College Board Creates Controversy


(Graphic by Olivia Kao)

In mid-December of 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ heavy criticism over the College Board’s AP African American Studies course caused the non-profit organization to revise the curriculum.  

According to The New York Times, the College Board released “an official curriculum for its new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies—stripped much of the subject matter that had angered the governor and other conservatives.”

Some of the mentioned subject matter that sparked controversy among conservatives included lesson plans on the LGBTQ+ population within the African American community, the Black Lives Matter movement and critical race theory.

With these topics omitted from the curriculum, students and staff feel that having important aspects of understanding our modern world skimmed over weakens forward movement and progress in society.

“I think it’s important for us to learn those kinds of things because if we don’t learn history, we’re doomed to repeat it,” junior and BSU Treasurer Zayan Adame-Geffner said. “Having these things taken out of the program prevents people from really seeing the whole picture. When I had heard that [College Board was] taking certain aspects out of the course, I was disappointed because as a school with a majority of white students, it’s very important to open some people’s eyes to what’s going on in the world and to bring awareness.”

Teachers and staff members agree. 

“We need to teach our kids to be kind, respectful, empathetic and compassionate to all peoples regardless of their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Learning about all different histories of all people is important so that we can be an educated society,” Associate Principal and former AP US History teacher Dane Hill said. 

“We as a society often focus on our differences, when in reality, we are human beings first,” Hill said. “We represent our country and our government and make decisions for our future; knowing and understanding all the diverse peoples and cultures of our country is extremely relevant to making informed decisions and to continue to make our country a better place.” 

Although the AP African American Studies course will not be offered across the country until 2024, PVHS offers an engaging Ethnic Studies course that will eventually become a state-mandated class for students to take. 

The class dives deep into the importance of cultural and historical diversity and representation.

The feud between the College Board and Governor DeSantis is much more than just a debate over the contents of a high school class; it is the internal conflict of a nation torn between ideas of how American history should be told, and will likely last for generations to come.