Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has squared off against The College Board, which is an organization that designs Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high schools across the country, over an AP course on black American history. DeSantis, and the Florida Department of Education, claimed that The College Board bowed to their demands to remove offensive, age-inappropriate content from its curriculum after the state rejected the initial version.
Florida’s Department of Education said that it rejected the AP African-American History course because it “lacks educational value,” in part due to the inclusion of a “queer theory” part in the curriculum (which “queer” refers to LGBTQIA+ ideology).
DeSantis said that the controversy was the fault of The College Board, “The College Board was the one that in a Black studies course, put queer theory in. Not us.” The governor added, “They were the ones that put in intersectionality, other types of neo-Marxism into the proposed syllabus, and this was the proposed course. So our Department of Education looked at that and said, ‘In Florida, we do education, not indoctrination,’ and so that runs afoul of our standards.”
But The College Board disputed those claims and said, in a statement, “While it has been claimed that the College Board was in frequent dialogue with Florida about the content of AP African American Studies, this is a false and politically motivated charge.” The organization said, “Our exchanges with them are actually transactional email about the filing of paperwork to request a pilot course code and our response to their request that the College Board explain why we believe the course is not in violation of Florida laws.”
When the mainstream media’s coverage amplified the Left’s argument against DeSantis’s move to change parts of the course curriculum, DeSantis then floated the idea of abolishing AP courses in Florida altogether.
DeSantis said, at a press conference, “This College Board, like, nobody elected them to anything. They’re just kind of there, and they’re providing service. So you can either utilize those services or not. And they’ve provided these AP courses for a long time, but, you know, there are probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as good or maybe even a lot better.”
For context, a classical education is a traditional liberal arts education which has become increasingly popular among parents who have enrolled their children in private charter schools, homeschooling pods, or other non-public education options. A classical education, contrary to modern public education, emphasizes critical thinking, learning the natural sciences, classical literature, and history of civilization. Conservative higher education institutions, such as Hillsdale College, champion classical education as one way for concerned parents to combat Leftist indoctrination in public schools.
The College Board may be fighting DeSantis because the AP courses could be a money-maker for the organization. The organization allegedly charges money for its AP courses and year-end exams to school districts, where some school districts cover the cost of the exams while others subsidize the exams’ cost.