The organization that oversees advanced placement courses and college entrance exams sued Florida Republicans on Saturday for spreading misinformation about its new African American Studies course for political purposes.
Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) announced that the Florida Department of Education would reject the new course because he understood subjects on race that he and others conservatives pushed to erase public schools. In its pilot phase, the course covered topics such as mass incarceration and reparations.
The law known as Stop the wake up act that Florida Republicans passed last year has led to an anti-black movement in schools across the state, where educators are now virtually banned from teaching students about racism and its role in American history. Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz called the new AP course “awakened indoctrination disguised as education.”
“We deeply regret not immediately speaking out against the Florida Department of Education’s slander, amplified by the Desantis administration’s subsequent comments that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value.’ Our failure to speak out has betrayed black scholars around the world and those who have long worked hard to build this remarkable field,” the College Board said in a statement released on Saturday.
On the first day of Black History Month, the College Board released the course’s official syllabus, which no longer included many topics Florida Republicans had spoken out, like the Black Lives Matter movement and notable black authors like Bell Hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw and Ta-Nehisi Coates. THE the decision of what to include caused widespread backlash academics and the public, but the board claimed the program was determined without regard to politics and was not influenced by DeSantis.
“We should have made it clear that the framework is just the lesson plan, which has yet to be filled with the scholarly papers, video lectures, and practice questions that we assemble and make available to all AP teachers in the summer for a free and easy assignment. to their students,” he continued. “This mistake sparked a conversation about erasing or eliminating black thinkers. The vitriol directed against these scholars is repugnant and must stop.
The College Board said topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement and mass incarceration were optional topics in the pilot phase and that the board’s “lack of clarity allowed the narrative to emerge that forces politicians had “downgraded” the role of these contemporary movements and debates in the AP class.
“In Florida’s effort to engineer a political victory, they claimed credit for specific changes we made to the official framework,” the College Board said. “In their letter of February 7, 2023, which they disclosed to the media a few hours after sendingFlorida expresses gratitude for the removal of 19 topics, none of which we were ever asked to remove, and most of which remain within the official scope.
Florida officials claimed the College Board was in frequent contact about the content of the new course, implying that the state’s Department of Education influenced the board to make some changes to the course. The College Board disputed the claim on Saturday, saying there was no negotiation over the course with Florida or any state, “nor have we received any requests, suggestions or comments,” to except for emails containing fiery rhetoric that Republicans have publicly aired on education. racism.
“This new AP course may be historic – what makes history are the lived experiences of millions of African Americans and the long work of scholars who have built this field,” the College Board said. “We hope that our future efforts unequivocally and unequivocally honor their work.”