Historical events, documents like the Declaration of Independence, and our founding have been misrepresented as being designed to protect white males…
Once again, I had the opportunity to review curriculums for the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). This year, social studies was up for evaluation. Though I was optimistic, I found many examples of critical race theory and bias.
Bias is seen when the book refers to illegal aliens as “undocumented immigrants,” characterizes them as victims, and tries to elicit empathy to their situation. Additionally, citizen is defined as "a member of a community of people who owe loyalty to a government and are entitled to its protection." This is inconsistent with the 14th Amendment (state standard SS.7.CG.2.1) and a standard dictionary definition, because there is no mention of the requirement of birth or naturalization in order to get protection from a state or nation. Secondly, the book states that there is voter suppression today due to Trump supporters who claim votes were illegally cast in 2020. Why are “Trump supporters” even mentioned in a Civics curriculum?
Historical events, documents like the Declaration of Independence, and our founding have been misrepresented as being designed to protect white males, and that citizenship was only for white men who owned property. In fact, the book consistently portrays white men negatively using inaccurate statements, half-truths, or by omitting facts. One omission was African American slaves were offered freedom at the end of their service in the Revolutionary War. Instead, the book highlighted that the war offered free white men “a fabulous opportunity for upward social mobility.” African American men throughout American history have been erased so the Civics book could falsely claim that “Congress consisted of only white men for many years.” Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi and Representative Joseph Rainey of South Carolina became the first African Americans to serve in Congress in 1870. What about the 5,000+ enslaved and free African Americans who served the cause of Independence from 1775-1781, Quock Walker or Mum Bett whose cases in Massachusetts ended slavery in the state in the 1780s, or Benjamin Banneker, the mathematician, astronomer, surveyor, farmer, and almanac author who was recommended by Thomas Jefferson to help survey Washington D.C., making Banneker one of the first African American civil servants in the United States?
The weaknesses of the content, critical race theory, consistent negative portrayal of white men, and factual errors of historical events should be enough to reject the Civics, Florida Edition book and closely look into McGraw Hill for similar passages.
What can be done? Participating in curriculum reviews going on in school districts or within the state helps tremendously. This way, findings are reported directly to the people in charge and will better the chances of rejecting the book. Catching these curriculums while they’re in the review process will work best to stop their purchase. After all, who wants to spend millions of dollars on a book that tells students that there has never been a “true communist economy?”
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PDF version of review: