Florida Rejects Black History AP Curriculum, Saying It “Lacks Educational Value”

The rejection of the proposed class is “one other racist act that limits training for college students,” one critic famous.

The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has rejected a request from the nonprofit group that manages Superior Placement (AP) highschool lessons to broaden a course on Black research within the state.

The Faculty Board, which runs numerous AP applications and the SAT check, has run a pilot program of an AP standard African American studies course in 60 faculties throughout the nation. Particulars of the curriculum haven’t but been made public, although topics within the coursework embody speeches by Malcolm X, the Black Panther Celebration’s free breakfast and medical applications, and the historical past of Juneteenth, the nationwide vacation commemorating the tip of slavery after the Civil Warfare.

“Drawing from the experience and expertise of school college and lecturers throughout the nation, the course is designed to supply highschool college students an evidence-based introduction to African American research,” a description of the class reads. “The interdisciplinary course reaches into a wide range of fields — literature, the humanities and humanities, political science, geography, and science — to discover the important contributions and experiences of African People.”

Whereas a number of states have banned or sought to restrict the teaching of critical race theory (or relatively, officers’ errant interpretations of it), lecturers have made it clear that the AP course doesn’t violate these statutes.

“AP African American Research shouldn’t be CRT. It’s not the 1619 Mission. It’s a mainstream, rigorously vetted, educational strategy to a vibrant area of research, one half a century previous within the American academy, and far older, after all, in traditionally Black faculties and universities,” Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of many nation’s foremost specialists in Black historical past, told TIME in August.

However, the Florida Division of Training (FDOE) rejected the appliance to broaden the instructing of the course all through the state, probably counting on the requirements of the “Cease WOKE Act,” which DeSantis signed in 2022 to restrict Florida educators from teaching about race and racism in American history.

FDOE justified its decision to reject the course in a letter dated January 12, claiming that, “as introduced, the content material of this course is inexplicably opposite to Florida regulation and considerably lacks academic worth.”

“Sooner or later, ought to Faculty Board be prepared to return again to the desk with lawful, traditionally correct content material, FDOE will at all times be prepared to reopen the dialogue,” the letter went on.

It’s unclear what components of the lesson plan FDOE has deemed inaccurate, as the main points of the curriculum are unknown. However many consider the rejection of the course is just one other try to limit classes on racism, relatively than a response to any precise inaccuracies.

“DeSantis Blocks AP African-American Research Course. One other racist act that limits training for college students,” Karla Hernández, president of the United Lecturers of Dade, said on Twitter.

“This political extremism and its assault of Black Historical past and Black individuals, goes to create a complete era of Black kids who gained’t be capable of see themselves mirrored in any respect inside their very own training or in their very own State,” state Sen. Shevrin Jones (D) said.

Some human rights advocates famous that FDOE rejected the curriculum briefly after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was publicly commemorated by many Republican politicians within the state, together with DeSantis.

“In the future after quoting MLK on MLK Day, Florida MAGA Gov Ron DeSantis cancels AP African American Research Program, saying it ‘Lacks Academic Worth.’ How ridiculous,” human rights lawyer and author Qasim Rashid said.

Mother and father of Black college students in Florida additionally criticized the transfer. Delilah Andrews, a Black mom of two kids close to Orlando, advised WESH, the native NBC affiliate station, that the state’s motion was disappointing.

“It saddens me, you perceive, as a result of among the kids, they don’t get that African American historical past at residence,” she said.