The College Board announced on Tuesday that it would release a new framework for the advanced placement course in African American studies that has been blocked by Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration from being offered in Florida high schools.
The nonprofit, which oversees the National Advanced Placement Program, announced that on Feb. 1 it would “release the official framework” for an AP African American Studies course that it says will has been in development since March.
The move comes a week after the DeSantis administration sent a letter to the College Board rejecting the course, saying, “As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and grossly lacking in educational value.”
A College Board spokesperson did not respond to questions about whether the change was a direct result of Florida’s rejection of the course.
The organization previously said it was piloting the course in 60 high schools and regularly gathering feedback before offering its courses more widely.
“The official course framework incorporates this feedback and defines what students will encounter on the AP exam for college credit and placement,” the College Board said Tuesday.
The Florida Department of Education, which had opposed the program, said it welcomes upcoming revisions, although they have yet to be released.
“We are pleased that the College Board has recognized that the curriculum originally submitted is problematic, and we are encouraged to see the College Board express a willingness to change it,” said agency spokesperson Alex Lanfranconi. in a press release. “AP courses are nationally standardized and, due to Florida’s strong stance against identity politics and indoctrination, students nationwide will therefore have access to a historically accurate and unbiased course.”
Lanfranconi said he plans to remove content on topics “that violate our laws,” including critical race theory, black queer studies and intersectionality.
DeSantis, who won re-election in November and is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, had criticized the inclusion of material on queer theory as recently as Monday.
“Who would say that a big part of black history is queer theory? It’s somebody pushing an agenda on our kids,” DeSantis said. “And so when you look and see they have stuff on intersectionality, prison abolition — that’s a political agenda. That’s the wrong side of the line for Florida standards.”
DeSantis has made education and other social issues a key part of his administration. Last year, he signed into law a law dubbed the “Stop WOKE Law,” which restricts how race and gender are discussed in classrooms.
The White House last week slammed DeSantis’ opposition to the AP, calling it “incomprehensible.”
“If you think about the Black American study, that’s what he wants to block,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing. “They didn’t block AP European History.”