New Florida legislation bans ‘identity politics’ in teacher preparation programs

by | May 2, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a legislation revising educator preparation program standards to prohibit curriculum that distorts historical events or promotes identity politics.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Thursday that implements revised curriculum standards for Florida’s educator preparation programs.

The measure reshapes the training and instructional content in teacher preparation programs, Educator Preparation Institutes (EPIs), and Professional Learning Certification Programs across the state.

Under the bill’s purview, preparation programs would be unauthorized from incorporating curriculum that could “distort significant historical events” or “promote identity politics.” It specifically outlaws educational content that suggests systemic issues like racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are embedded in the U.S. institutions to perpetuate social, political, and economic inequalities.

“People want to parents want to send their kids to school, knowing they’re getting an education,” DeSantis said at a Thursday press conference to commemorate the bill’s signing. “I don’t think they’re interested in an indoctrination. I don’t think that parents care if a teacher has a certain political cause that they care about or political ideology. That’s not the appropriate venue for that.”

According to a House legislative analysis, the bill is aligned with the Florida Educational Equity Act (FEEA), reinforcing the act’s anti-discrimination provisions in educational programs and employment, which prevent exclusion based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or marital status.

Furthermore, the law requires that all specified educator preparation programs equip candidates to “think critically, achieve mastery of academic program content, learn effective instructional strategies, and demonstrate competence in educational practices.” It also mandates that school leader preparation programs provide training that includes instructional leadership strategies, coaching development, school safety, and continuous improvement efforts.


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