Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday floated replacing Advancement Placement (AP) classes in his state amid his escalating fight with the College Board over its African American studies course.
“This College Board, like, nobody elected them to anything. They’re just kind of there, and they’re providing service. So you can either utilize those services or not. And they’ve provided these AP courses for a long time, but, you know, there are probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as good or maybe even a lot better,” DeSantis said at a press conference.
The governor said he has already talked to some officials about the idea of replacing College Board AP classes.
The feud began when DeSantis’s administration said last month that Florida would not accept the College Board’s new African American studies course pilot program, with its objections including parts of the curriculum such as queer studies and intersectionality.
Florida said the course “lacks educational value.”
The College Board released changes to the course at the beginning of this month, saying the adjustments to the pilot courts had been in the works for months.
The changes, however, largely aligned with Florida’s objections, and DeSantis claimed victory in the fight, though he has not said if the state will accept the revamped course.
The College Board has repeatedly denied DeSantis had any influence on the changes and apologized this past weekend for “not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander, magnified by the DeSantis administration’s subsequent comments, that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value.’”
“Our failure to raise our voice betrayed Black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field,” the company stated.
DeSantis, who has increasingly leaned into educational issues as he grows his national profile ahead of a possible White House bid, hit back on Monday, saying the controversy is ultimately the firm’s fault.
“The College Board was the one that in a Black studies course, put queer theory in. Not us,” he said. “They were the ones that put in intersectionality, other types of neo-Marxism into the proposed syllabus, and this was the proposed course. So our Department of Education looked at that and said, ‘In Florida, we do education, not indoctrination,’ and so that runs afoul of our standards.”
The governor also suggested other states had similar concerns but did not want to speak up.