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Florida faith leaders form coalition to contest Gov. DeSantis', education department's denial of AP African American studies

The Florida Department of Education states teaching AP African American Studies "lacks educational value." Those against this say "Black history isn't inferior."

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Faith leaders in Florida plan to speak out Monday against a new move by the Florida Department of Education.

Florida students will not be able to take an Advanced Placement African American Studies course because the FDOE denied approval of it. Advanced placement classes are college-level courses taught in high schools. 

In Tallahassee Monday, a coalition of faith leaders will announce a statewide movement to contest this.

According to the College Board, this school year the AP African American Studies course is being piloted in 60 schools throughout the country. There's no word on which schools but now they will not be in Florida.

In a letter to the College Board, the FDOE stated: 

"As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value. In the future, should College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion."

The FDOE does not explicitly name the Stop WOKE Act, but it was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and intends to limit how classrooms and workplaces handle race-related discussions. 

Critics of the move call it "shameful." Reverend Dr. R.B. Holmes, one of the pastors involved in the coalition forming in Tallahassee, states:

"Contrary to the governor's belief, we emphatically believe that African American studies have profound educational value; Black history isn't inferior, nor does our history 'lack educational value.'"

Recently a memo was sent from the governor's office to the commissioner of education and the state university system chancellor asking for data related to programs that teach diversity on Florida's public campuses. The governor wants to know "the expenditure of state resources on programs and initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory within our schools."

Read more about that here.

A press conference with the faith and civic leaders is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church on North Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard in Tallahassee.


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