College Board backpedals with revised AP African-American Studies course after criticism from Gov. Ron DeSantis

Laynie Rearick, Staff Writer

After writing (and now scrapping) an article defending the College Board after recent accusations that they worked with conservative Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to strip down their AP African-American Studies course, news leaked Feb. 9 that the College Board did in fact have a lengthy correspondence with Florida’s Board of Education, negotiating the content of the new course.

The existence of this letter was first reported by conservative news site The Daily Caller, and the authenticity was confirmed by a Florida spokeswoman for the Board of Education on Thursday, Feb. 9.

The College Board responded to this letter, standing firm in their original position that the revisions made to the AP African-American Studies course had been based on feedback from educators, students, and teachers, and had not been influenced by the state.

“The fact of the matter is that this landmark course has been shaped over years by the most eminent scholars in the field, not political influence,” the College Board wrote in a now-deleted post on their site. This is, of course, a bald-faced lie. Wow, a corporation not telling the whole truth? What a surprise.

While the College Board announced the official contents of the course on Feb. 1, Florida had told them three weeks prior that they rejected the course, which the College Board claimed was too late to have made all the revisions. However, the state had informed the College Board in Sept. 2022 that it would not add the AP African-American Studies course to the state’s directory without revisions. Which have now been made.

Now that it seems like the truth has come out, I’m glad I’m returning to my roots and bashing billion dollar corporations like I did with my article on Quizlet’s paywall. This controversy shines a light on the ongoing debate over Advanced Placement classes and how they seem to be tailored to students who are white and upper middle-class.

Part of the College Board’s defense now involves them claiming that they collaborate with every state’s Board of Education to discuss their AP courses, which seems weird. Why do they have to talk to the states? Why not write the lesson plans, send them off to each state’s Board of Education, and let each individual state decide whether or not to offer it? Why is the College Board, which is somehow a nonprofit despite raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from SATs, AP exams, and PSATS, bowing down to racist demands from conservative politicians? Kids’ education shouldn’t be compromised in order to promote some sort of political agenda.