Letters to the Editor: Anti-'woke' Republicans such as DeSantis are trying to scare parents

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses the crowd before publicly signing HB7, "individual freedom," also dubbed the "stop woke" bill during a news conference at Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School in Hialeah Gardens, Fla., on Friday, April 22, 2022. DeSantis also signed two other bills into laws including one regarding the "big tech" bill signed last year but set aside due to a court ruling, and the special districts bill, which relates to the Reedy Creek Improvement District. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at an event before signing what was called his "stop woke" bill on April 22. (Daniel A. Varela / Associated Press)

To the editor: It's no mystery why ultra-conservative Republicans relish denouncing any public school curriculum that might include a wisp of "critical race theory." ("How Gov. Ron DeSantis bullied the College Board over Black studies — and why he was wrong," Opinion, Feb. 3)

Not that people like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ever bother to explicitly define a term as amorphous as critical race theory; they much prefer pedagogical twisting of its true meaning.

Truth told, their anti-critical race theory stance appeals to the parental masses' emotions, not intellect. All the better to maximize political mileage that such a fraught wedge issue can provide.

Sandra Perez, Santa Maria

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To the editor: The story all over the U.S. media is that DeSantis basically made the College Board change the Advanced Placement African American Studies curriculum.

To the contrary, this was reported in the New York Times: "College Board officials said Wednesday that they had a time-stamped document showing that the final changes to the curriculum were made in December, before the Florida Department of Education sent its letter informing the College Board that it would not allow the course to be taught."

In other words, the College Board said it made changes to the curriculum in the 10 intervening months between the leaked February version of the course and the December version. However, the College Board released the revised version after DeSantis' screed, which was based on the February 2022 version.

The public needs the media not to give undeserved credit (not to mention power) to a highly partisan politician for influencing what scholars teach in college-level courses.

Sheila Bernard, Camarillo

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To the editor: Goldberg's column on the College Board makes a number of good and interesting points. The one flaw I see in his argument is that academics, not politicians, should decide what is taught.

While it happens rarely, we as citizens can vote a politician out of office. On the other hand, tenured academics have jobs for life, and we have no say in the matter.

Hardly seems balanced.

Joe Sykora, Woodland Hills

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.