2.10.23 – Star News Network

DeSantis Administration Further Investigates AP African American Studies Revision After College Board Reveals CRT Authors ‘Going to Be Freely Available to Students and Teachers’”
By Susan Berry, PhD

A group of people sitting at tables with laptops.

[COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER:  Because of the pressure from Florida’s Gov. DeSantis and his Florida Department of Education, the College Board (under the direction of David Coleman who was Obama’s architect of the Common Core) seemed to cave by saying on 2.1.23 that the College Board had revised its radical, leftist, woke, Black-queer, AP African-American Studies course. 

At the time, Stanley Kurtz warned the public not to breathe a sigh of relief because the College Board is a master of deception. 

Because David Coleman could not keep his mouth shut and came out spouting publicly on NPR (on 2.3.23) that the College Board had invented a type of work around, the Florida Department of Education decided to take a deeper dive into the revisions.  Guess what they found buried in these supposed “changes?”

Now every AP teacher will be given free access to AP CLASSROOM [an online resource] which means that every AP African-American Studies student will have easy, online access to AP CLASSROOM.  

AP CLASSROOM is stuffed with the writings of CRT, far-left authors who spout intersectionality, Marxist/Communist doctrine, race/gender bias, Black Queer Studies, and LGBTQ indoctrination. Since it is online, most parents will not even know that their children’s teachers are utilizing it.

Gov. DeSantis and his administration are now pressuring the College Board to release ALL of their AP African-American Studies curriculum, including AP CLASSROOM.

If David Coleman had not bragged to NPR about his work-around, the College Board might have gotten away with its deceptive scheme.]


Excerpts from this article:


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration has requested the College Board release all of its materials regarding its revised Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS) curriculum following an NPR interview in which the College Board president touted radical leftist material would still be very much available to high school students taking the course.

With Florida’s Stop WOKE Act banning the promotion of the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in grades K-12, the DeSantis administration rejected the initial APAAS course because it included writings such as those by radical Marxist and former Communist Party member Angela Davis, and others associated with portions of the course called the Movement for Black Lives,” and “Black Queer Studies.”

We have guidelines and standards in Florida,” DeSantis said about the decision to reject the AP framework. “We want education, not indoctrination.”

Who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory?” the governor added. “That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids. And so, when you see they have stuff about intersectionality and abolishing our prisons, that’s a political agenda.”

The College Board came back with another, still biased, version of the course, but one that seemingly had eliminated a significant portion of the radical leftwing content, much to the dismay of the New York Times, which lamented the revisions that supposedly left CRT tenets and authors, as well as Black Lives Matter material, in the dust following DeSantis’s firm rejection of the course in his state.

In an interesting turn of events, however, DeSantis’s Department of Education (FDOE) has asked for further information about the revised APAAS course in the wake of an interview College Board President David Coleman – referred to during the Obama era as the “architect of the Common Core State Standards” – gave to NPR.

Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Centerwrote Thursday at National Review about the significance of the DeSantis administration’s request for further information given the comments made by Coleman during the interview:

{DeSantis’s tenacity in the face of the huge uproar from the left over his already considerable APAAS victory is plenty consequential. By continuing to expose the College Board’s distortions, along with its interventions in what are by right state and local curricular decisions, DeSantis is shaking America’s education establishment to its foundations. That establishment has dragged control of our schools away from parents and placed it in the hands of academic ideologues instead. Thanks to DeSantis, the power of America’s education establishment is now in doubt.}

Perhaps the most significant contribution DeSantis has made in this case has been to stand up to the College Board’s status as the sole decider of college equivalency testing. Of course, when the College Board sets its standard for what it believes is essential content to be learned at the college level, that vision trickles down to what is taught in the lower grades as well.

Coleman [Obama’s architect of the Common Core] told NPR’s All Things Considered Friday that it is “not accurate” to say some black authors were removed from the original curriculum:

{Let me clarify about the Black authors for a moment ’cause we’ve got really exciting news to clarify for your listeners what’s going on. Because of this confusion that thoughtful authors like Kimberle Crenshaw, for example, on intersectionality, or bell hooks or other thinkers are somehow no longer represented in the framework, we took out all secondary sources, whether it was by Skip Gates or Evelyn Higginbotham, regardless of their political qualities.}

The “exciting news” apparently is that the College Board has stuffed the writings of CRT authors into a “free resource called AP Classroom,” Coleman said, adding, “and every teacher and student in AP African American Studies is going to have access to it.”

Coleman said the College Board has purchased the permissions for texts such as CRT activist Kimberle Crenshaw’s Mapping the Margins on the “intersectionality” of race and gender bias, and the poems of radical feminist Audre Lorde.

No authors have been banned from the course,” Coleman reiterated. “And, in fact, we’re going to lift them up and make them freely available.”

The College Board president [David Coleman, Obama’s architect of Common Core] also flatly denied the APAAS course had been restructured “to appease Governor DeSantis or other critics who have accused the College Board of being woke,” as the NPR host stated.

What was attacked were secondary sources and all the secondary sources,” Coleman said. “What was not discussed in all the political commentary was the core facts and evidence of the course. Everyone’s in agreement. It seems that that was brilliantly handled.”

On Wednesday, the Daily Caller first reported the DeSantis administration was requesting further information about the APAAS course revision.

The FDOE [Florida Department of Education] sent a letter Tuesday, which The Star News Network obtained, to Brian Barnes, senior director of the College Board Florida Partnership, that provided an entire timeline of the communications between the DeSantis administration and the College Board since January 2022, regarding the state’s concerns the APAAS course was in violation of state law.

The letter stated:

  • On 1/12/2023, FDOE sent a letter to the College Board indicating that the course could not be approved as written.
  • By no coincidence, we were grateful to see that the College Board’s revised February 1, 2023, framework removed 19 topics, many of which FDOE cited as conflicting with Florida law, including discriminatory and historically fictional topics.

FDOE [Florida Department of Education] then referenced Coleman’s interview with NPR:

{[T]o help FDOE staff with their comprehensive review of your resubmission, we are requesting with your resubmission that you include the additional information referenced in the February 3, 2023 NPR interview at College Board responds to backlash over AP African American studies curriculum : NPR.}

Specifically, the NPR interview references ‘a free resource called AP Classroom, and every teacher and student in AP African American studies is going to have access to it,’” the letter states. “Since these are free resources included with the revised AP course, please include these free resources, including Mr. Coleman’s highlighted resources on ‘intersectionality,’ with your submission.”

And what an interesting list that will be,” Kurtz suggested. “How much radical and CRT-based material will be in ‘AP Classroom’? Will any such material be balanced by an equal number of resources from black conservatives? Will AP Classroom include critiques of intersectionality and CRT, or only advocacy? Will the College Board seek permissions to reprint such balancing material?”

In light of the College Board’s deceptive revisions of its controversial AP U.S. History curriculum in 2015, the FDOE is fully justified in seeking such clarification,” Kurtz observed.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to sberryphd@protonmail.com