Last Updated on August 5, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Florida Bans AP Psychology, Sparking Controversy over Curriculum Restrictions
Date: [Insert Date]
In a recent development, Florida has prohibited the teaching of Advanced Placement (AP) psychology, igniting a debate over the state’s curriculum restrictions. This decision, made by the Florida Board of Education in April 2022, is said to be a direct consequence of the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, signed into effect by Governor Ron DeSantis. The controversial law initially targeted kindergarten through third-grade students, prohibiting any classroom discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, it has now been extended to encompass all K-12 students.
The ban has generated significant backlash, with critics arguing that it stifles educational freedom and compromises the college-ready status of numerous Florida students. The College Board, the authority that oversees the AP program, publicly condemned the ban, asserting that it undermines the educational plans and affordability prospects of countless students who were enrolled in AP Psychology – one of the state’s most popular AP courses.
Criticism has also been directed at the Florida Department of Education, which blamed the College Board for not accommodating the state’s requirements for sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum. The department maintains that the organization refused to modify its courses accordingly. The College Board, in response, stated unequivocally in June that it would not alter its curriculum to comply with restrictions on teaching essential, college-level topics.
Those schools that persist in offering AP psychology without incorporating the required curriculum dictated by the board will no longer be able to include the course’s AP status on student transcripts. The Florida Department of Education clarified that other programs, such as the International Baccalaureate, have had no issues adhering to the state’s law.
Despite outcry, the Department of Education denied imposing a complete ban on AP Psychology. Instead, they clarified that the course had been listed in Florida’s Course Code Directory for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. They urged the College Board to continue offering the course and requested that teachers operate within the designated regulations.
The Washington Examiner has reached out to Governor Ron DeSantis’s team for comment on the controversy surrounding the ban on teaching AP psychology.
As debate surrounding this issue continues to intensify, it remains to be seen what steps will be taken to address the concerns raised by the College Board and advocates for a more inclusive education system in Florida.