actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex.
6. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex, should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.
7. A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the person played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex.
8. Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, national origin, or sex to oppress members of another race, color, national origin, or sex.
Back to the bill:
(4) Public schools and Florida College System institutions shall develop and implement methods and strategies to increase the participation of students of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status in programs and courses in which students of that particular race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status have been traditionally underrepresented, including, but not limited to, mathematics, science, computer technology, electronics, communications technology, engineering, and career education.
That just seems kind of scary/weird to me: some central authority is going to decide how post-secondary educational institutions should educate students for citizenship, and decide what cultivates "the intellectual autonomy of its undergraduate students?" Haven't we seen that movie before?
Each university shall submit, as a component of the university's annual accountability plan:
3. Documentation of its efforts to promote the education for citizenship of the constitutional republic and the cultivation of the intellectual autonomy of its undergraduate students.
"Courses with a curriculum based on unproven, theoretical, or exploratory content are best suited to fulfill elective or specific program prerequisite credit requirements, rather than general education credit requirements."
This section has the language quoted by bearish, and it bans the described courses only for core ("general") educational requirements. So bearish's claim is, on it's face, incorrect. However ...
Um ... clarification, please: are these post-secondary educational institutions supposed to "promote the philosophical underpinnings of Western civilization" or cultivate "the intellectual autonomy of its undergraduate students?" Because these are opposite things, whether the government of the State of Florida realizes it or not. Perhaps "inform about the philosophical underpinnings ..." would be better than "promote."
"(3) General education courses must:
(d) Whenever applicable, promote the philosophical underpinnings of Western civilization and include studies of this nation's historical documents, including the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments thereto, and the Federalist Papers."
Seems like affirmative action abolished under cover of objecting to Critical Race Theory ...
(b) A state university is prohibited from using diversity, equity, and inclusion statements, Critical Race Theory rhetoric, or other forms of political identity filters as part of the hiring process, including as part of applications for employment, promotion and tenure, conditions of employment, or reviewing qualifications for employment. This paragraph applies to the hiring process for any position at the university, including the position of president of the university.
Um ... does this mean that anything that claims that "all men are created equal" should not be promoted through such funds, because it espouses equity? I'd just like to make sure we're completely clear about that ...
(1) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a Florida College System institution, state university, Florida College System institution direct-support organization, or state university direct-support organization may not, directly or through a contract, grant, or agreement that provides services, shall expend any funds, regardless of source, to:
(b) Promote, support, or maintain any programs or campus activities that violate s. 1000.05(4)(a) or that espouse diversity, equity, and inclusion or Critical Race Theory rhetoric.
What utter bullshit. Can the "significant historical event" of the racially delineated institution of slavery in America -- and the system of official apartheid that followed it -- be taught at all, given that teaching it would inevitably define "American history as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence?" How could any person of good conscience and a minimal amount of intellect be comfortable with abiding by laws crafted so poorly and apparently by people so monumentally unfit for the task?
I mean, if we're going to "promote the education for citizenship of the constitutional republic" based on fictional work -- such as the imaginary nation "based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence" -- shouldn't we scour literature to find the fictional work that best serves promoting good citizenship? Maybe something gleaned from The Lord of the Rings -- didn't elves, dwarves, hobbits, and men get along pretty well for awhile in that? -- could be used.
(c) General education core courses may not suppress or distort significant historical events or include a curriculum that teaches identity politics, such as Critical Race Theory, or defines American history as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.