Ron DeSantis administration rejects proposal for AP African-American studies courses in Florida high schools


republican administration. Ron DeSantis Florida blocks new advanced placement course for high school students African American Studies.

In a Jan. 12 letter to the College Board, the nonprofit organization that oversees the AP program, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum said it was “inexplicably inconsistent with the law.” of Florida and has no substantial educational value”.

“If in the future the College Board is prepared to return to the table with legal and historically accurate content, the FDOE is always ready to reopen the discussion,” the letter states.

Although the letter did not specify what the agency found objectionable in the course content, DeSantis spokesperson Brian Griffin told CNN in a statement that it “leaves large ambiguous gaps that could be filled with additional ideological material, and we will not allow it. »

“As the Department of Education has previously stated, if the College Board revises the curriculum to comply, provide a comprehensive curriculum, and include historically accurate content, the department will review the curriculum for approval,” Griffin added.

In a statement to CNN, the College Board declined to comment directly on the decision in Florida, but said “we look forward to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African American history and culture to students across the country.” “.

African-American Advanced Placement courses were rejected following DeSantis’ efforts to reform Florida’s college curriculum. Limiting Critical Race Theory Teaching. In 2021, the state passed a law banning the teaching of the concept, which examines the history of systemic racism in the United States and its lingering effects. The law also prohibited The 1619 Project, a New York Times Pulitzer Prize winner, from reframing American history around the arrival of slave ships on American shores. Last year, DeSantis He also signed an invoice The school limits discussions about race with students.

Last year, the College Board announced plans to offer an African American studies course for the first time. The course is being piloted in 60 schools across the country in the 2022-23 school year, with the goal of rolling out the program to all schools in the 2024-25 school year. According to the College Board’s website, the first AP African American Studies exam will be administered in the spring of 2025.

Griffin shared with CNN the outline of the class’s schedule but did not identify areas the state would complicate. The 81-page document, titled “Overview” from February 2022, offered a program covering “major topics ranging from the medieval kingdoms of West Africa to the current challenges and achievements of the contemporary movement”.

It was not 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 curriculum for a decade.

“Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, gathering feedback from faculty, students, scholars, and policymakers,” the report states. “The process of piloting and reviewing course structure is an integral part of any new AP course, and structures often change significantly as a result. We will publicly post the updated curriculum structure when it is complete, before the class becomes widely available in US High Schools.

A Wednesday Twitter postDemocratic State Senator Shevrin Jones, who is black, noted that Florida offers other cultural AP courses.

“This political extremism, and its attack on black history and black people, is going to create an entire generation of black children who will not see themselves reflected in their own education or in their own states. » Jones said.

DeSantis’ move comes as his standing among conservatives has risen nationwide in the wake of burning cultural issues and his public stance against public health officials and bureaucracy. The international spread of Covid-19. It is said that he Has a potential weight of 2024 Presidential effort.

A group of Republican Michigan state lawmakers seeking to groom him for a 2024 race last month signed a hand-delivered letter to the Florida governor asking him to “seek our Republican presidential nomination.”

The letter was signed by 18 GOP members of the Michigan Senate and House, who wrote that DeSantis is “uniquely and exceptionally qualified to provide the leadership and talent that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is sadly lacking.” In conclusion, they said, “We are ready and willing to help you win Michigan in 2024.”

The letter contained details First reported by Politico.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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Ron DeSantis administration rejects proposal for AP African-American studies courses in Florida high schools