College Board vs. Education in Florida


Anna Lucia Arguello, Staff Writer

Floridian pushback to new AP course material has been consistent, as long as the trial run of the course itself. However, when a more finalized draft was revealed on the second of this month, the public realized how much had been cut and grew increasingly suspicious of the College Board and its motives. The course was AP African American Studies, an unveiling that should have accentuated Black History Month as a time to celebrate and raise up Black voices. Instead, it only stirs up distress and confusion, leaving everyone scrambling to uncover the truth. 

Florida’s Department of Education was quick to raise concerns about the course, feeling it could possibly be used to further a political agenda. They paid special attention to topics such as units covering the Black Panthers and intersectionality, but the College Board denies political pressure in these areas. Dr. Manoharan, who met with Florida officials on behalf of the college board, stated in the New York Times that, “What became clear very quickly is that these were not content professionals.” He described frustration at the wholly unhelpful revisions suggested, feeling that their involvement was more political than educational. Still, controversial units were seemingly downplayed in the final course, which the public took as confirmation that the Florida Department of Education influenced major decisions. 

In response to the backlash, the College Board itself released statements Saturday. As opposed to folding in the face of political pressure, it insists that “contemporary events like the Black Lives Matter movement, reparations and mass incarceration were optional topics in the pilot course.” It further expressed regret at the handling of this situation, treating pressure as legitimate academic concern instead of “immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander.” In all, the situation is difficult to navigate, but it seems there is genuine interest to resolve any issues.