TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has blocked a new Advanced Placement course on African American studies from being taught in high schools, saying it violates state law and is historically inaccurate.

The state education department rejected the program in a letter last week to the College Board, which oversees AP classes.

Florida education officials did not specify exactly what content the state found objectionable but said, “As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”

“In the future, should College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content, (the education department) will always be willing to reopen the discussion,” the letter continued.

In a statement, the College Board said, “Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers.”

“The process of piloting and revising course frameworks is a standard part of any new AP course, and frameworks often change significantly as a result,” the statement read.

The College Board website describes the course as interdisciplinary, touching on literature, arts, humanities, political science, geography and science. The pilot program is debuting at 60 schools across the country before it expands to additional schools. The organization has been working on constructing the course for more than a decade, according to its website.

DeSantis, a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate, has opposed what he calls liberal ideologies in schools, including lessons around critical race theory, which examines systemic racism and has become a frequent target of conservatives.

Last year the governor signed legislation dubbed the Stop WOKE Act that restricts certain race-based conversations and analysis in schools and businesses. The law bars instruction that says members of one race are inherently racist or should feel guilt for past actions committed by others of the same race, among other things.

More recently the governor’s budget office called on state colleges to submit spending information on programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory, raising concerns of potential funding cuts around such initiatives.

Sharon Courtney, a high school teacher in Peekskill, New York teaching the African American studies course, said her students were “shocked” to learn Florida blocked the class. She described it as a factual African history course that also details what Africans experienced upon their arrival in North America.

“There’s nothing objectionable, it’s history that hasn’t been traditionally taught in the United States in a K through 12 setting,” she said, “but it’s also history that once known and understood could change race relations and improve them.”

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  1. Why is it that African and African American history is being left out, distorted, and outright lied about. All students should be taught true history. Students should be given the ability to use their critical decision making skills based on the truth. This is an effort to keep Africans and their descendants in a position of inferiority. Those who are oppose to African and African American history being taught are afraid that they will no longer be considered superior. They do not want others to know how intelligent African Americans are. This has been going on forever. If true true African American history is taught, the African American youth will stop feeling inferior and become more productive, which isn’t wanted. The nation might lose their convict slavery rights and the big industries will not be able to make as much money.

  2. New Jersey legislated the New Jersey Amistad Law over 20 years ago. It says African American history must be included in all New Jersey School curriculums. It has yet to be implemented. Why? Is it because it might make others feel guilty about what their ancestors have done or are they afraid it might justify giving reparations to African Americans? True history should be taught.

  3. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, this is the very reason why we (Black people) must build our own businesses, educational, political, social, and jurisprudence institutions. To build them and protect them into perpetuity. As we do this, our entire race benefits. We own this to our future generations, just as are great ancestors has giving us the opportunities we have today!

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