College Board Responds to Florida Regarding AP African American History Course


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College Board responds to Florida’s officials like Ron DeSantis regarding AP African American Studies.

Jocelyn Chavez Zapata, Reporter

Earlier this year, on January 12, the Florida Department of Education had stated their opinions about the new upcoming AP course teaching African American history. College board received a letter explaining the Board overseeing the course and criticizing it. On Saturday, February 11, College Board published their response in their website denouncing Florida’s Department of Education, accusing them of using the course to advance a politically motivated agenda.

College Board, who oversees the AP program and the SAT, provided a response stating a number of reasons where they clarify information given out to the public by Governor DeSantis and the FDOE over the past month. “We deeply regret not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander, magnified by the DeSantis administration’s subsequent comments, that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value,'” College Board stated in their first point. “Our failure to raise our voice betrayed Black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field.”

The company’s next points were clearing up the misinformation, explaining the framework of the course as of now and how it’s coming along as the course is just in its developing stages. Further into their statement, they elaborate on the clarification of optional topics in the pilot course such as “contemporary events like the Black Lives Matter movement, reparations, and mass incarceration.”

The biggest point College Board cleared up and thoroughly explained is their communication between them and Florida. Its revealed how their exchanges where only transactional emails about filing paperwork for the pilot course and how they believe the course is not in violation of Florida laws. Additional letters were sent from Florida but with little to no valid information regarding how the course is not suitable for Florida, rather expressing their gratitude for the changes made to the course that College Board never made.

“Florida expresses gratitude for the removal of 19 topics, none of which they ever asked us to remove, and most of which remain in the official framework…They also claimed that we removed terms like ‘systemic marginalization’ and ‘intersectionality’ at their behest. This is not true,” explained College Board. “We took a hard look at these terms because they often are misunderstood, misrepresented, and co-opted as political weapons…Florida is attempting to claim a political victory by taking credit retroactively for changes we ourselves made but that they never suggested to us.”

As this article is being written the situation regarding the course, College Board, and Florida’s officials keeps evolving every day. DeSantis has released his response on this and contemplating on the future of AP classes in Florida, updates will come as soon as more information is released.