PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas County Schools will transition students enrolled in the AP Psychology course to an alternative after the College Board said Florida “effectively banned” its psychology course.
The 1,300 students in Pinellas County enrolled in the Advanced Placement course will automatically be enrolled in Cambridge AICE Psychology so they can still earn college credit, according to the district.
The transition will take effect immediately.
“Continuing to offer AP Psychology would put nearly 1,300 PCS students in jeopardy of working toward college credit that would not be validated at the end of the school year,” the district said in a statement.
Students who pass the Cambridge AICE Psychology exam will be eligible for college-equivalent credit for PSY X012, the district said.
Pinellas County Schools is working with Cambridge AICE Psychology to ensure a smooth transition.
Students who needed AP Psychology to be eligible for the AP Capstone diploma should contact their counselor to work out an alternative AP course.
The district said Cambridge AICE has assured their course materials don’t violate Florida law regarding the teaching of sexuality and gender identity in classrooms.
The College Board said it can’t change the course because of regulations that “would censor college-level standards for credit, placement, and career readiness,” the College Board said in a statement.
The American Psychological Association also said any course excluding the topics violates their guidelines and can’t be used for college credit.
However, the Florida Department of Education said it didn’t ban the course, and blamed the College Board for “playing games.”
In the 2022-23 school year, more than 28,000 students in Florida took AP Psychology, according to the College Board.
The Florida Department of Education has also come under fire recently due to new rules regarding the teaching of Black history, which include instruction on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”