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Tipsheet

College Board to Change Course After DeSantis Stands Up to 'African-American Studies' AP Class

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has once more found himself in the news as he's weathered standing up to woke ideologies and agendas. Last week, as Guy covered, the governor's office expressed concern that the pilot version of an AP African-American Studies (APAAS) course violated state law, with Guy providing subsequent information in defense of such concerns. On Tuesday, however, the governor's office released a statement indicating that the College Board has said it would revise the course.

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A statement from the College Board is included in Lydia Nusbaum's report for Florida's Voice:

“Before a new AP course is made broadly available, it is piloted in a small number of high schools to gather feedback from high schools and colleges. The official course framework incorporates this feedback and defines what students will encounter on the AP Exam for college credit and placement,” the College Board said. “We are grateful for the contributions of experts, teachers, and students and look forward to sharing the framework broadly.”

The governor's office also rereleased a statement from Florida Department of Education (FDOE) Communications Director Alex Lanfranconi. "We are glad the College Board has recognized that the originally submitted course curriculum is problematic, and we are encouraged to see the College Board express a willingness to amend. AP courses are standardized nationwide, and as a result of Florida’s strong stance against identity politics and indoctrination, students across the country will consequentially have access to an historically accurate, unbiased course," Lanfranconi said.

Lanfranconi also referenced Gov. DeSantis' commitment to stop wokeness in Florida schools. "As Governor DeSantis said, African American History is American History, and we will not allow any organization to use an academic course as a gateway for indoctrination and a political agenda," his statement continued.

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In December of 2021, the governor signed the Stop WOKE Act as a way ensure Critical Race Theory (CRT) is kept out of schools and the workplace. DeSantis and the legislation were granted a win earlier this year thanks to a decision from U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker. 

Additionally, DeSantis has spoken out against woke indoctrination time and time again. During a Monday announcement on pay increases for Florida teachers, the governor defended the rejection of the APAAS. 

"In the state of Florida, our education standards not only don't prevent, but they require teaching black history--all the important things that's part of our core curriculum," he reminded, pointing out that it "was a separate course on top of that for advanced placement credit."

DeSantis also went on to discuss what kind of "guidelines" and "standards" Florida has. "And the issue is we have guidelines and standards in Florida. We want education, not indoctrination. If you fall on the side of indoctrination, we're going to decline. If it's education, then we will do [it]. [W]hen I heard it didn't meet the standards, I figured, yeah, they may be something [concerning] here. It's way more than that. This is a course on black history—[and] what's one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now who would say that an important part of black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids," he explained. "And so, when you look and see they have stuff about intersectionality, abolishing prisons--that's a political agenda. That's the wrong side of the line for Florida's standards. We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think, but we don't believe they should have an agenda imposed on them. When you try to use black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes." 

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Lanfranconi's statement also made reference to specific issues with the curriculum. "We look forward to reviewing the College Board’s changes and expect the removal of content on Critical Race Theory, Black Queer Studies, Intersectionality, and other topics that violate our laws," he concluded. 

As Guy included in his subsequent reporting, the governor's office had indicated in a letter from the FDOE to the College Board that "FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion."

Guy also was able to get a copy of the curriculum. Not only did it contain problematic content, but, as Nusbaum had also mentioned in her piece, the curriculum had been kept hidden from public view, despite being having already released as a pilot program in 60 schools.

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In his initial coverage, Guy predicted that "the stupid, knee-jerk reply in some quarters" would be because of their claims that "Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans who run the state are racists." How right he was.

Chief among them, of course, was MSNBC's Joy Reid. During last Thursday's episode of "The ReidOut" she claimed, that DeSantis wanted a pro-slavery curriculum. Kevin Tober highlighted and clipped the segment for NewsBusters. 

Given that the College Board has agreed to come back to the table, the responsible course of action would be for Reid to mention that during a show in the near future, preferably this very week. We're not holding our breaths though, that she would let facts get in the way of her narrative, given how many times she's tried to smear the governor as a supposed racist. 

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