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Disputing Textbooks: Disarray

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This column series offers replies to what is published in the current “text books,” which are adopted by the State and school districts.

BY HAMILTON HANSON

The education in Florida, the Florida Department of Education and Hernando School District are ALLL in disarray. I spent from January 2023 until now trying to gather information about the operations of this group of entities. Across the state, there are others who are plodding through the same or similar roadblocks to achieve a high-quality education for the students in Florida.

When I and others send letters to the Governor about education, even though he is a busy person, it is shameful that he cannot take the time – or have a staff member respond – to the queries. A good CEO does not merely pass off correspondence to an underling for a canned or unrelated response.

Unfortunately, that system is exactly the same as is being used here in Hernando County – no responses from the leaders, just pablum from employees and board members, in hopes it all goes away.

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In efforts to raise the education standards and the amount and types of information presented to students from Kindergarten to 12th grade, Florida has codified “s. 1003.41, Florida Statutes, which describes the core curricular content to be taught in the state of Florida in grades K-12, and
“s. 1003.42, Florida Statutes, Required Instruction – which provides for required courses and instruction to ensure that students meet State Board of Education-adopted standards. Most specifically:
“Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historic accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction.”

The amount of historical misinformation in our classrooms – as seen by the currently uneducated citizenry – is untenable.

The disarray is most evident when – in citizen attempts to learn the process and/or provide correct information to both the state Department of Education and the local Hernando County School District – each organization points the finger at the other, writing that the specific information to be taught to the students is not their responsibility.

Because CIVICS – the study of our United States governments – is of primary concern, it is important for all residents to know that “democracy,” by the Constitution, is not an authorized type of US government.

To determine the disarray regarding democracy, the question is: When was the last time you were allowed to sit on the dais of our school board, city council, county commission, or on the “floor” of the state house of representatives or state senate and vote on ANY item of legislation or policy brought before those organizations. Since, and particularly because, we do not have that authority, we cannot by definition, therefore be a “democracy.”

For certain segments of our population to continue to use that word in relation to our “Republican form of government” and for our education system to continue to teach such is a true travesty and is a paramount symptom of disarray.

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