(Orlando, FL) – March 20, 2023 – It’s open season on textbooks in Florida. The process of reviewing and approving school textbooks from a myriad of publishers last year saw dozens of math textbooks land in the rejected pile for “prohibited topics” – a nod to Governor DeSantis’ push against “woke indoctrination” in public schools, capped by his signing of the “Stop Woke Act” in April 2022. Now the Florida focus has turned to the hottest of American educational topics: Social Studies.
This week amid the small army amassed in Florida through a “call out” for reviewer input that went out to concerned citizens; teachers; parents; political activists and conservative interest groups, one, highly motivated “think tank” on education managed to personally get their exhaustive 82-page “White Paper” review of Florida textbooks into the hands of the DeSantis team. Under the masthead, “Reclaiming A Generation,” the report is super-charged with proof of a drastic need for change in classroom studies, both in Florida and nationwide.
The backstory: Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), a non-profit organization with a pro-Israel mandate and one that calls for “cherishing the U.S. Constitution; the Judeo-Christian values; and the respect for all human lives” is weighing in in Florida to address the growing issue of biased and inaccurate textbooks and instructional materials that are fueling the rise of anti-American sentiments and antisemitism on secondary school campuses and are in violation of our U.S. and State Constitutions. The march began in 2012, when PJTN was alerted by a parent in Williamson County, Tennessee about an antisemitic Pearson-published AP Human Geography textbook (11th Edition) that legitimized Palestinians blowing themselves up in a Jerusalem restaurant because they were waging war against Israeli government policies and army actions and accused Israel of being “occupiers.” The restaurant was a Sbarro Pizzeria, and it was the target of a terrorist attack that launched the second intifada in 2000. Upon further review of the textbook, it was found to be riddled with not only antisemitic but also anti-Israel and anti-American content. The disturbing content was published by Pearson Publishing, renamed Savvas Learning Company. They are not a U.S.-based textbook publishing company but are British-based and their four largest shareholders include the Islamist governments of Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Libya.
Since her initial experience in the textbook wars, PJTN Founder and President, Laurie Cardoza Moore, had the good grace of adding a respected textbook expert to her organization’s team. Dr. Sandra Alfonsi was the Director of National Hadassah’s Curriculum Watch and Chair of the Hadassah Academic Advisory Board for many years. She has been a reviewer of K-12 United States History, Social Studies and Global and World History textbooks since the mid-1990s. She is the Founder and Director of Textbook Alert, an independent think tank, whose goal is to ensure standards of education that are historically accurate, as well as ethnically and culturally unbiased. She serves as PJTN’s Senior Academic Advisor on all textbook and education-related agendas and trains additional forces to help in the massive review processes.
Of the findings in Florida, the “Reclaiming A Generation” White Paper team noted: “K-12 Civics Standards do not have as their purpose to create good American citizens or strengthen American citizenship. The language is consistently globalist and as such does not teach K-12 students allegiance to this country. The fact that these Standards acknowledge and teach the role of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations in the shaping of the Constitution but fail to identify that of the Hebraic influence leads to the question of their promoting antisemitism in and by our educational system. There is also a willing omission of the role of the Founding Fathers in the creation of the Declaration of Independence. There is no indication that our students must use Original Documents/Sources. There is a willing omission of references to the Constitution.”
Notes Cardoza Moore: “It is on this type of propaganda mentioned that we focus our attention in this new White Paper on the “Status of K-12 Education Today in Florida.” Not only are the textbooks we reviewed and that are featured in this document inaccurate, but they are biased, and they do not reflect the values and policies of the DeSantis administration. Additionally, the examples provided violate a Florida state statute as it pertains to the Antisemitism Awareness Act that Governor DeSantis signed into law during his trip abroad to Jerusalem, Israel in June of 2019. There is content that also violates Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order banning Critical Race Theory (CRT). We hope that our document will serve as a resource for Commissioner Manny Diaz and his department’s team to review and remove textbooks, instructional materials and supplemental materials that do not comply with state standards and statutes. We must work to reclaim this generation of the young in America’s classrooms, or forfeit the hope of America’s next generation of leadership.”
To access our PJTN White Papers, visit www.PJTN.org/tbac-whitepaper
Sr. Media Advisor
Phone: (615) 390-0792 – Direct