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DeSantis Threatens To Cut State’s Ties With College Board

Gov. Ron DeSantis making an announcement. Photo courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat/AP Photos. 

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis recently said the state may be cutting ties with the College Board, the owners of the Advanced Placement (AP) Program, following the company’s new addition of an AP African American Studies course. 

As candidates announce their presidential bids for 2024, DeSantis is expected to use his positioning against “woke” indoctrination to gain Republican support, according to CNN.

“They’re just kind of there, and they’re providing service. So you can either utilize those services or not. And they’ve provided these AP courses for a long time, but, you know, there are probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as good or maybe even a lot better,” the Florida governor said in a press conference. 

The Florida Department of Education sent a letter to the College Board rejecting the new AP African American studies course saying that it “significantly lacks educational value.” 

The College Board responded on their website reaffirming that their commitment to AP African American Studies is unwavering and that they deeply regret not denouncing the slander from the Florida Department of Education and of Gov. DeSantis. 

“Our failure to raise our voice betrayed Black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field,” the College Board said.

Khalil Gibran Muhammad is the Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In a statement to The Hilltop, Muhammad said that the governor’s actions are just the beginning and that other state leaders are following his lead. 

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“DeSantis’s racist attack on AP African American Studies is part of a strategic plan to discredit, and possibly eliminate, the field in his state and nationally. This isn’t personal bigotry. DeSantis is expanding the political limits of fascism by targeting Black people, the LGBTQ+ community and equity advocates everywhere who believe in the future of a fair and just nation,” Muhammad said.

Storm Ugbong, a freshman supply chain management major at Howard who took AP Psychology in high school, does not understand why the governor would take away the opportunity to take AP classes from students in the state. 

“Our standard of education felt very low, so taking an AP class finally let us meet that standard. It is essential for people coming from places where the standard is low to have those classes. It definitely expanded my mind,” Ugbong said. 

Gov. DeSantis’ action could decrease the opportunities available for students in the state as many colleges offer credits for students who score higher than a three on their AP exams. 

Copy edited by Nhandi Long-Shipman

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