College Board announced Thursday that Florida school districts would have to stop offering AP Psychology – one of the most popular courses – because some course material has been “effectively prohibited”.
The Florida Department of Education stated that the course can only be taught in districts that exclude lessons about sexual orientation and identity.
We are sorry to learn that the Florida Department of Education today effectively banned AP Psychology within the state. The state has instructed Florida superintendents on the illegality of teaching foundational material about sexual orientation and gender identification. College Board stated that the state had said districts can teach AP Psychology as long as they do not include any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The group added: “We urge Florida districts to not offer AP Psychology, until Florida reverses its decision and allows students and parents to choose the full course.”
College Board continued to state that it couldn’t censor elements as the State advises as it would be in violation of “college requirements.”
“As we stated in June, we can’t modify AP Psychology to comply with regulations that would censor college level standards for credit, placement and career readiness. Our policy remains unchanged. The policy remains unchanged.
The American Psychological Association has recently confirmed that any course that excludes such topics will violate their guidelines, and therefore should not be accepted for college credit. “The APA has provided this direct guidance to the organizations who have agreed to this censorship”, it added.
It is clear that any AP Psychology courses taught in Florida would violate Florida law or college requirements.
The Florida Department of Education has challenged the Florida Board of Education and other institutions to modify their curriculums in order to comply with the law.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, signed a bill last year that banned specific instruction in schools throughout the state. The “Parental Right in Education” law prohibited topics such as sexual orientation and gender identification in the classroom.
The College Board criticised Florida’s decision for removing “choice for parents and students”, and said it would continue to provide support to educators in navigating the new changes.
The state’s banning of this content takes away choice for parents and students. It comes just days before the start of the school year and it shatters the plans for college affordability and readiness of tens thousands of Florida students who are currently enrolled in AP Psychology, which is one of the most popular AP courses in the state. AP is accepted by thousands of colleges in the United States as a prerequisite for college credit and advanced standing, scholarship consideration, and admission. College Board reported that more than 28,000 Florida high school students studied AP Psychology during the 2022-23 year.
The statement stated that “The AP Program is committed to supporting schools as they develop their plans to respond to this late change.”
The board continued to state that “teachers across Florida are heartbroken because they are forced to teach alternative courses that have been deemed legally because these topics are excluded.”
In a FOX 35 News statement, the Florida Department of Education denied allegations that it had banned the course. It also encouraged the board not to “play games.”
The course will remain listed in Florida’s Course Code Directory through the 2023-24 academic year. We urge the College Board not to play games with Florida’s students, but to continue offering the course. Teachers can then operate as they see fit.
Last year, more than 28,000 Florida students took the AP Psychology class, which is considered to be one of the most popular AP courses in the state. Students who achieve high scores on the final exam can receive college credit.