Breaking News
More () »

'Just kind of there': DeSantis bashes College Board, will explore other vendors for advanced courses

The governor went on to say that the College Board is not an elected group of individuals, saying they're "just kind of there" providing AP courses.

NAPLES, Fla. — When asked to comment on the College Board denouncing the Department of Education's decision on the AP African American studies course being removed, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state is doing what's right.

During a news conference Monday in Naples, DeSantis said the College Board was the one that put "queer theory" in the proposed syllabus for a Black studies course, along with intersexuality and other neo-marxism.

"The Department of Education looked at it and said, 'In Florida, we do education, not indoctrination and so that runs afoul of our standards,'" the governor explained. "Many people agree with that in other states, we were just the only ones that had the backbone to stand up and do it...

"I'm so sick of people not doing what's right because they're worried that people are gonna call them names, we're doing what's right here."

The College Board released a lengthy statement on Saturday saying the state is trying to use changes to the curriculum in an AP African-American Studies course to score a political victory.

"We deeply regret 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,'" the statement reads in part. "Our failure to raise our voice betrayed Black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field." 

DeSantis went on to say that the College Board is not an elected group of individuals, saying they're "just kind of there" providing AP courses.

"At the end of the day, we highlighted things that were very problematic, it wasn't just people like me saying that – across the political spectrum, people were saying, 'You know, this really is junk. Why don't we just do and teach the things that matter? Why is it always someone has to try to jam their agenda down our throats?'" he said.

In a lengthy five-bullet point statement the College Board said they were never in negotiations with the state regarding the content of the course.

"We had no negotiations about the content of this course with Florida or any other state, nor did we receive any requests, suggestions, or feedback," College Board said, in part.

DeSantis hinted Monday the state may look elsewhere for educational services.

“They've provided these AP courses for a long time. But you know, there is probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as good or maybe even a lot better," DeSantis said. "So I've already talked with Paul, and I think the legislature is going to look to reevaluate kind of how Florida is doing that."

The Sunshine State rejected the pilot program last month, saying it violated state law and was historically inaccurate. DeSantis, a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate who has opposed what he calls “woke” ideologies in schools, said the course amounted to “indoctrination” rather than education.

The state said the course promotes the idea that modern American society oppresses Black people, other minorities and women, includes a chapter on “Black Queer Studies” that the administration finds inappropriate, and uses articles by critics of capitalism.

Last year, the governor signed legislation dubbed the Stop WOKE Act that restricts certain race-based conversations and analysis in schools and businesses. The law bars instruction that says members of one race are necessarily oppressed or privileged based on their race.

The College Board, which said it believes all of its original pilot programs had educational merit and which denied any inaccuracies, said it needs more specific information about how any of its course materials are out of compliance with Florida law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Before You Leave, Check This Out