The College Board releases a new framework for its AP African American Studies course

Emmitt Glynn teaches to a group of Baton Rouge Magnet High School students on Jan. 30, in Baton Rouge, La. On Wednesday, the College Board released an updated framework for its new Advanced Placement African American Studies course, months after the nonprofit testing company came under intense scrutiny for engaging with conservative critics.

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Emmitt Glynn teaches to a group of Baton Rouge Magnet High School students on Jan. 30, in Baton Rouge, La. On Wednesday, the College Board released an updated framework for its new Advanced Placement African American Studies course, months after the nonprofit testing company came under intense scrutiny for engaging with conservative critics.

Stephen Smith/AP

The College Board has released the updated framework for its AP African American Studies course, which was embroiled in controversy earlier this year following criticism from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and state officials.

The College Board — which offers Advanced Placement courses that can help high school students earn college credit — said Wednesday that it arrived at the newest version of the course framework after “intense public debate.”

The new framework is intended to be used when the course officially launches in the 2024-2025 school year.

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“This course is a vibrant introduction to a dynamic field that offers a broader perspective,” Brandi Waters, senior director and program manager of African American Studies in the Advanced Placement Program, said in a statement.

“This is the course I wish I had in high school,” Waters added. “I hope every interested student has the opportunity to take it.”

Months back, Florida’s Department of Education rejected the course, with state officials claiming that it had a “political agenda” that would indoctrinate students.

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The College Board revised the curriculum in February, but that drew criticism too, including from those who accused the educational body of caving to the demands of the conservative governor, who is now running for president.

The new framework released this week excludes some topics that DeSantis had criticized, such as the Black queer experience, according to the Miami Herald.

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But it also includes a mention of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality during the national anthem, as well as a reference to Black Lives Matter as an example of optional further study in the class.

Neither DeSantis’ office nor the Florida Department of Education immediately responded to NPR’s request for a comment.

Roughly 13,000 students in 700 schools across the U.S. are currently piloting the course.

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