As you may have heard, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced last week that he would ban a pilot program for an Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course. While students, teachers, activists, and legislators in Florida speak out in opposition to this decision, there are a few crucial things you should know about the ban.
- FLORIDA’S DECISIONS IMPACT THE NATION
Florida’s sizable school aged population gives it enormous sway over nationwide school curriculums and its current governor, Ron DeSantis, is a leading Presidential candidate for the 2024 election. Other right-wing presidential candidates and governors are already suggesting that they’ll follow Ron DeSantis’ lead in enacting anti-truth policies.
- THE COLLEGE BOARD COULD DO SOMETHING
The College Board maintains enormous influence in the world of education, particularly regarding college prep coursework and tests. The College Board develops and administers AP classes AND the SAT. With this much sway over the nation’s high school curriculums, they could stand up to this ban by pulling their entire program from Florida. Instead, they’ve responded to this ban by announcing that they’ll introduce a new framework for this course in the coming days, though they deny that Florida’s ban had anything to do with their decision. We’ll pay close attention to how they respond.
- WE KNEW THIS WAS COMING
This is the inevitable result of the anti-Black, anti-truth movement masquerading as “anti-CRT” or “anti-WOKE.” Initially, we were told that this movement was designed to protect white kids (and parents) from dealing with difficult social issues or college level material while in school. That’s bad enough by itself but this course was an elective! No one had to take it. Not only that, but the AP program is designed to present high school students with college level courses and critical thinking. If it wasn’t clear before, this decision reveals that the anti-truth movement’s true goal is to eliminate Black theorists and thinkers from school curriculum and, ultimately, erase the Black experience.
We’ll continue to track this story and work to ensure that all students have the ability and access to understand the past and dream about the future.