Tag: Know Your History

Florida’s Blaine amendment leaves many unanswered questions (Part I)

On June 7, 2005, opposing sides met for the final time to argue before the Florida Supreme Court over the constitutionality of the state’s first voucher program, the Opportunity Scholarship. Supporters of the program for low-income students had won several important victories, forcing opponents to abandon all but one remaining[Read More…]

Accountability’s rocky legal road, Part 2

Editor’s note: March 2 marked the 20th anniversary of the legislative session in which Florida Gov. Jeb Bush launched a number of K-12 reforms that transformed education throughout the state. With the start of the 2019 legislative session earlier this month, redefinED embarked upon a series of articles that examine aspects[Read More…]

Accountability’s rocky legal road, Part 1

Editor’s note: March 2 marked the 20th anniversary of the legislative session in which Florida Gov. Jeb Bush launched a number of K-12 reforms that transformed education throughout the state. With the start of the 2019 legislative session earlier this month, redefinED embarked upon a series of articles that examine aspects[Read More…]

William N. Sheats and pitfalls of democratic control of public education

William N. Sheats was, in many ways, the father of Florida’s public school system. He was also an ardent racist who declared war on a racially integrated private school in North Florida, which he referred to as a “nest of vile fanatics” in an episode that subjected the state to[Read More…]

One man’s war on Florida’s desegregated schools

“We do not refuse anyone on account of race,” Orange Park Normal and Industrial School principal Amos W. Farnham wrote to William N. Sheats in the spring of 1894. In a letter to Sheats, Florida’s top education official, Farnham described a faith-based institution in Clay County that was racially integrated[Read More…]

The Sisters of St. Joseph

A century ago, three Catholic sisters in St. Augustine, Fla. were arrested for something the state Legislature had recently made a crime: Teaching black children at what, in the parlance of the time, was known as a “negro school.” The ensuing trial propelled a 266-year-old French Catholic order and America’s[Read More…]

Common schools and the fear of diversity

The first-ever state supreme court ruling finding charter schools unconstitutional continues to stir debate all over the country, and has inspired some choice opponents to raise questions about other charter school laws, including the nation’s oldest. While there is little reason to think the Washington State Supreme Court’s legal reasoning could spread to many other[Read More…]