TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The College Board, the non-profit organization that designs and manages the Advanced Placement courses in the United States, announced the rejected pilot program of their AP African American Studies course would be updated.
The course was recently rejected from use in the state of Florida, with state officials saying the proposed study course “lacks educational value and historical accuracy.”
“As submitted, the course is a vehicle for a political agenda and leaves large, ambiguous gaps that can be filled with additional ideological material, which we will not allow,” such as Critical Race Theory.
Additional commentary from Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. said the state “proudly” mandates the teaching of African American history, but does “not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.”
They invited the College Board to revise the course for compliance with Florida law, 2022’s House Bill 7, the Stop WOKE Act, which banned teaching CRT in Florida schools.
The rejection has drawn criticism from Democratic Florida lawmakers and the White House.
Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on the AP Studies controversy during a briefing in Jacksonville, alongside Diaz, during a question and answer session.
Referring to some of the units included in the pilot program’s coursework, DeSantis highlighted lessons on abolishing prisons and queer theory and intersectionality, calling them political inclusions.
“That’s a political agenda, so we’re on, that’s the wrong side of the line for Florida standards. We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think, but we don’t think they should have an agenda imposed on them,” DeSantis said in Jacksonville. “When you try to use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes.”
After the pushback from Florida officials, the College Board said they would be releasing a revised program framework on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month.
“This framework, under development since March 2022, replaces the preliminary pilot course framework under discussion to date,” the Board said in a statement. “Before a new AP course is made broadly available, it is piloted in a small number of high schools to gather feedback from high schools and colleges. The official course framework incorporates this feedback and defines what students will encounter on the AP Exam for college credit and placement.”
Following the College Board’s announcement of making updates to the AP African American Studies Course, the Florida Department of Education issued the following statement.
We are glad the College Board has recognized that the originally submitted course curriculum is problematic, and we are encouraged to see the College Board express a willingness to amend. AP courses are standardized nationwide, and as a result of Florida’s strong stance against identity politics and indoctrination, students across the country will consequentially have access to an historically accurate, unbiased course.
As Governor DeSantis said, African American History is American History, and we will not allow any organization to use an academic course as a gateway for indoctrination and a political agenda. We look forward to reviewing the College Board’s changes and expect the removal of content on Critical Race Theory, Black Queer Studies, Intersectionality and other topics that violate our laws.Statement from Alex Lanfranconi, FDOE Director of Communications