Letters Detail Florida Education Officials’ Feud with College Board

While the College Board was developing its first Advanced Placement course in African American studies, it was in repeated contact with the administration of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

Florida’s education department privately complained for months about the new course. And for months, the College Board often discussed course concepts that the state said it found objectionable. 

Letters published this week show how the ongoing feud between the College Board and Florida’s Department of Education over the course and its curriculum. 

A Feb. 7 letter from DeSantis’ Department of Education outlines points of contact between the department and the College Board, beginning in January 2022 and through January 2023.

The College Board published its own letter on this week on Thursday, which was sent to the Florida Department of Education this week.

“When the College Board undertakes the intensive, multi-year process to introduce a new AP course, we provide states and departments of education across the country with the information they request for inclusion of courses within their systems,” the College Board wrote.

Florida’s Department of Education says that they were in contact with the College Board over the aspects of the course the state opposed. The College Board rejected claims that the state’s concerns shaped the course or that it bent to political pressure.

DeSantis has lashed out at the course, and has banned it from the state unless it changes to his conservative demands. 

Far right conservatives like DeSantis say the course includes critical race theory, which Republicans have waged a war against. 

The College Board’s official curriculum for the AP course, which was released last week ultimately excluded several topics that were in the pilot course, including topics on Black Lives Matter and reparations.

The College Board also resisted the idea that any topics were removed “at the behest of Florida’s demands. 

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