Aug 14, 2023

DeSantis Continues To Feud Over AP Classes

It’s not the governor’s first time at odds with the College Board.
DeSantis Continues To Feud Over AP Classes

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Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: The College Board said last week that its Advanced Placement (AP) psychology could no longer be offered in Florida, as the board couldn’t alter the course to adhere to a Florida law that bans the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation in all grades. The state then said it would allow AP psychology to continue to be taught "in its entirety” only “in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate.”

  • Uncertainty: It remains unclear what this will mean in practice. The Florida law hasn’t been changed or amended, and the state didn’t give specifics as to what would be considered the proper “manner” of teaching the course. Some believe teachers could still be punished for teaching certain aspects of the curriculum.

It is not the first time: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the College Board feuded earlier this year when he rejected the new AP African-American studies curriculum for its inclusion of subjects such as “Black Queer Studies,” which also violated another law in the state, the Stop W.O.K.E Act. In that case, the board capitulated, removing those sections.

Zoom out: Both laws prohibiting instruction of controversial material in the state have led the Florida Education Department to scrutinize curricula and textbooks. This year, the department reviewed and rejected dozens of social studies textbooks and curriculums for their content "surrounding contemporary issues of race and social justice." It also worked with publishers to edit, and ultimately approve, many more.

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