By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
Two weeks ago, Representative Byron Donalds filed K-12 education bill HB 827 to improve the selection of instructional materials by the Florida Department of Education. The bill gives redress to families who are tired of textbooks that trash America, promote Islam, and seem to prefer socialism over the free markets. Here’s a summary of what the bill (as filed) does:
- Parents and Residents can recommend alternative materials for both district and state reviewers. Examples could beHillsdale and Project Freedom history textbooks and classical literature
- Allows district school boards to select instructional materials that are more rigorous that current Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
- Moves the adoption process from the FL DOE Commissioner to the State Board of Education to approve materials
- Establishes a process for residents to have access to the materials and provide comments on all materials being considered for adoption
The Florida Citizens’ Alliance (FLCA) has been advocating for reforming the Florida Department of Education instructional materials selection process in two simple, effective ways: materials must meet the requirements of Florida law, and the materials must meet common sense quality criteria.
FLCA wants to encourage Representative Donalds to engage the challenge, seize the opportunity and strengthen the bill. We need a bill that improves the evaluation of the content of instructional materials. Here’s what we strongly urge him to add to the bill:
- Require the FL DOE Commissioner to “certify” the recommended materials
- Follow Florida law
- Meet quality criteria
- Increase the public access and review process to 45 days from 20 days.