Liberals worried about Hillsdale College’s alleged influence in Florida

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

You name it: The liberal media despises conservatives and Republicans (not in a specific order) and have made a mission out of going after Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and any conservative figure.

This time, the media went after DeSantis’s ties to conservative education leader and Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn.

The Miami Herald’s 1,500-plus word article portrayed Hillsdale College’s foray into Florida in a negative light, despite Hillsdale College’s reputation for quality liberal arts education, free from left-wing ideology or union influence. The article, entitled, “How a small, conservative Michigan college is helping DeSantis reshape education in Florida,” is meant to be an indictment of secretive conservative influence in the Sunshine State, but it demonstrates how charter schools are the next battlefront of politics in the coming years.

Hillsdale College is a prominent conservative Christian college in Michigan and Arnn has been a vocal supporter of DeSantis’s education policies.

As a part of its criticism, the newspaper highlighted how DeSantis attended and spoke at a Hillsdale College seminar this past February, where DeSantis railed against liberal policies such as the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and sanctuary cities. It also noted that DeSantis reformed Florida education by expanding charter schools and school voucher programs.

DeSantis complimented Hillsdale and said, “I mean how many places, other than Hillsdale, are actually standing for truth, excellence and to produce people who will be leaders?”

The Miami Herald claims that Hillsdale College played a major part in DeSantis’s administration rejecting K-12 textbooks over Critical Race Theory contents, in part due to Hillsdale’s network of charter schools operating in Florida.

Florida’s Department of Education rejected math textbooks due to Critical Race Theory content, and according to the article, only three of the 125 math textbook reviewers objected to the textbooks’ content and two of the three reviewers were affiliated with Hillsdale College. One reviewer is a political science major and the other was a civics education specialist named Jordan Adams. Adams is the listed secretary for the Hillsdale College Republicans and has ties to Hillsdale’s 1776 curriculum, which curriculum was formulated to oppose the left-wing doctrine of the 1619 Project.

Both the Hillsdale student and Adams were hired as contractors by the state education agency and were paid $500 per review as “prohibitive topic” reviewers, which was $170 more than the standard reviewer due to the content of their research.

Additionally, Hillsdale helped revise Florida’s civics standards and developed a civics training program for teachers as a part of the Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative launched in 2021.

Despite the attempted hit piece, the article demonstrated how an outside point-of-view in education, free of left-wing ideology, entrenched labor or activist interests, can lead to significant education reform that benefits students and parents. The Left has controlled and dominated public education for decades and the lack of educational achievements and progress necessitated long-needed reforms, such as charter schools and a return to basic civics education.