Florida Education Department Calls Out College Board's Lies


A view of the campus of New College of Florida in Sarasota, Fla. on Thursday, January 19, 2023. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of six conservatives the schools board of trustees on Jan. 6.
(Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post via Getty Images)


Florida’s education landscape has recently been shaken by a tug of war between the College Board and the Florida Department of Education. At the epicenter of this clash is the Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology course, with the College Board contending that Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act bans its teaching, while the state’s education department vehemently disagrees.

The College Board, which oversees both AP courses and the SAT test, has alleged that the Parental Rights in Education Act “effectively banned” AP Psychology in the state. The act in question limits classroom discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation but does make exceptions for mandatory academic standards and reproductive health lessons.

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Defending their stance, the College Board elaborated that AP Psychology necessitates students to “describe how sex and gender influence socialization and other aspects of development.” In a direct statement, they announced: “We are sad to have learned that today the Florida Department of Education has effectively banned AP Psychology in the state by instructing Florida superintendents that teaching foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal under state law.”

The College Board’s uncompromising position was echoed in June when they proclaimed they wouldn’t adjust their content to align with the Parental Rights in Education Act. They feared such modifications could lead colleges to dismiss the credits.

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Amplifying this, the College Board declared: “To be clear, any AP Psychology course taught in Florida will violate either Florida law or college requirements. Therefore, we advise Florida districts not to offer AP Psychology until Florida reverses their decision and allows parents and students to choose to take the full course.”

Lending their support to the College Board, the AP Psychology Development Committee, which curated the course, highlighted the indispensability of the topics in question. “As a committee, we affirm that gender and sexual orientation are essential, longstanding, and foundational topics in the study of psychology,” they voiced.

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However, Florida’s Department of Education begs to differ. Refuting the College Board’s claims, they contend the law doesn’t prohibit the AP Psychology course.

In a rebuke to the College Board’s accusations, the state’s Education Department remarked: “Just one week before school starts, the College Board is attempting to force school districts to prevent students from taking the AP Psychology Course.” They further clarified, “The Department didn’t ‘ban’ the course. The course remains listed in Florida’s Course Code Directory for the 2023-24 school year.” They concluded by urging the College Board to cease these games and to continue to present the course, granting teachers the autonomy to instruct as required.


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