By Rhonda Williams
|New College second-year student Sam Sharf|
On my grandfather's farm, we had an incubator. It was housed in a special building that provided a warm controlled environmental conditions for baby chicks (chickens). This is also a device used in a hospital to nurture premature babies. Merriam-Webster - The key words are controlled environment.
There is another definition that deals with business and new projects in general. A place or situation that permits or encourages the formation and development of new / different ideas. YourDictionary
The Governor of Florida is so secure in his authoritarian rule over the state, he is taking on new projects and incubating theses for future national use. Education with indoctrination are his newest takeovers.
Successfully, Governor Ron DeSantis is reshaping public school boards in Florida. He is exercising control over local school policies, including how they teach children about race, sexual orientation, and having books banned. He is doing this by politicizing school board elections and taking an active role in reshaping the politics of local school boards; endorsing / funding only board candidates that support his agenda. If the election process does not go the way the Governor has planned, he has the authority to remove a duly elected board members or board appointed school superintendents. Disagreeing with DeSantis is not an option.
Next incubator project: Reshaping Florida's higher education. Universities have always been bastions of liberal thinking and pushback against authoritarian influence. Less we forget Vietnam and where the protest originated. (proudly my generation)
The New College of Florida is a Florida state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay. It has long been known for its progressive thought and creative course offerings that don't use traditional grades. Here is how the second-year student, Sam Sharf, described the school in a recent interview:
Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you. That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its progressive thought and creative course offerings that don't use traditional grades. The school founded in 1960 is also a haven for marginalized students, especially from the LGBTQ community."
The No. 5 Public National Liberal Arts College
- U.S. News & World Report
According to AP, Trustees picked by DeSantis may change the progressive college. New College's reputation as a haven for originality and individualized coursework is now threatened. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' recently appointed six new trustees who intend to turn the school into a classical liberal arts school modeled after conservative's favorite, Hillsdale College in Michigan. A private religious school; the complete opposite of New College of Florida.
If you are familiar with Hillsdale College, here is how it describes itself: Hillsdale College is a private conservative Christian liberal arts college in Hillsdale, Michigan. It was founded in 1844 by members of the Free Will Baptists. Its mission statement says that the liberal arts curriculum is based on Western heritage as a product of Greco-Roman culture and Christian tradition. Wikipedia
One new trustee, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo, said in a column on his website that the governor wants the group to accomplish what he calls “institutional recapture,” which would move New College away from such things as diversity, equity and inclusion programs and teaching of critical race theory (CRT) — the idea that racism is enmeshed in U.S. society.
The new trustees, on an interim basis pending Florida Senate confirmation, will join the rest of the 13-member board at a meeting January 31. Students and other opponents of conservative change expect to make their views known, according to outspoken Student Sam Sharf.
“The vast majority of people on campus don't want this,” she said. “They would erase a lot of things on campus. I don't want to be in a place that tries to erase my existence.”
Update: 2/1/2023 RADENTON, Fla. – The board of trustees of New College of Florida fired its president on Tuesday [1/31/2023], replacing her with a former Republican House speaker as Gov. Ron DeSantis has continued his assault on the progressive state college.
__________________Make no mistake, Governor DeSantis is incubating many projects that will be campaign talking points to his base. According to NPR, he is cultivating a regime of loyalists to create a platform that he can brag as "success" when he runs for the presidency in 2024.