Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday addressed his administration’s decision to reject a new Advanced Placement course on African American studies proposed by the College Board.
“If you fall on the side of indoctrination, we’re going to decline. If it’s education, then we will do it,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Jacksonville, Florida, per the Tampa Bay Times.
“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,” said Desantis.
What did DeSantis say about rejected AP coursework?
Earlier this month, the state’s Department of Education wrote a letter to the College Board stating that the course “is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” as I previously reported for the Deseret News.
“In the future, should College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion,” the letter said.
At the news conference, the Florida governor stated that the state requires students to take courses in history but the College Board’s offering violates the state law.
“We want to do history, and that’s what our standards for Black history are. It’s just cut and dried history,” DeSantis said, per CNN News.
“You learn all the basics you learn about the great figures, and you know, I view it as American history. I don’t view it as separate history,” he added.
“You know, we have history in lots of different shapes and sizes, people that have participated to make the country great, people that have stood up when it wasn’t easy and they all deserve to be taught. But abolishing prisons being taught to high school kids as if that’s somehow a fact? No, no, that’s not appropriate.”
He didn’t specify what was objectionable about the course, as Forbes reported.
DeSantis rolls out education agenda for state legislature
He held the press conference to roll out the legislative proposal to create a Teacher’s Bill of Rights, which features paycheck protection, shorter terms for school board members from 12 to eight years, and investment of another $1 billion in teacher pay.
“We want more transparency into how school unions operate, and we are going to fight against school union haggling that holds teachers and their salary increases hostage. Partisan groups should not be given special privileges,” DeSantis said.