The Florida Department of Education is currently examining the revised AP African American Studies course framework released by the College Board after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) warned that a previous version of the material served as a front for extreme left-wing ideology.
Students would have been required to learn about “Black Queer Studies,” “Intersectionality and Activism,” “Black Feminist Literary Thought,” and “The Reparations Movement,” as well as read the works of critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw and self-avowed communist Angela Davis under a former version of the course, according to a list of concerns provided to The Daily Wire by the Florida Department of Education. The framework for the new version appears to have removed the concerning modules, although the newly added student project section encourages students to explore some of the controversial topics.
“This course is an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African American history and culture,” College Board CEO David Coleman said in a press release. “No one is excluded from this course: the Black artists and inventors whose achievements have come to light; the Black women and men, including gay Americans, who played pivotal roles in the civil rights movement; and people of faith from all backgrounds who contributed to the antislavery and civil rights causes. Everyone is seen.”
Sample project topics listed by the College Board, the education nonprofit which manages the nationwide AP course program through which high school students can take university-level classes, include “reparations debates,” “affirmative action,” “gay life and expression in Black communities,” “intersectionality and the dimensions of Black experiences,” and the “origins, impacts, and critics” of the Black Lives Matter movement. The framework clarified that the topics “are not a required part of the course framework that is formally adopted by states and that defines the exam,” adding that states and districts can “refine” the topics available for selection.
DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin told The Daily Wire that officials in the Florida Department of Education, which already mandates traditional black history in public schools, are “currently reviewing the newly released AP African American Studies framework for corrections and compliance with Florida law.” The agency previously informed the College Board that the content was “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” remarking that the state would reconsider the course should the organization make the material “lawful” and “historically accurate.”
While supporters of teaching African American studies have said that the courses encourage holistic thinking about American history, skeptics argue that such courses often serve as a mechanism for left-wing grievance studies. DeSantis noted that the previous version of the AP African American Studies curriculum included radical policies such as prison abolition.
“They’re advocating things like abolishing prisons. Now that’s a radical political position,” he told reporters last month. “You’re free to take that in your own life, I don’t think very many people think that would actually work, but how is that being taught as fact?”
DeSantis added that he does not view black history as inherently distinct from the overall history of the nation. “That’s what our standards for black history are: it’s just cut-and-dry history. You learn all the basics; you learn about the great figures,” he remarked. “I view it as American history. I don’t view it as separate history.”