In the fall of 2022, The College Board offered an Advanced Placement course in African American studies for the first time. The course was offered in 60 high schools throughout the United States. Now 800 schools are planning to offer the course.
In a January 12 letter to the College Board, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Articulation said the course is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.” As a result, the state was refusing to offer the course in Florida high schools. Later, on January 23, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attacked the content of the College Board due to its inclusion of the study of reparations, “queer theory” and political movements such as Black Lives Matter.
Later, the College Board revised the proposed curriculum for the course. Many of the sections objectionable to Governor DeSantis were removed. The College Board claims that the changes were made to the curriculum before Governor DeSantis made his criticism known.
Now the College Board is once again revising the curriculum. In a statement released on April 24, the College Board said that “we are committed to providing an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African American history and culture. To achieve that commitment, we must listen to the diversity of voices within the field. The development committee and experts within AP remain engaged in building a course and exam that best reflect this dynamic discipline. Those scholars and experts have decided they will make changes to the latest course framework during this pilot phase. They will determine the details of those changes over the next few months. The updated framework, shaped by the development committee and subject matter experts from AP, will ensure that those students who do take this course will get the most holistic possible introduction to African American Studies.”