AP African American Studies no longer offered in Florida



Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has taken issue with the curriculum of the AP African American Studies course, and the state has now rejected the course as a whole, and no longer offers it to students. The Department of Education says the class “lacks educational value.”

DeSantis’s remarks coincided with the release of the College Board’s new curriculum for the course, which removed work from authors discussing critical race theory, black feminism, and black queerness. The topic of black conservatism was also added, which prompted some to speculate whether or not the College Board was caving to political pressure. College Board has denied this in a message that can be found here.

That was not enough, however. The curriculum went against the Stop Woke Act, which prohibits race-related topics in the classroom that could make students feel guilty about past actions of members of their race. The full act, which also regulated workplace training, was blocked by a judge, but the restriction of topics still applies to what can be taught in public schools.

This is not the first time DeSantis has regulated the content being taught in schools. Teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation has been banned in kindergarten classrooms, for fear of ‘indoctrination’. Additionally, select math textbooks were banned by DeSantis, because of their use of social-emotional learning and critical race theory. The rejections are part of DeSantis’s higher education reform agenda, which attempts to eliminate “ideological conformity,” and promote “freedom from indoctrination.”

DeSantis has hinted at banning AP classes altogether, and aside from not learning important information, the banning of AP classes puts Florida students at a disadvantage when it comes to college applications. AP classes and tests are a way to show ambition and competence, as well as gain college credit. If an entire state of students does not have access to the advantages that come from taking APs, they could be permanently behind some of their peers when applying to college, as well as when they are in college.