Last month, the Department of Education in the Not-So-Free State of Florida sent a letter to the College Board, purveyors of the Advanced Placement program, to inform them that it was rejecting the course African-American Studies and would not allow it to be taught in Florida. Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) first wrote about it here and then followed up with a second piece here.
In the back-and-forth since then, the latest shot coming Saturday night from the College Board (think about that–the College Board, purveyor of AP courses and exams, must regard this as a crisis if they have discussed this on the weekend and issued a statement at 8 PM Saturday night), there has been much focus on who said what to whom and when.
What did the College Board know and when did they know it? It was reported that the College Board lied about its interactions with Florida officials. but the letter last night disputes that fact.
What was removed and why was it done? People are comparing the pilot framework with the official framework and speculating on the changes. This goes on and on. What logs were removed from the forest and why?
GOT, as the AP Coordinator for his high school, was able to sit in on a video conference that the College Board staged last Tuesday for its AP Community. (Their words, not mine.)
The presenters were at pains to make two points: (1) A course framework is not a curriculum. It merely lays out the topics teachers need to cover to prepare their students for the AP exam. Teachers create their own curriculum and have access, through AP Classroom, an online school if you will for authorized AP teachers, to create assignments for students by selecting from the numerous resources available.
(2) Nothing has been removed from the course. The suggested resources in the AP pilot framework are in the process of being put into the AP Classroom. The College Board needs permissions to do that and, as the permissions are granted from the persons who hold copyright over the source, the resources are added.
Further, those controversial topics are areas for students to explore. Rather than mandate them, AP has placed them as possible areas for research as it added a mandatory research project to the exam.
In response, Florida demanded access to AP Classroom (normally restricted to approved AP teachers) to see what resources the College Board is providing.
Florida claimed credit for making AP change the course, AP clapped back, and …
People, you’re reading about the trees. Let’s step back and look at the forest.
It’s as basic as this. Top Gov, a/k/a Ron DeSantis, says he has no problem with African-American HISTORY as long as it’s confined to a dry recitation of the facts.
But he has a huge problem with African-American STUDIES, which will affirm the value of Black people in our society, which will examine contemporary issues that affect them today and consider the multiple viewpoints that Black people have about those issues …
Hell, no <ahem> this time, Ron DeSantis has a huge problem with Black people, period. He’s not going to read this post, but GOT will tweak him anyway by ending with the anthem–