The College Board has admitted almost two weeks after publishing a revised AP African American Studies course framework that it made mistakes in the course’s roll out and condemned the actions and rhetoric of Florida officials surrounding the matter, The Hill reported.
“The dialogue surrounding AP African American Studies has moved from healthy debate to misinformation,” College Board said in a statement. “We are proud of this course. But we have made mistakes in the rollout that are being exploited.”
The organization accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration of misinformation. DeSantis’s administration had criticized and rejected the initial pilot program.
College Board had repeated contact with Florida officials before the new version was released on Feb. 1, but the testing company argued that those conversations did not affect its decisions.
“We have made the mistake of treating [Florida Department of Education (FDOE)] with the courtesy we always accord to an education agency, but they have instead exploited this courtesy for their political agenda,” the statement read. “After each written or verbal exchange with them, as a matter of professional protocol, we politely thanked them for their feedback and contributions, although they had given none.
“In Florida’s effort to engineer a political win, they have claimed credit for the specific changes we made to the official framework.”
The new framework has received criticism over removing Black queer studies and Black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory. College Board said in the statement that it “should have made clear that the framework is only the outline of the course, still to be populated” with additional resources.
“This error triggered a conversation about erasing or eliminating Black thinkers,” the statement read.
The organization also said it regretted not immediately denouncing the FDOE’s “slander, magnified by the DeSantis administration’s subsequent comments, that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value.’”
The statement further fired back against Florida: “They also claimed that we removed terms like “systemic marginalization” and “intersectionality” at their behest. This is not true. The notion that we needed Florida to enlighten us that these terms are politicized in several states is ridiculous. We took a hard look at these terms because they often are misunderstood, misrepresented, and co-opted as political weapons. Instead we focused throughout the framework on providing concrete examples of these important concepts. Florida is attempting to claim a political victory by taking credit retroactively for changes we ourselves made but that they never suggested to us.”