College Board cautions against AP Psychology offerings in Florida schools

The College Board, an educational organization responsible for administering standardized tests, is urging school districts in Florida to refrain from offering AP Psychology courses due to a recent controversy surrounding the inclusion of lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a statement released on Thursday, the College Board revealed that it had been informed by the Florida Department of Education about a directive that prohibits the teaching of AP Psychology if it covers topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

According to the College Board, any AP Psychology course taught in Florida would violate either state law or college requirements. The organization advised Florida school districts not to offer the course until the state reverses its decision and allows parents and students the freedom to choose whether they want to access the complete curriculum. This unexpected development has thrown the preparation for the upcoming school year into disarray, leaving educators and students uncertain about the future of the course.

In response to the College Board’s statement, the Florida Department of Education clarified that it did not ban the AP Psychology course outright. Instead, the department accused the College Board of attempting to coerce school districts into preventing students from enrolling in the course just a week before the start of the academic year. It emphasized that the course is still listed in Florida’s Course Code Directory for the 2023-24 school year and urged the College Board to cease playing games with Florida students by ensuring the course remains available and that teachers can continue to impart knowledge without hindrance.

The College Board highlighted the fact that concepts related to gender and sexual orientation have been recommended for inclusion in AP Psychology courses since its inception 30 years ago. Expressing disappointment, the organization announced that it had learned that the Florida Department of Education had essentially prohibited the teaching of AP Psychology in the state by asserting that teaching foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal under state law. The College Board’s position underscores the significance of addressing these vital topics within the framework of the curriculum to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and psychology.

As this disagreement between the College Board and the Florida Department of Education unfolds, it leaves students, parents, and educators awaiting further clarification and resolution. The fate of AP Psychology in Florida hangs in the balance, with the hopes that a satisfactory resolution can be reached to ensure students receive a well-rounded education that encompasses all relevant aspects of the subject matter.

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