Florida officials explain why African American Studies course violates state law

Governor’s office says course ‘lacks educational value and historical accuracy’

On Friday, the Florida Department of Education released a statement that it was rejecting the coursework for a new advanced placement class still in its pilot phase.

The state education board cites six topics in the syllabus, including coursework on the reparations movement, black queer studies and movement for black lives.

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The governor’s office released a statement saying the course was rejected because it “lacks educational value and historical accuracy.” The statement went on to say the course “leaves large ambiguous gaps that can be filled with additional ideological material, which we will not allow.”

The NAACP’s Director of Education Innovation and Research, Ivory Toldson said the move is dismissive, adding “African American History is American History, and failure to comprehend this very simple fact is un-American and of itself.”

However, FLDE told News 6 that the problem wasn’t that the course focused on African American history — in fact, studying African American history is required by law.

“Florida rejected an AP course filled with Critical Race Theory and other obvious violations of Florida law,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. tweeted. “We proudly require the teaching of African American history. We do not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.”

According to FLDE, several of the readings and topics included communist authors or intersectional language, which violate educational guidelines for the state.

Longwood book store owner Desmond Reid said since the 1970′s, he’s been advocating for more African American literature in schools.

“I wanted kids to learn about one another and learn about themselves and be proud,” Reid said. “If you don’t know what there is or what occurred before in history, then you don’t know what to expect and you do what you are told and that’s the whole idea.

After 41 years in business, Reid said that he’ll continue to advocate for African American literature to be assessable for all students.

“All the hatred that’s being spewed. Setting one person up against another, one family against another, one group of people, one race against another, but it’s deliberate,” Reid said.

The Florida Department of Education said it will reconsider the course of the revisions are made.

The governor’s office also noted legislation passed by the governor, which requires teaching of historical events in Black American culture, such as the Ocoee Massacre.

The College Board, a non-profit that developed the course, has not said whether they plan to make any revisions to have the course approved for Florida students.

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About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.