ORLANDO, Fla. - The College Board released its new framework on Wednesday for its AP African American Studies course, which came under scrutiny after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration blocked parts of the coursework claiming it violated state law and was historically inaccurate.
"This course is an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African American history and culture," said David Coleman, CEO of the College Board, in a statement. "No one is excluded from this course: the Black artists and inventors whose achievements have come to light; the Black women and men, including gay Americans, who played pivotal roles in the civil rights movement; and people of faith from all backgrounds who contributed to the antislavery and civil rights causes. Everyone is seen."
At a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. DeSantis said he had not yet seen or read the College Board's new outline for the class.
In a news release, the College Board described the course as "an interdisciplinary course that draws from a variety of fields—history, literature, the arts, geography, science—to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans. As with all AP courses in the humanities, this is a course that offers direct engagement with evidence and events."
It said it consulted with more than 300 professors at 200 colleges nationwide to develop the course, adding that no states or school districts have seen the framework, "much less provided feedback on it."
"As submitted, the course is a vehicle for a political agenda and leaves large, ambiguous gaps that can be filled with additional ideological material, which we will not allow. As Governor DeSantis has stated, our classrooms will be a place for education, not indoctrination," DeSantis' press secretary Bryan Griffin said in a statement last week, referring to the initial course framework that was submitted to the state.
The Department of Education had six topics and associated readings with the initial course framework:
- intersectionality and activism
- Black queer studies
- Movement for Black Lives
- Black feminist literary thought
- The reparations movement
- Black study and Black struggle in the 21st Century
The state said at the time that if the College Board revised its course, it would review and consider the course again.
Attorney Trudy Smith, who supports the governor, supports the changes.
"I think removing some of these ideological perspectives is the right way to go, especially if we're talking about a high school curriculum that's designed to teach students the facts about history," she said.
"This course is very comprehensive, as it currently stands," he said, "it would be difficult in a college course in a semester or quarter to cover as much ground as this course covers. I don't think we should lose sight of that," said Georgetown University Professor Robert Patterson, who helped write the curriculum.