The Florida Department of Education (DOE) is rejecting the College Board’s claim that its Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology course was banned from the state’s public school classes, according to a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The College Board, an academic organization that administers and writes high school courses for college credit, claimed on Thursday that the Florida DOE had “effectively banned” its AP Psychology course because they cannot modify the course to comply with the state’s guidance prohibiting age-inappropriate lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in Pre-K-12 classrooms. The Florida DOE clarified that it has not banned the course from its state’s schools and that the class still remains listed in the 2023-2024 course directory, according to a statement to the DCNF.
“Just one week before school starts, the College Board is attempting to force school districts to prevent students from taking the AP Psychology Course,” the Florida DOE said in a statement. “The Department didn’t ‘ban’ the course. The course remains listed in Florida’s Course Code Directory for the 2023-24 school year. We encourage the College Board to stop playing games with Florida students and continue to offer the course and allow teachers to operate accordingly.”
“The other advanced course providers (including the International Baccalaureate program) had no issue providing the college credit psychology course.”
As a part of the course, students are asked to “describe how sex and gender influence socialization and other aspects of development,” the organization’s Thursday statement says. In June, the College Board said they would not modify the course to comply with the Florida DOE’s rule which prohibits certain lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in Pre-K-12 classrooms.
“By insisting that gender and sexuality be removed from the AP Psychology course, Florida has effectively banned the course,” Holly Stepp, the executive director of communications for the College Board, told the DCNF. “The state has been very clear on what material they want censored from the course, and the College Board has been equally clear that we won’t modify the course to remove content that is common and expected in an introductory-level college course. College Board was informed of the guidance provided by the state superintendents by several participants of the call.”
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration and the College Board previously sparred in January over the AP African American Studies course; the Florida DOE originally rejected the course because it included a lesson on queer theory. After agreeing to modify the course, the College Board apologized for removing the topics on queer theory and criticized the Florida government.
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