Where’s the Logic?

Robin’s article on book banning was published in the Orlando Sentinel this past week. It is short, concise, and thoughtful. Do we really accept banning books in our schools? The New Miami Times lists book bans since 2021. Florida now leads the nation in books removed from school libraries.  I know Robin. She weighs her words. Read and share her message.

Where is the logic in removing books?

My heart sank when I read the article “Orange school district pulls 673 books.” I understand why media specialists would remove books as a precautionary measure. Punishment for a third-degree felony is imprisonment for up to five years. Whoever thought a media specialist could land in the slammer for five years for doing their job?

What is the logic of removing books that have been on schools’ shelves for years without objection? I haven’t read all the 673 books on the list, but I am puzzled as to how books such as “Para-dise Lost,” “Native Son,” “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” “Invisible Man” or “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” meet the Department of Education’s criteria. Do these books truly appeal to prurient interests or indoctrinate students? The answer is no.

Yes, there are books that are not appropriate for students and media specialists and teachers should carefully curate their collections. Parents have always had the right to determine the appropriateness of materials for their child. Ask any teacher or principal how often a parent communicated a problem, and they will tell you it was a very rare occurrence. If there was an objection, it was usually resolved with the parent at the school level.

Write and call your legislators and Gov. DeSantis and tell them to put an end to this nonsense. Don’t let those who wish to determine what all students can read, rather than just their own student, be the only voices in the conversation.

Robin Dehlinger, Longwood

Learning Your Way: A glimpse into the world to come

woman-1172721_1280In my last post, I commented that the conversation about education reform was beginning to shift from the evils of constant testing back to include new approaches to teaching and learning.  Who would believe I would find an example moments later.

We can call this topic the ‘learning my way’ approach.  A teacher at PK Yonge laboratory school in Gainesville has won an award for incorporating student directed learning strategies in his classroom.    How he does it is bound to engage students.  The idea came from a Harvard workshop years ago.  He now leads them.


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Collier County Fights Over Textbook Bill

by Judy Palay, Collier County

legislation1Is it OK to read Harry Potter in school?  Collier County has a fight on its school board over the review of instructional materials in schools. Parents on both sides have organized.

There is a bill in the legislature that removes district control of instructional materials.  Judy Palay reports on the conflict and the reasons why many parents oppose SB 1018/HB 899 and others support it.

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Education for Sale

textbooksby Jean Schiffbauer

In tumultuous times, is it possible to define the ‘public interest’ as something more than a compilation of private and powerful commercial concerns?  When schools are public in name only, do we the public even know what is being taught or how?  We will run a series of posts on curriculum issues facing our schools.  Here is our first post by a long time curriculum specialist at a K-12 laboratory school.Continue reading