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College Board changes AP Black history class after criticism

Florida rejected the course's initial framework from being taught in Florida schools. College Board says the curriculum has been in development since March 2022.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A week after the state rejected it, the College Board, the body that oversees Advanced Placement courses for high school students, released the revised, official framework of a proposed African American Studies course Wednesday.

The board changed several areas of the initial framework, including taking away required readings from authors of critical race theory.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration rejected the initial framework from being taught in the state more than a week ago. The Florida Department of Education highlighted specific issues with proposed sections on Black queer studies, reparations, the Black Lives Matter movement and activism, saying the proposed topics amount to indoctrination, not education.

In the final framework, many of those areas now fall under optional areas, according to a report from the New York Times.

Despite that, in a press release Wednesday, College Board says, "No states or districts have seen the official framework that is released, much less provided feedback on it. This course has been shaped only by the input of experts and long-standing AP principles and practices.

"The official course framework only requires the careful analysis of core historical, literary, and artistic works," the statement continues.

Meantime, the state's initial rejection of the course faced immediate pushback from civil rights groups across Florida. Last week, alongside leaders and high school students at the state capitol in Tallahassee, civil rights attorney Ben Crump threatened to sue the state and DeSantis if the course was not allowed to be taught.

The Department of Education released a statement n its decision to reject the course, which stated in part, "as presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value." 

The department also cited the inclusion of political literature from many Black scholars, feminists, writers and activists. Other topics in the proposed course at odds with the department include reparations and intersectionality, according to FDOE.

Prior to the framework being released, The FDOE says they will reconsider the course for approval depending on what changes are made. 

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