Paul Krugman: DeSantis’ attacks on AP courses betray the GOP’s 'growing hostility to education'

Paul Krugman: DeSantis’ attacks on AP courses betray the GOP’s 'growing hostility to education'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has drawn a great deal of criticism from Democrats — as well as from some Never Trump conservatives — after banning, from Florida’s public high schools, an advance-placement course on African-American history. Now, the far-right MAGA Republican is going a step further by saying that perhaps AP courses in general should be eliminated from public schools in his state.

In a biting column published on February 16, liberal economist and New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman emphasizes that DeSantis is hardly alone when it comes to Republican attacks on education. DeSantis' actions, according to Krugman, reflect a widespread trend in the Trumpified Republican Party.

"It’s easy to get drawn into debating accusations about particular courses or institutions," Krugman writes, "but that’s missing the fundamental context: the extraordinary rise in right-wing hostility to higher education in general."

READ MORE:Florida parents consider fleeing the state over 'horrifying' DeSantis threat to eliminate AP courses

According to Krugman, the GOP’s "growing hostility to education" underscores the influence of former President Donald Trump and the MAGA movement.

"So, what’s really driving the attacks on higher education?" Krugman writes. "Not that long ago, most Americans in both parties believed that colleges had a positive effect on the United States. Since the rise of Trumpism, however, Republicans have turned very negative. Recent polling shows an overwhelming majority of Republicans agreeing that both college professors and high schools are trying to 'teach liberal propaganda'…. What happened was that MAGA politicians began peddling scare stories about education — notably, denouncing high schools for teaching critical race theory, even though they don’t."

Krugman continues, "And right-wingers also greatly expanded their definition of what counts as 'liberal propaganda'…. The important thing to understand is that people like DeSantis are attacking education, not because it teaches liberal propaganda, but because it fails to sustain the ignorance they want to preserve."

READ MORE: IL Gov. blasts DeSantis and other 'demagogues who are pushing censorship'

Read Paul Krugman’s full New York Times column at this link (subscription required)

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