The College Board has announced changes will be made to the new AP African American course framework amid criticism earlier this year that the agency bowed to political pressure and removed several topics from the framework, including Black Lives Matter, slavery reparations and queer life.
In a statement on Monday, the College Board said the development committee and experts charged with creating the course framework “have decided they will make changes to the latest course framework during this pilot phase. They will determine the details of those changes over the next few months.”
It remains unclear what the changes are or when they will be made public.
The course gained national attention in February when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024, said he would ban the course in his state because it pushed a political agenda.
“In the state of Florida, our education standards not only don’t prevent, but they require teaching Black history, all the important things. That’s part of our core curriculum,” DeSantis previously said. “We want education and not indoctrination.”
The course was launched in 60 schools in the U.S. and will be expanded to 800 schools and 16,000 students this upcoming school year.
The College Board previously said revisions to the course were substantially complete and not shaped by political influence before DeSantis shared his objections. College Board officials said developers consulted with professors from more than 200 colleges, including several historically Black institutions, and took input from teachers piloting the class.
The College Board said the creation of the course was about access to a discipline that is not widely available and access for as many students as possible and that both of those goals “came into conflict.”
The College Board offers AP courses across the academic spectrum, including math, science, social studies, foreign languages and fine arts. The courses are optional. Taught at a college level, students who score high enough on the final exam usually earn course credit at their university.
• Mumphrey reported from Phoenix. Data journalist Sharon Lurye contributed to this report from New Orleans.
• The Associated Press education team receives support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
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