New AP Course Rejected By Florida
College Board’s new AP African-American Studies course is rejected by Florida while being piloted in other states. Reasons why has led the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to believe the AP course engrains a “political agenda” in students.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis and administration did not introduce the class upon start of pilot series. A letter sent to the College Board Jan. 12 says “the course lacks educational value and is contrary to Florida law.”
The framework of the course dives into African-American history and different ideologies of current day movements. This includes Black Lives Matter, reparations, Black queer studies, and Black feminism. Florida officials last month rejected the instruction of black authors and topics. Worries stem from the fear of topics going against compliance of state law and regulation.
“We had no negotiations about the content of this course with Florida or any other state, nor did we receive any requests, suggestions, or feedback”, says an official from College Board.
Florida, Race and theory
As a red state, Florida has uneasy history of dealing with racial scrutiny and critical theory. Most notable is the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida in 2012. The lackluster investigation tactics of the Sanford Police Department leading to his shooter’s acquittal on all charges.
FDOE has went back and forth since 2020 with College Board revising the course for Florida students. It doesn’t help DeSantis signing into law limited discussion of race in April 2022. “We will not use your tax dollars to teach our kids to hate this country or hate each other,” he says.
In addition, he signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which limits the education of sexual orientation and gender identity to children.
College Board expressed in a letter about their “stand against censorship and indoctrination equally.” Other AP courses deal with contested topics that are unpopular while educating the history and culture. These courses have never been waivered. Despite the rejection, College Board will continue to provide opportunities to Florida students.
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