Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration is blocking a new advanced placement course for high school students on African-American studies.
In a Jan. 12 letter to the College Board, the nonprofit that oversees AP coursework, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Articulation stated that the course “inexplicably violates Florida law and has no educational value.” It’s sorely lacking,” he said.
“If in the future the College Board is willing to return to the table with legitimate and historically accurate content, the FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion,” the letter said.
The letter did not detail what the agency found objectionable about the content of the course, but DeSantis spokesperson Brian Griffin said in a statement to CNN that the course “can be filled with additional ideological material. I don’t allow it because it leaves a big obscure gap that can be.”
“As previously stated by the Department of Education, if the College Board amends a course to comply, provides a complete course curriculum, and incorporates historically accurate content, the Department of Education may approve the course for approval. We will reconsider,” added Griffin.
In a statement to CNN, the College Board declined to directly address the decision in Florida, but stated, “We are committed to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African American history and culture to students across the country. I look forward to
The Advanced Placement’s denial of an African-American studies course follows DeSantis’ attempt to overhaul Florida’s educational curriculum to limit teaching about critical race theory. In 2021, the state enacted a law banning the teaching of this concept. It explores the history of systemic racism in the United States and its continuing effects. The act also banned material from The 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times project that reframed American history around the arrival of slave ships on American shores. Last year, DeSantis also signed a bill restricting how schools can talk to students about race.
The College Board announced plans to offer African American studies classes for the first time last year. The course is being offered as a pilot in 60 schools nationwide during the 2022-23 school year, with the goal of making the course available to all schools in the 2024-25 school year. According to the College Board’s website, the first AP African American Studies exam will take place in the spring of 2025.
Griffin shared the class syllabus with CNN, but did not specify which parts the state found problematic. The 81-page document, labeled “Preview” from February 2022, is a framework for courses covering “key topics from the medieval kingdoms of West Africa to the ongoing challenges and achievements of the modern movement.” provided.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any schools in Florida were currently participating in the pilot program. The College Board said the Advanced Placement Program has been working with institutions of higher learning to develop an African-American Studies program he has been developing for 10 years.
“As with all new AP courses, AP African American Studies undergoes a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase that gathers feedback from teachers, students, academics and policy makers,” the statement said. . “The course framework piloting and revision process is a standard part of new AP courses and often results in significant changes to the framework. We will publish it well before the class is widely available in American high schools.”
Lisa Hill, head of history at Hamden Hall Country Day School in Connecticut and one of the teachers piloting the new course, said she was “baffled” by the DeSantis administration’s criticism.
“Obviously I have to say we don’t have a political agenda,” Hill told CNN. “It’s not a process of indoctrination. My teaching philosophy is to learn, discuss and debate so that you can better understand what is presented to you.”
“We teach facts,” she added. “We’re not delving into theory.”
Hill, who was co-chair of the committee that helped develop the course, said he spent ten years creating the framework and ensuring the historical accuracy of the material, but it’s not even a history course. is an interdisciplinary study of the African-American diaspora, including literature, art, science, politics, and geography.
“I took the time to make sure it was comprehensive enough to make sure that students had information that many people didn’t know,” she said. It’s fair because I believe history can be ugly sometimes and we shouldn’t hold back on it.”
so Twitter post WednesdayDemocratic state senator Shevrin Jones, who is black, said Florida offers other cultural AP courses.
“This political extremism and attacks on black history and on black people kill an entire generation of black children who can never see themselves reflected in their education and their nation. will produce. jones said.
DeSantis’ move has seen his standing among conservatives rise nationally following his public stance on high-profile cultural issues and public health officials and bureaucrats during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was done in response to a sharp rise in He is said to be considering the possibility of a 2024 presidential election.
A group of Republican lawmakers in Michigan are seeking to draft him for the 2024 election, asking them to sign a letter handed to the governor of Florida last month and “seek our Republican presidential nomination.” .
The letter, signed by 18 GOP members of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives, states that DeSantis is “unfortunately uniquely and exceptionally qualified to provide the leadership and capabilities that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue lacks.” I wrote. Finally, they said they were “ready and happy to help win Michigan State in 2024.”
Details of the letter were first reported by Politico.
This story has been updated with additional details.