While Florida has prided itself on leading the culture war for conservatism, a new educational policy may rock the boat for Florida Democrats. Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) along with Florida Republicans have officially erased AP African American Studies from state curriculum, causing backlash from progressives.
Governor DeSantis has made educational reforms a defining role in his first term as governor, and he does not seem to be holding back on this any time soon.
The governor's Spokesman Bryan Griffin issued a statement concerning why they have taken this action, "The Florida Department of Education has rejected the College Board’s AP African American Studies course because it lacks educational value and historical accuracy. As submitted, the course is a vehicle for a political agenda and leaves large, ambiguous gaps that can be filled with additional ideological material, which we will not allow. As Governor DeSantis has stated, our classrooms will be a place for education, not indoctrination."
Griffin further indicated that if the Department of Education amends the course to comply with educational standards, the course will be allowed. The governor's office further insisted it was a matter of preserving historical accuracy and not that of race, citing HB 1213 he signed into law in 2020, which mandated instruction in public schools on the Ocoee Massacre.
While the governor's office may have ideological contentions with the curriculum of the course, Florida Democrats were not sold on this explanation. Last year Florida Democrats displayed what they think of Ron DeSantis' character on the steps of the old Florida Capitol building in Tallahassee, where State Rep. Angie Nixon (D-14) called the governor a racist.
State Senator Shevrin Jones (D-35) also did not fail to mention an inconsistency when it came to permitted courses for public schools in Florida. The South Florida Senator cited courses on European history ranging from Spain, German Italian, and even referenced courses on Japanese history.
- AP European History
- AP Art History
- AP Japanese Language & Culture
- AP German Language & Culture
- AP Italian Language & Culture
- AP Spanish Language & Culture
Are AP classes currently offered. It’s crazy how AP African-American studies made the chopping block in FL. 🤔
— Shevrin “Shev” Jones (@ShevrinJones) January 19, 2023
While the cutting of this course is certainly a predictable move by the culture war the DeSantis Administration has waged in education, this will certainly fuel the fire for Democrats this 2023 legislative session.