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Saturday, January 28, 2023

AP African American Studies class blocked in Florida

Florida high school students will not have the option to choose an Advanced Placement (AP) course in African American Studies after the Florida Department of Education rejected an attempt by the College Board to bring a pilot program to some schools in the Sunshine State. The administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis may see the course as another move to infuse critical race theory in high schools. It’s important to note that critical race theory is not being taught in Florida’s public schools. The idea that laws and social movements are molded and based on conceptions about race and ethnicity is not part of K-12 programs. It is not clear if it’s part of the AP’s pilot course because neither the College Board nor the state department of education will share the curriculum. The goal is to have the course offered as an elective at every American high school by the 2024-25 academic year.In a statement to WESH 2 News, the education department explained: “In its current form, the College Board’s AP African American Studies course lacks educational value and is contrary to Florida law. If the course comes into compliance and incorporates historically accurate content, the department will reopen the discussion.”Democratic Orlando State Sen. Geraldine Thompson says the education department under Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to rewrite history to marginalize people of color.“We don’t solve our problems by sweeping them under the rug… And pretending like they don’t exist,” Thompson said. “This is a guise for dismissing the contributions of a whole portion of Florida citizens.”Thompson was one of the lawmakers who fought to include the teaching of the Ocoee massacre, the deadly 1920 election riots, as part of Florida’s diverse curriculum. Curriculum that also comprises instruction on the Holocaust. Both were signed into law by DeSantis.Brevard County Republican lawmaker Randy Fine supports the state rejection of the AP course.“The Department of Education felt that the AP is teaching political theory and philosophy and critical race theory and not history,” Fine said. “History is allowed in Florida, but indoctrination is not.”In responding to the state’s decision, the College Board had this to say: “Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers … We look forward to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African-American history and culture to students across the country. “”Teachers in Florida always look for ways to expand student learning. They know that every child needs to see themselves in their education,” said Andrew Spar, president of the state’s largest teachers union, in a statement. “We should always stand against limiting students learning.” The governor’s office has yet to respond to WESH’s requests for comment.

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Florida high school students will not have the option to choose an Advanced Placement (AP) course in African American Studies after the Florida Department of Education rejected an attempt by the College Board to bring a pilot program to some schools in the Sunshine State.

The administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis may see the course as another move to infuse critical race theory in high schools. It’s important to note that critical race theory is not being taught in Florida’s public schools. The idea that laws and social movements are molded and based on conceptions about race and ethnicity is not part of K-12 programs.

It is not clear if it’s part of the AP’s pilot course because neither the College Board nor the state department of education will share the curriculum. The goal is to have the course offered as an elective at every American high school by the 2024-25 academic year.

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In a statement to WESH 2 News, the education department explained: “In its current form, the College Board’s AP African American Studies course lacks educational value and is contrary to Florida law. If the course comes into compliance and incorporates historically accurate content, the department will reopen the discussion.”

Democratic Orlando State Sen. Geraldine Thompson says the education department under Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to rewrite history to marginalize people of color.

“We don’t solve our problems by sweeping them under the rug… And pretending like they don’t exist,” Thompson said. “This is a guise for dismissing the contributions of a whole portion of Florida citizens.”

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Thompson was one of the lawmakers who fought to include the teaching of the Ocoee massacre, the deadly 1920 election riots, as part of Florida’s diverse curriculum. Curriculum that also comprises instruction on the Holocaust. Both were signed into law by DeSantis.

Brevard County Republican lawmaker Randy Fine supports the state rejection of the AP course.

“The Department of Education felt that the AP is teaching political theory and philosophy and critical race theory and not history,” Fine said. “History is allowed in Florida, but indoctrination is not.”

In responding to the state’s decision, the College Board had this to say: “Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers … We look forward to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African-American history and culture to students across the country. “

“Teachers in Florida always look for ways to expand student learning. They know that every child needs to see themselves in their education,” said Andrew Spar, president of the state’s largest teachers union, in a statement. “We should always stand against limiting students learning.”

