The administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is obstructing a brand new Superior Placement course for highschool college students on African American research.
In a January 12 letter to the Faculty Board, the nonprofit group that oversees AP coursework, the Florida Division of Schooling’s Workplace of Articulation stated the course is “inexplicably opposite to Florida regulation and considerably lacks academic worth.”
The letter didn’t elaborate on what the company discovered objectionable within the course content material. A spokeswoman for the division didn’t instantly reply to a CNN inquiry.
“Sooner or later, ought to Faculty Board be prepared to come back again to the desk with lawful, traditionally correct content material, FDOE will all the time be prepared to reopen the dialogue,” the letter acknowledged.
In an announcement to CNN, the Faculty Board declined to straight tackle the choice in Florida however stated, “We stay up for bringing this wealthy and galvanizing exploration of African-American historical past and tradition to college students throughout the nation.”
The rejection of an Superior Placement African American Research course follows efforts by DeSantis to overtake Florida’s academic curriculum to restrict educating about vital race idea. In 2021, the state enacted a regulation that banned educating the idea, which explores the historical past of systemic racism in america and its continued impacts. The regulation additionally banned materials from The 1619 Undertaking, a Pulitzer Prize-winning venture by The New York Instances to reframe American historical past across the arrival of slave ships on American shores. Final 12 months, DeSantis additionally signed a invoice limiting how colleges can discuss race with college students.
The Faculty Board unveiled plans to supply an African American research class for the primary time final 12 months. The course is being provided as a pilot in 60 colleges throughout the nation through the 2022-23 college 12 months, with the objective of constructing the course obtainable to all colleges within the 2024-25 college 12 months. The primary AP African American Research examination could be administered within the Spring of 2025, in response to the Faculty Board web site.
It was not instantly clear if Florida had any colleges at present collaborating within the pilot program. The Faculty Board stated the Superior Placement Program has been working with larger schooling establishments to develop an African American Research program for a decade.
“Like all new AP programs, AP African American Research is present process a rigorous, multi-year pilot section, accumulating suggestions from lecturers, college students, students and policymakers,” the assertion stated. “The method of piloting and revising course frameworks is a normal a part of any new AP course, and frameworks typically change considerably because of this. We are going to publicly launch the up to date course framework when it’s accomplished and nicely earlier than this class is extensively obtainable in American excessive colleges.”
In a Twitter post Wednesday, Democratic state Sen. Shevrin Jones, who’s Black, famous that Florida affords different cultural AP programs.
“This political extremism and its assault of Black Historical past and Black individuals, goes to create a complete era of Black kids who received’t have the ability to see themselves mirrored in any respect inside their very own schooling or in their very own state,” Jones said.
DeSantis’ transfer comes as his standing amongst conservatives has soared nationwide following his public stances on hot-button cultural points and in opposition to public well being officers and bureaucrats through the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s stated to be weighing a possible 2024 presidential bid.
A gaggle of Republican state legislators in Michigan looking for to draft him for the 2024 contest signed on to a letter that was hand-delivered to the Florida governor final month, asking that he “search the presidential nomination of our Republican Social gathering.”
The letter was signed by 18 GOP members of the Michigan Senate and Home, who wrote that DeSantis is “uniquely and exceptionally certified to offer the management and competence that’s, sadly, lacking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” In closing, they stated they “stand prepared and prepared that will help you win Michigan in 2024.”
Particulars of the letter had been first reported by Politico.