The College Board issued a letter on Thursday, the latest move in the continuing dispute between the organization and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) administration, in which it placed the brakes on additional requests from Florida to alter any of its AP Courses.
According to the company’s statement to the Florida Department of Education Office of Articulation, “[College Board] will not modify our AP courses to accommodate restrictions on teaching important, college-level topics.”
Florida asked the College Board conduct an audit of its courses and report which ones would need to be changed to comply with the new rule by June 16 in a letter dated May 19. DeSantis, a candidate for president in 2024, had declared in January that his state would not permit the AP African American Studies course. Despite the fact that the corporation claims revisions were already planned before the governor’s opinion on the course, the course was nevertheless altered, angering some who think the College Board catered to DeSantis’ demands.
“We have learned from our mistakes in the recent rollout of AP African American Studies and know that we must be clear from the outset where we stand,” the College Board said.
Florida did not specifically identify the AP courses of Psychology
The American Psychological Association is quoted as saying that foundational material on issues like sexual orientation and gender identity should be included in college-level courses.
“We don’t know if the state of Florida will ban this course. To AP courses teachers in Florida, we are heartbroken by the possibility of Florida students being denied the opportunity to participate in this or any AP course. To AP teachers everywhere, please know we will not modify any of the 40 AP courses—from art to history to science—in response to regulations that would censor college-level standards for credit, placement, and career readiness,” the College Board said.
Popularity of the AP psychology course extends beyond Florida. More than 28,600 Florida students took the course exam in May, according to College Board data. Nearly 292,000 students countrywide took the test in 2022. College credit is frequently available to students who score three or higher on AP exams, which can be rated from three to five.
The American Council on Education evaluates AP courses as well as other courses that aim to earn college credit. One of the AP courses that the council has determined deserves credit is the AP psychology course. But if the route was changed, such advice might be withdrawn.
Ted Mitchell, the council’s president, said Thursday that it was “hard to believe that our reviewers would certify for college credit a psychology course that didn’t include gender identity.”