The governor’s office has yet to respond to WESH’s requests for comment.



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Florida high school students will not have the option to choose an Advanced Placement (AP) course in African American Studies after the Florida Department of Education rejected an attempt by the College Board to bring a pilot program to some schools in the Sunshine State. The administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis may see the course as another move to infuse critical race theory in high schools. It’s important to note that critical race theory is not being taught in Florida’s public schools. The idea that laws and social movements are molded and based on conceptions about race and ethnicity is not part of K-12 programs. It is not clear if it’s part of the AP’s pilot course because neither the College Board nor the state department of education will share the curriculum. The goal is to have the course offered as an elective at every American high school by the 2024-25 academic year.In a statement to WESH 2 News, the education department explained: “In its current form, the College Board’s AP African American Studies course lacks educational value and is contrary to Florida law. If the course comes into compliance and incorporates historically accurate content, the department will reopen the discussion.”Democratic Orlando State Sen. Geraldine Thompson says the education department under Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to rewrite history to marginalize people of color.“We don’t solve our problems by sweeping them under the rug… And pretending like they don’t exist,” Thompson said. “This is a guise for dismissing the contributions of a whole portion of Florida citizens.”Thompson was one of the lawmakers who fought to include the teaching of the Ocoee massacre, the deadly 1920 election riots, as part of Florida’s diverse curriculum. Curriculum that also comprises instruction on the Holocaust. Both were signed into law by DeSantis.Brevard County Republican lawmaker Randy Fine supports the state rejection of the AP course.“The Department of Education felt that the AP is teaching political theory and philosophy and critical race theory and not history,” Fine said. “History is allowed in Florida, but indoctrination is not.”In responding to the state’s decision, the College Board had this to say: “Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers … We look forward to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African-American history and culture to students across the country. “”Teachers in Florida always look for ways to expand student learning. They know that every child needs to see themselves in their education,” said Andrew Spar, president of the state’s largest teachers union, in a statement. “We should always stand against limiting students learning.” The governor’s office has yet to respond to WESH’s requests for comment.

Florida high school students will not have the option to choose an Advanced Placement (AP) course in African American Studies after the Florida Department of Education rejected an attempt by the College Board to bring a pilot program to some schools in the Sunshine State.

The administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis may see the course as another move to infuse critical race theory in high schools. It’s important to note that critical race theory is not being taught in Florida’s public schools. The idea that laws and social movements are molded and based on conceptions about race and ethnicity is not part of K-12 programs.

It is not clear if it’s part of the AP’s pilot course because neither the College Board nor the state department of education will share the curriculum. The goal is to have the course offered as an elective at every American high school by the 2024-25 academic year.

In a statement to WESH 2 News, the education department explained: “In its current form, the College Board’s AP African American Studies course lacks educational value and is contrary to Florida law. If the course comes into compliance and incorporates historically accurate content, the department will reopen the discussion.”

Democratic Orlando State Sen. Geraldine Thompson says the education department under Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to rewrite history to marginalize people of color.

“We don’t solve our problems by sweeping them under the rug… And pretending like they don’t exist,” Thompson said. “This is a guise for dismissing the contributions of a whole portion of Florida citizens.”

Thompson was one of the lawmakers who fought to include the teaching of the Ocoee massacre, the deadly 1920 election riots, as part of Florida’s diverse curriculum. Curriculum that also comprises instruction on the Holocaust. Both were signed into law by DeSantis.

Brevard County Republican lawmaker Randy Fine supports the state rejection of the AP course.

“The Department of Education felt that the AP is teaching political theory and philosophy and critical race theory and not history,” Fine said. “History is allowed in Florida, but indoctrination is not.”

In responding to the state’s decision, the College Board had this to say: “Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers … We look forward to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African-American history and culture to students across the country. “

“Teachers in Florida always look for ways to expand student learning. They know that every child needs to see themselves in their education,” said Andrew Spar, president of the state’s largest teachers union, in a statement. “We should always stand against limiting students learning.”

The governor’s office has yet to respond to WESH’s requests for comment.



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