The College Board announced on Tuesday that the curriculum for AP African American Studies will be publicly released soon. The curriculum garnered backlash among conservatives after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis blocked it from being taught in schools.
The course, currently undergoing pilots at five dozen high schools across the nation, is centered upon leftist activism rather than the study of black history. The Florida Department of Education recently informed the College Board that the course’s content is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” adding that the state would reconsider the course should the organization make the material “lawful” and “historically accurate.”
The College Board referenced the beginning of Black History Month in a statement provided to The Daily Wire announcing the course structure’s public release.
“This framework, under development since March 2022, replaces the preliminary pilot course framework under discussion to date,” the organization said. “We are grateful for the contributions of experts, teachers, and students and look forward to sharing the framework broadly.”
Florida Department of Education Communications Director Alex Lanfranconi said in a statement provided to The Daily Wire that the agency is “glad the College Board has recognized that the originally submitted course curriculum is problematic” and expressed hope that “students across the country will consequentially have access to an historically accurate, unbiased course” as a result of the state’s hesitancy to the original version.
The College Board had previously declined to release the AP African American Studies curriculum, asserting that the material contains proprietary information. AP courses are university-level classes offered in some high schools and often translate to college credit once students gain admission to undergraduate programs.
While supporters of teaching African American studies have argued that the courses encourage holistic thinking about American history, skeptics note that such courses often serve as a front for teaching left-wing advocacy and grievance studies. The College Board’s website suggests that a major in African American studies can prepare a student for only one career field, community organizing and activism, even as the organization says a history major can prepare students for a multitude of careers, including anthropology, law, and foreign service.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed legislation last year preventing the state’s government schools from teaching discrimination on the basis of race, color, or sex, has emerged as a leading skeptic of the new AP African American Studies course. He noted that it submits policies such as prison abolition for student consideration, even though such suggestions are primarily supported by left-wing activists.
“They’re advocating things like abolishing prisons. Now that’s a radical political position,” DeSantis told reporters. “You’re free to take that in your own life, I don’t think very many people think that would actually work, but how is that being taught as fact?”
DeSantis added that he does not view black history as inherently distinct from the overall history of the United States.
“That’s what our standards for black history are: it’s just cut-and-dry history. You learn all the basics, you learn about the great figures,” he remarked. “I view it as American history. I don’t view it as separate history.”