fbpx

Rule must show students, educators some respect

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association believes that all our students deserve the best education possible. We believe further that educators deserve professional respect — for their earned expertise in teaching, for their commitment to a code of ethics that requires them to be impartial and uphold the truth and, above all, for their commitment to students.

As put forward by the Florida Department of Education, the proposed amendment to rule 6A-1.094124 falls short on both counts and appears to have a political, rather than educational, motive. As it stands, the “Required Instruction Planning and Reporting” rule amendment should be rejected by the State Board of Education when it meets Thursday in Jacksonville. However, the rule language could be corrected to better serve students and acknowledge educators as professionals while removing the politically charged language, such as the use of the word “indoctrinate.”

“Students deserve the best education we can provide, and that means giving them a true picture of their world and our shared history as Americans. Hiding facts doesn’t change them. Give kids the whole truth and equip them to make up their own minds and think for themselves,” said FEA President Andrew Spar. “If giving students a good education is the goal, the rule could be amended to say in part: ‘Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective, and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow.’”

The FEA will submit proposed changes to the rule for consideration at the State Board of Education meeting on Thursday. Please find FEA’s proposed changes and our prepared comments on the rule amendment attached.

Every day across our state, public school teachers are trusted to teach and care for Florida’s children. Teachers earned this trust because they know that regardless of race, background or ZIP code, every child should get the education they deserve — an education that imparts honesty, integrity, independent critical thinking based on facts and the courage to do what is right. Public education was a uniquely American concept now adapted by countries around the world. These countries continue to look in awe at the United States for our ability to teach creative thinking and ingenuity. 

Our children must have the tools and guidance to face and understand our past and present in order to create a better future.

CONTACT: Joni Branch, joni.branch@floridaea.org, (850) 201-3223

###


The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with 150,000 members. FEA represents PreK-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational staff professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.

UFF leads fight for intellectual freedom

University of Florida students and faculty gather Nov. 12, 2021, to advocate for free speech and academic freedom. The United Faculty of Florida, FEA’s higher education affiliate, has stepped forward…

Read more about UFF leads fight for intellectual freedom

Celebrating American Education Week

Neighborhood public schools are a vital part of our communities, and about 90 percent of Florida’s students are educated in public schools. Join us in celebrating public education and all…

Read more about Celebrating American Education Week

Op-ed: Curing Covid wouldn’t fix teacher, staff shortages

The reports of severe staffing shortages in our schools keep coming. In districts throughout the state, there aren’t enough people to teach, transport, feed and otherwise care for Florida’s students.…

Read more about Op-ed: Curing Covid wouldn’t fix teacher, staff shortages

New numbers make clear the severity of staff shortages in our schools

As senators may take up a bill Tuesday that would help get more support staff working in our schools, a new count of advertised vacancies makes clear just how desperate…

Read more about New numbers make clear the severity of staff shortages in our schools

Governor’s education plan falls short — all of Florida’s children deserve strong public schools

As we enter a third pandemic year, Florida’s public schools are facing a significant crisis. Every student has been affected by disruptions related to Covid. Second-graders have never experienced a…

Read more about Governor’s education plan falls short — all of Florida’s children deserve strong public schools

FEA: We look forward to finding solutions that truly meet students’ needs

As Gov. DeSantis releases his state budget recommendations for 2022-2023, the Florida Education Association (FEA) is looking ahead to the legislative session and what needs to happen for our students,…

Read more about FEA: We look forward to finding solutions that truly meet students’ needs