The Florida Department of Education said that the College Board’s plan for an AP African American Studies course had been turned down.
A description of the course on the College Board website said it would introduce high school students to African American studies and teach them about literature, geography, and other topics.
“Using the knowledge and experience of college professors and teachers from all over the country, the course is meant to give high school students an introduction to African American studies based on facts,” the description said. “The interdisciplinary course looks at the important contributions and experiences of African Americans from the point of view of literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography, and science.”
Nikki Taylor, in charge of the history department at Howard University, wrote that these kinds of classes are essential for learning more about the country’s past.
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Taylor said, “A solid understanding of how African Americans have shaped America, its history, laws, institutions, culture, arts, and even the way Americans practice democracy today, sharpens all knowledge about our country.”
In a letter to the College Board, the FDOE confirmed that they disagree with adding the AP course to the Florida Course Code Directory and Instructional Personnel Assignments.
A timeline on the College Board website shows that the pilot of the AP course in African American studies started this school year in 60 schools across the U.S.
The website says that in 2023–2024, hundreds of high schools will join the pilot program. In 2024–2025, all high schools will be able to offer the course.
In the spring of 2025, the first tests would be given.
WESH 2 called school districts in our area to find out if any schools were offering the course.
In a letter to the College Board, the Florida Department of Education said, “As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably against Florida law and has very little educational value.”
The fact that Delilah Andrews, a mother of two, wasn’t liked was sad for her.
Andrews said, “It makes me sad because some kids don’t learn about African American history at home.”
WESH 2 got a statement from the College Board that said:
“As with all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is going through a rigorous pilot phase that lasts for several years. Teachers, students, scholars, and policymakers give feedback during this time. Every new AP course has to go through a process of piloting and revising course frameworks. As a result, frameworks change a lot. We look forward to making the updated course framework public as soon as it’s done, which will be a long time before this class is offered in most high schools in the United States.”
In the letter to the College Board, the Florida Department of Education said, “In the future, if College Board is willing to come back to the table with legal, historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion.”
WESH 2 did contact the governor’s office to find out if they had anything to say about the letter. No one has gotten back to us.