Florida Repeatedly Contacted the College Board About the A.P. African American Studies Course
A new letter reveals the truth about why the College Board changed its A.P. African American studies course—and the role Ron DeSantis’s government played.
A newly uncovered letter shows that Florida government officials had repeated, ongoing contact with the College Board while it was first developing the Advanced Placement African American studies course. The revelation contradicts the board’s previous claim that Florida officials had no influence over its decision to water down the class’s curriculum.
In the letter, first obtained by The Daily Caller, Florida Department of Education officials write to thank the senior director of College Board’s Florida Partnership for “the regular, two-way verbal and written dialogue on this important topic,” spanning “since January 2022.” The letter explained in detail when state officials expressed objections to the proposed curriculum.
Last week, the College Board released final guidelines for the class, having removed substantial facets of the curriculum that Florida’s Department of Education objected to, including concepts surrounding intersectionality, mass incarceration, the Black Lives Matter movement, and more. The College Board stated that “core revisions” to the proposed A.P. African American Studies class “were substantially complete” by December 22, “weeks before Florida’s objections were shared.” (Florida announced it would ban the course from public schools in late January.)
The new letter shows that, in fact, Florida had shared its objections for nearly a year before the cited December date. This calls into question whether Florida government officials influenced the final resultant curriculum—and if so, how much.
The Florida officials wrote that they “were grateful to see” the final curriculum had removed 19 topics, many of which they had previously objected to, deeming them “discriminatory and historically fictional,” referring to topics like intersectionality, mass incarceration, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
While the class has already been barred from Florida schools this year, Florida officials expressed in the letter that they’re “looking forward” to reviewing the College Board’s submission of the supposedly coincidentally watered-down course for the following school year.
Florida’s banning of the class, and apparent influence on the College Board to water it down for the rest of the nation, is part of an ongoing assault on education in the state.
One Florida school district serving over 50,000 students recently banned 23 books, including The Kite Runner and the entire Court of Roses and Thorns book series—going even beyond a state law that mandates books in public schools to be subject to review by a “specialist.”
Last week, the president of the New College of Florida was forced out by a board of trustees stacked with hand-picked appointees of Governor Ron DeSantis; she was replaced with another DeSantis ally.
DeSantis has also pushed through the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prevents classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade; lobbied for the Stop Woke Act, which restricts teaching on race in colleges; and announced plans to mandate Western civilization courses and defund diversity, equity, and inclusion programs on state college campuses.
Make no mistake: Even just in imposing his will on teachers and students, DeSantis has proven over and over again to be a fascist. Regardless of however many hogwash columns or cable news commentators insist that DeSantis represents some sort of icon of intrigue or political savviness, or even an alternative to Trump, know that he is as rotten as they come—and should be nowhere near any lever of power in a just society.