The College Board Accuses Florida of Spreading ‘Misinformation’ on New AP African-American Studies Course
The College Board recently released two statements accusing the Florida Department of Education of spreading “disinformation” and playing politics.
The first statement was a letter to the Florida Department of Education sent on February 8 and published on the ninth. The letter claims that the FDOE did not adequately communicate with the College Board and that some of Florida’s claims about its course content were untrue.
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“Four of the six course elements criticized in that tweet were in fact not present in the actual pilot framework we provided you in July 2022, including readings by Angela Davis and bell hooks, and references to Leslie Kay Jones and Roderick Ferguson. The tweet also objected to “Black Queer Studies,” though no such topic appears in the July 2022 pilot course framework.”
The letter also rejects the notion that any course topics are the “historical fiction” it’s been accused of and denies that any course changes were motivated by Florida’s response. Instead of being shaped by educator feedback.
The Board also claimed that it never made some of the changes to its coursework that have been reported, claiming that specific curriculum segments were always optional.
“We must also clarify that no Black scholars or authors have been removed from the course. In fact, contemporary scholars and authors are never mandated in any AP framework. Instead, the AP Program utilizes our AP Classroom digital library to provide such resources, where teachers are free to assign readings but are not required to do so. Further, through the required project component, contemporary topics like the Movement for Black Lives and debates over incarceration and reparations can play a more significant role in earning college credit than in the pilot, where they were also elective but did not contribute to the exam score.”
On February 11, The College Board issued a statement addressing the public directly, apologizing for its conduct and accusing Florida of spreading “misinformation. The Board wrote that “…we have made mistakes in the rollout that are being exploited.”
The first portion of the address apologizes to the public for not denouncing the FDOE’s “slander” sooner. However, the Board also claimed that some of the segments Florida took issue with were always optional.
“We should have made clear that contemporary events like the Black Lives Matter movement, reparations, and mass incarceration were optional topics in the pilot course. Our lack of clarity allowed the narrative to arise that political forces had “downgraded” the role of these contemporary movements and debates in the AP class.”
Board argued that Florida mischaracterized their communications entirely as well.
“While it has been claimed that the College Board was in frequent dialogue with Florida about the content of AP African American Studies, this is a false and politically motivated charge. Our exchanges with them are actually transactional emails about the filing of paperwork to request a pilot course code and our response to their request that the College Board explain why we believe the course is not in violation of Florida laws. We had no negotiations about the content of this course with Florida or any other state, nor did we receive any requests, suggestions, or feedback.”
They went so far as to assume the FDOE’s motive, calling their offering courtesy a “mistake.”
“We have made the mistake of treating FDOE with the courtesy we always accord to an education agency, but they have instead exploited this courtesy for their political agenda.”
Towards the end, The College Board distilled the actual point of their statement, again assuming Florida’s motive and the FDOE of them of dishonesty.
“Florida is attempting to claim a political victory by taking credit retroactively for changes we ourselves made but that they never suggested to us.”
However, despite these bombshell claims, their truth has been contested. Independent journalist Judd Legum tweeted a timeline of communication between the two entities, claiming that the College Board is Lying.
A letter from @EducationFL, shared w/the Daily Caller, documents communications between Florida officials and the College Board about concerns w/the course beginning in JANUARY 22
Specifically, they asked the College Board to explain how the course conformed to the Stop WOKE ACT pic.twitter.com/r8WQdwNLMJ
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 9, 2023
However, the DeSantis administration has not spoken on the matter as of the time of writing.
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