A new Advanced Placement (AP) course on African American studies has been blocked by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration. Officials say that the high school course is not “historically accurate” and violates state law, according to The New York Times.
In a letter sent Jan. 12, the Florida Department of Education notified officials from the College Board that the class would not be included in the state’s course directory.
“As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” the letter, which was sent by the department’s Office of Articulation read. In the future, officials from the department said they would be open to reassessing the course, should the College Board “be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content.”
The department’s Office of Articulation oversees accelerated programs for high school students. The letter did not specify how the course violated state law. Officials have not publicly commented on the matter, either.
After DeSantis and his team struck down the course, representatives from the College Board shared their thoughts about the decision. According to the board, the AP African American studies course was still undergoing a multiyear pilot phase. The multidisciplinary course includes elements of history, civil rights and politics. Literature, art and geography are also covered in the program.
“The process of piloting and revising course frameworks is a standard part of any new A.P. course, and frameworks often change significantly as a result,” the College Board said in a statement. “We will publicly release the updated course framework when it is completed and well before this class is widely available in American high schools.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis passed the “STOP Woke Act” last year
Over the last year, DeSantis has been shaking up headlines with his staunch Republican views. In 2022, the politician passed the STOP Woke Act, which restricts how racism and other parts of history can be taught in schools and workplaces. It also prohibits educators from making students feel guilty or responsible about the past transgressions of other races.
After passing the legislation, DeSantis tried to further institute the law. He tried to use the STOP Woke Act to place a ban on workplace diversity and race trainings, but a judge blocked the move. The judge argued that a portion of the law violated free speech, according to NewsOne.
Sadly, this latest move is just another win for the 2024 GOP presidential candidate, who appears to be working overtime to secure his spot ahead of election season.
Back in November, the Republican politician dropped all mask mandates for Florida schools, ironically arguing that parents should have a choice over their children’s health care decisions amid the pandemic. In late March, Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis signed the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law. Under the new measure, teachers are prohibited from instructing on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. The policy has since sparked scrutiny among Democrats and other lawmakers. Some argue that it marginalizes the LGBTQ community.