When I joined the faculty of the University of Central Florida in 2004, debates about the teaching of history in public schools and the social sciences and humanities in state universities had intensified, becoming increasingly partisan and politicized.
The Republican-dominated Florida Legislature considered two bills in 2005/2006. One, the ...Read more
Last June, the government of Florida enacted two controversial and seemingly contradictory education mandates. On June 10, at the urging of Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state's board of education banned the teaching of "critical race theory" in public schools. Later that month, DeSantis signed into law an "intellectual freedom and viewpoint ...Read more
U.S. census race and ethnicity questions and categories continued to change over the 20th century and first two decades of the 21st.
After dropping the "mulatto" racial category in 1900, the U.S. Census Bureau revived it in 1910 and 1920 and finally got rid of it in 1930, when enumerators received instructions to designate as "Negro" any person...Read more
Earlier this month, the U.S. Census Bureau made public its first reports on the 2020 census. This part of a multipart column on racial and ethnic census categories traces the complex and often contested evolution of such classifications through the end of the 19th century.
Most contemporary American social scientists believe that race is ...Read more
Every 10 years, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the federal government conducts a national census. Earlier this month, the Bureau of the Census released the first detailed results stemming from the 2020 census, which gives a total count of 331,449,281 people and information about that population's racial and ethnic composition. Further ...Read more
In part one of this column, we followed the educational trajectories of three high school students: Pedro, who got low math grades in high school but surprised everyone, including himself, when he received the school's highest standardized test math scores; Cliff, who was routinely absent from school but missed only one class in nearly a decade ...Read more
Those of us who teach, whether at the K-12 or college levels, come across thousands of students during our careers. They are all different, each with his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Yet after decades of tinkering with grading systems and standardized tests, we have not come up with adequate -- or fair, I would say -- assessment tools ...Read more
Recent developments on both sides of the Florida Straits stand as pieces of the shattered mirror through which Cuba and the United States increasingly reflect each other in political and civil rights matters, such as the restriction of public protests, voter suppression and assaults on academic freedom.
The world has ...Read more
Historically, the United States and Cuba have shared, as former President William McKinley once said, "ties of singular intimacy"; ties ranging from amity and hardy alliance -- think World War II (Cuba declared war on Japan two days after Pearl Harbor) -- to spasms of deep hostility that peaked during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the ...Read more
I was not even born when Fidel and Raul Castro's rebel army defeated strongman Fulgencio Batista's forces on New Year's Day 1959. And here I am, at the age of 61, writing once again about yet another economic and political crisis tearing through my tyrannized homeland. Ay, Cuba!
Last Sunday, July 11, 2021, the inconceivable happened in Havana ...Read more
Ancient and pre-Christian medieval solstice celebrations in which fire and water played protagonist roles were intimately tied to fertility rituals across different parts of the world. Because of their critical role in procreation, women figured prominently in solstice rituals of courtship, marriage and childbirth.
Ancient Egyptians celebrated ...Read more
In case you did not notice, this is summer solstice week.
Week? You may ask. Well, not quite, but as I recently learned, the longest day of the year (or the shortest, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere) is not always June 21; it can also fall on either the 20th or 22nd: between the just-officially-declared federal holiday Juneteenth and the...Read more