‘Lacks Educational Value’: Florida blocks AP African American studies class

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The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has declined to include an Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course proposed by the College Board in schools.

According to WESH 2 News, the FDOE said in a letter to College Board that it would not approve including AP African American Studies into the Florida Course Code Directory and Instructional Personnel Assignments because “the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”

The AP African American Studies course was piloted this academic year in 60 schools across the nation, per the College Board website. The course intends to introduce high school students to African American studies and includes a curriculum that covers literature, geography, and more.

“Drawing from the expertise and experience of college faculty and teachers across the country, the course is designed to offer high school students an evidence-based introduction to African American studies,” a description of the course reads, per College Board. “The interdisciplinary course reaches into a variety of fields — literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography, and science — to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans.”

During the 2023-24 academic school year, the pilot is expected to be implemented in hundreds of schools before all institutions can start offering the course in 2024-2025. The first AP exams are set to be administered in the spring of 2025.

Following the FDOE blocking the African American studies course, College Board issued the following statement.

“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. The process of piloting and revising course frameworks is a standard part of any new AP course, and frameworks change significantly as a result. We look forward to publicly releasing the updated course framework as soon as it is completed and well before this class is widely available in American high schools.”

In its letter to College Board, the FDOE wrote: “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.”

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