The College Board, the nonprofit that oversees the SAT and Advanced Placement courses for high schoolers, announced on Tuesday that it would revise the AP African American Studies course it developed after DeSantis rejected the curriculum for Florida.
The organization said it would release the course’s “official framework” on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month.
The version that DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education objected to was a pilot that had limited release to gain feedback.
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As The Free Press reported, DeSantis strongly criticized the program for being laced with Critical Race Theory, references to “intersectionality,” and an LGBTQ provision for lessons on things like Black Queer Studies.
“Who would say that an important part of black history is ‘queer theory’?” DeSantis said at a press conference on Monday. “Somebody pushing an agenda on our kids. … They have stuff about intersectionality, abolishing prisons. That’s a political agenda.”
DeSantis’ criticism, though, earned him the scorn of leftist media pundits, some black religious leaders, and the White House — some of whom were gaslighting the American public by claiming Florida was not going to teach African-American history at all.
On Friday, Florida Governor DeSantis’ Press Secretary, Bryan Griffin, fired back at CNN, publishing an email from the outlet on Twitter.
“See below for this morning’s activism from @CNN. This isn’t journalism–it’s media malpractice. Taking a critic’s dishonest position, legitimizing it with unnamed Experts™, & writing with a standard of ‘guilty until proven innocent’ does absolutely nothing to inform the public,” tweeted Griffin Friday.
On Wednesday, leading chants of “Black history is American history,” prominent civil-rights attorney Ben Crump threatened to sue Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s rejection of an African American studies course.
“The question really is this, brothers and sisters. Are we going to let Gov. DeSantis, or anybody, exterminate Black history from the classrooms in Florida?” Crump said during an event at the Capitol, flanked by Black lawmakers and three students who would be plaintiffs in a lawsuit. Crump added, “We are here to give notice to Gov. DeSantis that if he does not negotiate with the College Board to allow AP (Advanced Placement) African American studies to be taught in the classrooms across the state of Florida, that these three young people will be the lead plaintiffs in an historic lawsuit.”
The controversy stems from a Jan. 12 letter from the state Department of Education’s Office of Articulation to a senior director at The College Board, which has developed the Advanced Placement African American studies course.
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The letter advised that the course wouldn’t be offered in Florida public schools unless changes were made.
Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes offered to high-school students.
The letter said the course “significantly lacks educational value.” The department later published an infographic outlining “concerns found within” the course, including topics such as “Black queer studies” and “the reparations movement.” Education officials also expressed concerns about several authors whose works would be a requirement within the course.
“In the future, should College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion,” the letter said.
“Excellent news. Thanks to (DeSantis’) principled stand for education over identity politics, the College Board will be revising the course for the entire nation. The Florida Department of Education … will review the changes for compliance once resubmitted,” Griffin said in a tweet Tuesday.
The state’s rejection of the course has drawn national attention, including a rebuke from the Biden administration. Black religious leaders also are planning a Feb. 16 rally in Tallahassee to speak out on the issue.
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