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March 31, 2023
A newly-released letter from the Florida Department of Education shows state officials were in consistent contact with the College Board’s Florida Partnership throughout 2022 regarding the specifics of a new AP African American studies course that has been the subject of controversy in recent weeks.
In spite of claims from the College Board that the state did not influence the creation of the Advanced Placement course, the letter, dated February 7, 2023, appears to prove that the two entities had been in constant communication with each other about the course as early as January of 2022. “That FDOE and the College Board have been communicating since January 2022 regarding the proposed course is remarkable,” wrote the Florida Department of Education. “We do appreciate the regular, two-way verbal and written dialogue on this important topic,” the letter continued.
The letter goes on to detail the many instances of communication between the two, including the objections the state had to several specific components of the course. The updated version of the course was submitted to Florida officials last week after Governor Ron DeSantis blocked the course in its previous version, claiming it amounted to teaching Critical Race Theory, which is banned in the Sunshine State. The communications date from January to early this year before the Florida DoE rejected the course as it was written.
The new course framework, submitted earlier this month, no longer includes topics on the Black Lives Matter movement, reparations, African American women’s history, and intersectionality. The letter praises the College Board for making the changes. The letter contradicts earlier claims that the Florida government had no say in what was ultimately included in the AP course, which would be taught in high schools and would count toward college credits. DeSantis was threatened with lawsuits earlier this month for blocking the course from being taught.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: ABC NEWS