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Ron DeSantis Objects to AP Course's LGBTQ Content, College Board Defends It

Ron DeSantis Objects to AP Course's LGBTQ Content, College Board Defends It

Ron DeSantis and student

The Republican governor and presidential hopeful previously targeted AP Black History.


Months after Florida rejected an AP Black History course for covering queer theory, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration wants to change the AP Psychology offerings. But the College Board said it won’t change the curriculum for including lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.

College Board representatives in a statement this week promised not to make the same mistakes that allowed DeSantis to politicize its course on Black History.

“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,” reads a statement released by the group.

It sent a message to the Florida Department of Education making clear no changes will be made to offerings.

“The learning objective within AP Psychology that covers gender and sexual orientation has specifically been raised by some Florida districts relative to these recent regulations,” the correspondence reads. “That learning objective must remain a required topic, just as it has been in Florida for many years. As with all AP courses, required topics must be included for a course to be designated as AP.”

The DeSantis-appointed Florida Board of Education earlier this year voted to expand provisions of the state’s maligned “don’t say gay” law to cover through high school graduation. That means state officials forbid instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity.

DeSantis administration officials held to a position it’s incumbent on the College Board to adhere to Florida’s laws.

“[The] College Board is responsible for ensuring that their submitted materials comply with Florida law,” Cassie Palelis, press secretary for the Florida Department of Education, told the Washington Post.

DeSantis has repeatedly hinted Florida could stop using College Board products altogether, even supporting an alternative to the SATs and ACTs for admissions this year.

But College Board officials in their own statement said threats won’t reshape the curriculum.

“We don’t know if the state of Florida will ban this course. To AP teachers in Florida, we are heartbroken by the possibility of Florida students being denied the opportunity to participate in this or any AP course,” the College Board.

“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.”

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