After the New College of Florida board of trustees’s previous decision to replace the school’s leadership and dismantle its diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, they have once again made headlines by abolishing its gender studies major.
A New Direction the Evolution of College Reform
The New College of Florida’s trustees, with several new members appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, have taken significant steps to reshape the college’s direction.
The Big Changes
Earlier this year, they ousted the school’s leaders and eliminated its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Among these changes is the discontinuation of the gender studies major, which has sparked considerable discussion.
Chris Rufo’s View
Chris Rufo, a trustee member and prominent critic of critical race theory, said that these reforms align with the college’s goal of restoring classical liberal education and emphasizing “transcendent truth” – values he believes are at odds with gender studies and queer theory.
Rufo Gains Support
Rufo’s advocacy for a “classical liberal arts” education has garnered attention, primarily among conservatives who hope to reshape education at an institutional level.
New Educational Renaissance
By emphasizing the idea of a renaissance, a return to traditional values, the call for classical liberal arts education evokes a sense of nostalgia and a renewed focus on learning for its supporters.
The Renaissance Values
However, Rufo’s vision of this education centers on the pursuit of objective truths – the “true, the good, and the beautiful.”
These are values often associated with Neoplatonism, a perspective that interprets Platonic ideas with Christian principles.
Possible Religious Undertones
While Rufo has not made overt religious references, his ideas resonate with a religious history that has left some critics concerned about his ideas and their potential breach of the separation of church and state.
Gender Studies Under Scrutiny
Rufo’s stance against gender studies stems from his belief in the pursuit of “transcendent truths,” which he associates with classical liberal arts education. However, this perspective places him at odds with gender studies.
What Is Gender Studies?
Gender studies is meant to critically examine the societal dynamics and cultural constructs of gender roles across different cultures and time.
Despite Gender Studies focus being the study of language, sociology, and relationships, it often challenges established religious beliefs about gender roles. This has led to conflicts and debates on the purpose and content of education.
The Strategy of Education Reform
Conservatives and education reformers are hoping to reshape the American education landscape with a new strategy that includes a moral perspective.
The New Strategy Explained
In his article on Substack, Rufo said, “for decades, conservatives made their arguments primarily through a statistical frame, using the language of finance, economics, and performance metrics.
But in recent years, the rise of left-wing racialist ideology…has created an opportunity, even the necessity, for conservatives to make their arguments through a moral frame.”
Because of this new strategy and the New College of Florida’s recent reforms, some liberal critics fear conservative education reformers’ real objective is to instill their ideology through education, which ultimately aligns with their conservative values and reinforces their power.
In a recent opinion piece on the College reforms, Marcie Bianco said “Why this strategy? Conservatives need Americans to be unquestionably loyal to their ideology to maintain the societal status quo and traditional values that reinforce and maintain their political, economic and social power.”
Social media also had a couple of comments to make. One user said ‘They don’t call it FloriDUH for nothing.’
Another commented, “It is too bad the fine residents of Florida are presently saddled with an anti-intellectual Christian Nationalist like DeSantis.”
Transgender Athlete Takes Gold in Swimming – Now Faces Lifetime Ban Amidst Controversy
A transgender swimmer has been surrounded by controversy after winning the NCAA and not facing a ban. Transgender Athlete Takes Gold in Swimming – Now Faces Lifetime Ban Amidst Controversy
United States Women’s National Team Players Refuse to Sing National Anthem in Bold Protest; Critics and Supporters Clash Over ‘Disrespectful’ Act
In a recent Women’s World Cup Group E game against the Netherlands, several players from the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) stirred controversy by choosing to remain silent during the singing of the national anthem. United States Women’s National Team Players Refuse to Sing National Anthem in Bold Protest; Critics and Supporters Clash Over ‘Disrespectful’ Act
“They Just Kept on Increasing” – Trans Teenagers Are on the Rise, and Now Studies Are Showing the Reasons Behind This ‘Strange’ Development
A new study shows that more and more young people are feeling a mismatch between their assigned gender at birth and the gender they feel inside. “They Just Kept on Increasing” – Trans Teenagers Are on the Rise, and Now Studies Are Showing the Reasons Behind This ‘Strange’ Development
An Androgynous Mindset: Former President Barack Obama’s Gay Fantasy Has Been Revealed in a Newly-Redacted 1982 Letter
In a startling revelation, a recently redacted 1982 letter penned by former President Barack Obama to his ex-girlfriend has shed light on his thoughts surrounding homosexuality. An Androgynous Mindset: Former President Barack Obama’s Gay Fantasy Has Been Revealed in a Newly-Redacted 1982 Letter
J.K. Rowling Won’t Budge on Gender – Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture’s Responds by Removing Author From Its Hall of Fame and Harry Potter Exhibition
In a surprising move, the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington, decided to airbrush J.K. Rowling from its Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and Harry Potter exhibition due to her gender-critical views. J.K. Rowling Won’t Budge on Gender – Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture’s Responds by Removing Author From Its Hall of Fame and Harry Potter Exhibition
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Juli Hansen. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.