Contact Information:

Ms. Carolyn Nelson-Goedert, President
FAX 407-240-9577

African American History Standards

ORLANDO FLORIDA, JULY 24, 2023 - The following statement can be attributed to Florida PTA President Carolyn Nelson-Goedert:

“During the 2023 Legislative Session Florida PTA was proud to support HB 551 and SB 804 (Required African American History). These bipartisan companion bills were designed to hold school districts accountable for teaching African American history ‘efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historical accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction.’

Our support was rooted in our firm commitment to our members, based upon National PTA’s position statement on Inclusive Curricula in K-12 Education. That statement affirms our common resolve to advocate for ‘the creation of innovative curricula and the necessary accompanying professional development that support culturally and linguistically-responsive teaching and learning so that the history and experience of all students [emphasis added]—including but not limited to African American, Latino(a), Native American, Asian, LGBTQ+, and historically targeted and marginalized groups—is accurately represented and taught.’

How distressing it was, therefore, to note that despite nearly an hour of public testimony by parents, subject area experts, distinguished members of the African American community, and current and past state legislators, the State Board of Education rushed to approve, with only cursory questions and no Board debate, revised Social Studies Standards including an African American History strand that many found incomplete, inaccurate, even distorted. Speaker after speaker recommended that the Board table the item, pending further revisions. Their pleas fell on deaf ears.

It is not too late. Florida PTA urges the State Board of Education to revisit this decision during its August 23, 2023 meeting in Naples. The African American History Standards Workgroup continues to convene, and its attention should be directed not merely to providing professional development, but also to further refining and rectifying the standards themselves so that they truly do live up to the ideals of ‘professionalism and historical accuracy.’ Our students–all of them–deserve no less.”

Florida PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy association in Florida. Founded in 1923, it has successfully advocated for universal kindergarten, school lunches, bicycle helmets,

elementary school recess, support for dyslexic students, parental notification of school site

Baker Act implementation, equitable learning environments, and juvenile justice reform. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children. More information is available by contacting Florida PTA at 407.855.7604 or

[email protected].


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