DeSantis administration says Florida schools don’t have AP African-American Studies classes

The administration of Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, blocked the introduction of a new government. Advanced Placement course For high school students who focus on African-American studies.

The College Board, which administers all AP courses, piloted the program at 60 US high schools this fall. It’s unclear whether any of these schools, which the board declined to name, are in Florida.

“In its current form, the College Board’s AP African American Studies course lacks educational value and is against Florida law,” the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Articulation said in a letter sent to the College Board on January 12. “In the future, if the College Board is willing to get back to the table with legal, historically accurate content, the FDOE will always be willing to restart the discussion.”

The letter did not specify what program it found illegal or wrong.

17-year-old student Samaya Robinson holds a banner at Great Oak High School in Temecula on Friday, December 16, 2022, to protest the district's banning of critical race theory curriculum.  / Credit: Watchara Phomicinda/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

17-year-old student Samaya Robinson holds a banner at Great Oak High School in Temecula on Friday, December 16, 2022, to protest the district’s banning of critical race theory curriculum. / Credit: Watchara Phomicinda/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

“Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies undergoes a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase that gathers feedback from teachers, students, academics, and policymakers,” the College Board told CBS News. “We look forward to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African-American history and culture to students across the country.”

Offering high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses before graduation, the AP program covers 38 subjects, including English literature and composition, U.S. government and politics, statistics and art history.

The AP African-American Studies course is the College Board’s first new offering since 2014 and will cover more than 400 years of African-American history, according to TIME. It has been studied for over ten years before it was first piloted and the curriculum will cover a variety of subjects including literature, political science and geography.

State Senator Shevrin D. Jones, a Democrat, took to Twitter to list other AP courses offered in the state, saying that among them were “AP European History, AP Japanese Language and Culture, and AP German Language and Culture.”

“It’s crazy how AP African-American studies are doing the chopping block in FL,” he said.

Previously, DeSantis praised the existence of AP courses in Florida and associated them with a clear positive impact on education in the state.

“Florida continues to make great strides in K-12 education,” DeSantis said in the State of the State address in 2021, “The College Board has released data showing that Florida ranks #2 in the country.” Percentage of senior graduating students who pass the Advanced Placement exams.”

DeSantis also made headlines when he signed the contract last year. “Stop the Wake Up Act” Banning the teaching of critical race theory in Florida schools.

“We take a stand against state-sanctioned racism, the critical theory of race, in Florida,” DeSantis said in December.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reacts after signing HB 7,

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reacts after signing HB 7,

“We will not allow Florida taxes to be spent on teaching children to hate our country or each other.”

in 2021 GIS News found it was there there is no evidence critical race theory Taught in K-12 schoolshowever, certain initiatives and programs are guided by basic assumptions.

Henry-Louis Gates, Jr., one of the nation’s leading experts on African-American history who helped develop the AP African-American Studies program, told TIME that the course was “not CRT specifically.”

“It’s a mainstream, rigorously studied, academic approach to a vibrant field of study that’s half a century old in American academia and, of course, much older in historically Black colleges and universities,” he said.

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