The College Board is putting its foot down on Florida's demands to change their courses.
In a letter to the Florida Department of Education Office of Articulation, the College Board said that they “will not modify our courses to accommodate restrictions on teaching essential, college-level topics."
“Doing so would break the fundamental promise of AP: colleges wouldn’t broadly accept that course for credit and that course wouldn’t prepare students for careers in the discipline,” they wrote.
The letter comes in response to Florida officials challenging an AP Psychology course for its mentions of gender identity and sexual orientation, topics the American Psychological Association has said need to be included in college-level courses.
Education has been a hot topic in the Sunshine State ever since DeSantis championed the Parental Rights in Education Bill, colloquially known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which bans the mention of gender and sexuality in classrooms. Educators K-12 are prohibited from mentioning the topics at risk of losing their licenses.
Florida administrations have also targeted discussions of race in classroom settings. Books have been completely removed in several school districts while they undergo a content review process, and a nationally taught AP African American History course was blocked from being taught in the state.
The DeSantis administration recently also banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools, and has passed measures preventing universities that receive funding from forming diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. Governor Ron DeSantis himself spoke out against the AP course, claiming it pushes a "political agenda."
The FDOE rejected the AP course, with a spokesperson saying it “lacks educational value and is contrary to Florida law." They also accused the class of containing falsehoods, adding that they would reopen the discussion "if the course comes into compliance and incorporates historically accurate content."
Following its rejection, Florida officials claimed to work with the College Board to rewrite the course. They praised the changes, which the College Board has since denied occurred, maintaining that the curriculum has not and will not change.
Now that other courses are being challenged, the College Board says it will not relent, noting that they "have learned from our mistakes in the recent rollout of AP African American Studies and know that we must be clear from the outset where we stand."
“We don’t know if the state of Florida will ban this course," the recent letter continued. "To AP teachers in Florida, we are heartbroken by the possibility of Florida students being denied the opportunity to participate in this or any AP course. To AP teachers everywhere, please know we will not modify any of the 40 AP courses — from art to history to science — in response to regulations that would censor college-level standards for credit, placement, and career readiness."