FLORIDA HAS BLOCKED the College Board from testing a pilot Advanced Placement African American Studies (APAAS) curriculum in the state under Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE” Act. According to a letter obtained by National Review, Florida’s Department of Education’s Office of Articulation said the curriculum “is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
The pilot course, which has been tested at 60 schools across the United States, aims to expand the advanced coursework offered by the College Board into the study of the African diaspora in the U.S. The course has run afoul of DeSantis’ widespread ban on teaching “critical race theory” (CRT) in K-12 classrooms. CRT is an analytical framework that seeks to dissect the manner in which racism has shaped American legal theory and institutions. The concept has been co-opted in recent years by right-wing reactionaries to fearmonger about any and all discussions of race and discrimination.
The “Stop Woke” act, signed into law by DeSantis in 2022, essentially prohibits instruction on race relations or diversity that imply a person’s “status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.” The bill also bans both schools and workplaces from “subjecting any student or employee to training or instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individuals to believe specified concepts constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin.”