JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Tonight, a member of the Duval County School Board spoke to News4JAX about Florida’s controversial new educational standards for African Americans and how the new curriculum could be rolled out to local schools.
Darryl Wyllie, a student of academic standards, not only disagrees with the new curriculum that requires Florida educators to talk about the personal benefits of slavery, he’s also concerned about what’s left out of African-American studies in Florida.
“So there are parts of the story that are either left out or left out for whatever reason,” Willey said.
TELL US: What do you think of the Florida Board of Education’s new standards for teaching African American history?
School Board member Darryl Wyllie, who recently read all 216 pages of the Florida State Academic Standards, says the new standards do not reveal the full history of African Americans. He says the new curriculum does not mention black history over the past 150 years. And says the standards equate American slavery with slavery in Asia and elsewhere in an attempt to downplay the atrocities.
“I think people are trying to do what they are really trying to say when it comes to slavery, everyone had slaves at the time. So it wasn’t all that bad. Everyone did it,” said Willy.
Another issue for this member of the local school board is a one-line clarification that obliges the instruction to include how the slaves developed skills that, in some cases, can be applied to their own personal gain.
It is for this reason that Willy says he made this t-shirt in his garage, which can be seen here in a photo that has gone viral on social media. Here’s how he says certain subjects can be taught in high schools in Florida.
“Now this is something that is becoming a priority for teaching in the classroom. So, after all, the teacher now has a “here’s what you need to cover by the end of this year” list. And now this is the standard that must be met,” said Willy.
The new African American Studies curriculum was approved last week by the Florida Department of Education’s black history task force, which News4JAX has learned teamed up with allies of Governor DeSantis in May. Four of the six members were previously appointed by Governor DeSantis, and five of the six are active in Republican politics.
Willie explains the next steps for the new curriculum.
“Usually when standards are adopted, they go into a kind of workshop period where they start figuring out what standards can be implemented. I’m not sure exactly what the timing is, but we’ll find out too. And then we can really get a better idea of how they will actually show up in the classroom this year for our students here and in Duval County,” Willy said.
We have learned that original task force member on African American history Dr. Brenda Walker and other Florida educators are now asking the Board of Education to put the standards on the table until the recommendations of the original task force are considered or that the controversial clarifications are discarded. It is unclear whether the Board of Education will grant this request.
Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.