Florida and Kamala Harris: A Clash Over Education

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The Florida Board of Education in a hearing over CRT (Image Credit: EducationWeek)

The Florida Board of Education and Vice President Kamala Harris have found themselves at odds over various education policies. As the governing body responsible for overseeing Florida’s public education system, the board has implemented several controversial measures that have drawn criticism from Harris and other education advocates.  

One of the primary areas of disagreement between the Florida Board of Education and Kamala Harris is the issue of school choice and voucher programs. The board has been a strong proponent of expanding school choice options, including the use of vouchers to allow students to attend private schools using public funds. Harris, on the other hand, has expressed concerns about the potential negative impact of such programs on public schools, arguing that they divert resources away from underfunded public institutions.

Another point of contention revolves around standardized testing. The Florida Board of Education has been criticized for its heavy reliance on standardized tests to evaluate student performance and teacher effectiveness. Critics argue that this approach narrows the curriculum and places undue pressure on students and teachers. Kamala Harris has voiced support for reducing the emphasis on standardized testing, advocating for a more holistic approach to evaluating student achievement.

The issue of funding for public education has also been a source of disagreement. The Florida Board of Education has faced criticism for its allocation of resources, with concerns raised about disparities in funding between affluent and low-income school districts. Kamala Harris has been a vocal advocate for increased investment in public education, arguing that adequate funding is crucial to ensure equal opportunities for all students.

The Florida Board of Education’s stance on diversity and inclusion has also drawn scrutiny. In 2021, the board approved a rule that prohibits the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, a move that has been met with backlash from Harris and others who argue that it stifles important conversations about systemic racism and social justice. Harris has emphasized the importance of promoting diversity and inclusivity in education to foster a more equitable society.

The clash between the Florida Board of Education and Kamala Harris highlights the ongoing debate over education policies in the state. From school choice and standardized testing to funding disparities and diversity, these issues have become flashpoints in the broader conversation about the future of education. As the board continues to implement its policies, it remains to be seen how the tensions with Harris and other education advocates will shape the educational landscape in Florida.
Some have taken this opportunity to highlight the divide in education between the government and the parents. Proponents of the idea of “taking back education” from the state to the parents of the children have argued for the parents to have more involvement in the curriculum. This has been more widely resonant with those on the right and parents who are concerned for their children’s education in these changing times. However, critics say that this could lower academic rigor and fracture education so that a universal testing mechanism is impossible.

Written by Monica Alomba

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