College Board says Florida officials’ claims about African American AP course are ‘slander’

College Board
The College Board is responding to the backlash over its African American AP course.(MGN)
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 8:11 AM CST
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(Gray News) - The College Board is calling out Florida officials over the recent banning of a new Advanced Placement African American studies course.

In a statement, the board admitted it made mistakes in the rollout of the course but said the dialogue over the issue has moved from healthy debate to misinformation.

The College Board also said it should have immediately denounced what they called the Florida Department of Education’s “slander” that the course “lacks educational value.”

“Our failure to raise our voice betrayed Black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field,” it said.

Additionally, the board said claims that they were in frequent dialogue with Florida about the content of AP African American studies were false and politically motivated.

“We were naive not to announce Florida’s rejection of the course when FDOE first notified us on September 23, 2022, in a letter entitled “CB Letter AP Africain [sic] Studies.” This letter, like all written communications we received from Florida, contained no explanation of the rejection. Instead, Florida invited us to call them if we had any questions,” the board’s statement said.

It said phone calls to the state did little to clarify the matter, as the concerns stated included “vague, uninformed questions like, ‘What does the word ‘intersectionality’ mean?’ and ‘Does the course promote Black Panther thinking?’”

The College Board said a second letter from the state included “inflated rhetoric and posturing” and the statement that the course “lacks educational value,”

Florida officials last month objected to some of the authors and topics, including Black queer studies and Black feminism, that were initially part of the course.

Those authors and topics were not included when in the official framework released this month.

The board also denied claims the course was influenced by political pressure.