DeSantis takes on the College Board

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Republican lawmakers in Florida, led by Governor Ron DeSantis, are looking into alternatives to the College Board’s AP courses and exams.

The disagreement between DeSantis and the College Board began when the governor started voicing objections to a new advanced placement course on African-Americans studies had been introduced. The state’s Department of Education said it would not approve the course for Florida because it covered subjects like Black Lives Matter, Black queer studies and reparations.

His remarks came after the College Board accused his administration’s leaders of being dishonest and releasing false information about the AP course on African American studies. The College Board, a long-standing non-profit based in Washington, administers advanced placement courses across the nation, but it is not the only board to offer these courses.

Nia Smith, an engineering major at Florida A&M, believes high school students are the ones who will be hurt if the course is not allowed in Florida.

“Taking out these important courses will eventually affect students, but specifically high school students due to it being beneficial when transitioning to college,” Smith said. “Florida students could possibly be at a disadvantage.”

Paul Renner, the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, is looking into the College Board’s request, and if the changes that were made to the course will be enough to allow it to be taught in Florida.

The governor’s priorities for education, such as altering how the state funds diversity, equity and inclusion programs at state universities and colleges, have the support of the Palm Coast Republican.

Jayla Johnson, a FAMU student majoring in education, is concerned about changes being proposed to the state’s education system.

“I feel as though he is upset with what was said about his administrators and just wants to get back at College Board,” Johnson said. “Meaning, he wants them to lose money purposely.”

Maya Michelle, a senior at FAMU majoring in education, had planned on teaching African American history after she earns her degree.

“My goal was to educate my future students on Black culture because I never had that experience at a young age,” Michelle said. “Now that there could possibly be a chance that it is banned, is a disappointment.”

DeSantis, who is considering a presidential bid in 2024, has gained the upper hand in the education system. He wants to replace the SAT with the Classic Learning Test, which was created in 2015. It evaluates language, grammar and mathematics.

The governor has made his views known to lawmakers as well as the chancellor of the State University System of Florida. It’s not clear how much longer the College Board will have a presence in the state, as the governor continues to consider his options.