College Board Rejects Florida ‘Slanders’ of AP History Course

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The College Board said it erred by not «immediately reporting the Florida Department of Education’s slander» of its African American Studies course after the department found the advanced high school course «lack of educational value.»

“Our failure to speak out betrayed black academics everywhere and those who have long worked to build this remarkable field,” the company said in a lengthy statement released Sunday to “clear the air and set the record straight.” ”.

He called the attacks «repulsive against black academics» and said they «must stop.»

This controversy began on January 12, when the Florida Department of Education sent a letter to the College Board saying the course «could not be passed as written.»

“The content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacking in educational value,” the department said.

On February 1, to kick off Black History Month, the College Board released the course’s final framework, but it lacked critical racial theory, intersectionality and other topics Florida had opposed. The board said the changes were not in response to Florida’s comments, but rather edits that had been made before Florida raised concerns.

“Our commitment to AP African American Studies is unwavering,” the College Board said. statement begins “This will be the most rigorous and cohesive immersion high school students have ever had in this discipline. Many more students than ever will deepen their knowledge in African American studies programs at the university.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has led the charge for the past two years, also advocating against the teaching of critical race theory and passing legislation preventing teaching that suggests a race is oppressed or privileged.

DeSantis did not appear to be fazed by the latest statement from the College Board.

“Our Department of Education looked at that and said, ‘In Florida, we do education, not indoctrination,’ and that’s against our standards,” he said at a Monday news conference. “We were the only ones who had the backbone to get up and do it, because they insult you and demagogue you when you do it. But look, I’m so sick of people not doing the right thing because they’re worried that people will insult them. We are doing the right thing here.»

Earlier, DeSantis said the course was rejected because its framework was in «the wrong side off the line for Florida standards. We believe in teaching children facts and how to think, but we don’t believe an agenda should be imposed on them. When you try to use black history to wedge into queer theory, you’re clearly trying to use it for political purposes.»

Many disagree, including black parents who told NBC News they are adjusting to the new, broader policies in Florida by teaching their children black history at home.

The College Board admitted that the implementation of the course was flawed, but that the discourse around the course has been distorted.

«There is always debate about the content of a new AP course,» the statement said.

“That is good and healthy; these courses matter. But the dialogue around AP African-American studies has turned from healthy debate to misinformation. We are proud of this course. But we have made deployment errors that are being exploited.”

The mistake was that it didn’t say that the release was just «the outline of the course, which still needs to be filled out with the academic papers, video lectures, and practice questions that we put together and make available to all AP teachers in the summer on a free basis.» free». and easy assignment to your students. This mistake sparked a conversation about erasing or removing black thinkers.»

Teaching about issues like Black Lives Matter and reparations were some of the issues the Florida Department of Education raised concerns about.

But the College Board said that «contemporary events like the Black Lives Matter movement, reparations and mass incarceration were optional topics in the pilot course. Our lack of clarity allowed the narrative to emerge that political forces had ‘downgraded’ the role of these contemporary movements and debates in the AP classroom.”

Throughout the controversy, the College Board said it had little contact with the Florida Department of Education about course content beyond «transactional» emails.

“Our response to your request that the College Board explain why we believe the course does not violate Florida law,” the statement said. “We did not have negotiations on the content of this course with Florida or any other state, nor did we receive any requests, suggestions or comments.”

The state Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment.

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