Florida bans AP African-American history course for ‘educational value’

Florida will not allow schools in the state to offer a new Advanced Placement course in African-American history, claiming it “significantly lacks educational value” and violates state law.

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) informed the College Board of its decision to reject the class, which is now in a pilot stage, in a letter dated January 12, The New York Times reported. The letter did not cite any specific laws, the Times noted.

Under its Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida enacted the so-called “Stop WOKE Act” last summer to hinder teaching about systemic inequality. The law expands the legal definition of discrimination to include lessons about racial or gender privilege and oppression, and states that no one should be instructed to “FFeeling guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress” as a result of their race or gender.

Although some groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, challenge it for being unconstitutionally vague, some college professors have been tweaking their curricula on race-related issues to avoid breaking the law. Some have even canceled courses entirely rather than risk landing in legal hot water.

The College Board, a nonprofit organization that oversees college entrance exams, offers AP classes as a way for high school students to earn college credit and strengthen their college applications.

Currently, the AP African American Studies course is taught in 60 schools across the country. However, the College Board plans to make it widely accessible by the 2024-2025 school year.

The organization’s website states that the new course, which has been in development for a decade, “spans a variety of fields (literature, arts and humanities, political science, geography, and science) to explore the contributions and vital experiences of africans. American people.” Additionally, the College Board says it consulted college professors across the country for information, though the full curriculum is not publicly available.

The course would not be automatically introduced to Florida schools. Like all AP courses, schools must apply to the College Board to offer them.

However, the Florida Department of Education does not give school administrators any choice.

“As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacking in educational value,” the department’s letter to the College Board said, according to WESH, an Orlando NBC affiliate.

“Moving forward, if the College Board is willing to come back to the table with legally and historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion,” he said, WESH reported.

In November, a judge blocked the state of Florida from enforcing the “Stop WOKE Act,” but only for colleges and universities.

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