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Education Department Says College Board Misleading the Public on Rejected AP Course

College Board CEO David Coleman told national media outlets that the course was changed prior to Florida’s criticism, but the Education Department revealed a year-long dialogue between the two parties suggesting otherwise.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is calling out the College Board for misleading the public regarding the state’s influence on the recently revised AP African American Studies course.

The Department’s Office of Articulation sent a letter Tuesday to Brian Barnes, Senior Director for the College Board’s Florida Partnership, that featured an extensive timeline of interaction between the two parties regarding the course’s review and approval process.


The letter comes on the heels of recent media interviews from College Board CEO David Coleman in which he downplays the role Florida’s rejection played in the recent revisions made to the course.

Responding to criticism from the Left that the College Board caved to political pressure, Coleman told NPR on February 3: “It is simply false that the changes were made after [the state’s criticism], so just so we don't get confused.”

In the interview, Coleman also promoted a free resource called AP Classroom accessible to teachers and students that would feature texts on intersectionality – one of the topics restricted by the FDOE.


The Office of Articulation’s four-page letter lists 20 bullet points dating back to January 2022 that recap specific communications between the FDOE and the College Board regarding the AP African American Studies course.

The letter began by wryly alluding to Coleman’s omission of extensive dialogue with the State: “That FDOE and the College Board have been communicating since January 2022 regarding the proposed course is remarkable. We do appreciate the regular, two-way verbal and written dialogue on this important topic.”

Addressing concerns within the curriculum, FDOE wrote on July 1, 2022: “The preview materials appear to include content that may not be permissible. In order for the review to continue, we need information from College Board that demonstrates teaching the content would not require teachers to be out of compliance with Florida law.”

During subsequent meetings, representatives from both parties met to discuss which elements of the course would need to be removed or revised in order to comply with Florida law.

On January 12, 2023, the state sent its now famous rejection notice, notifying the College Board that the course had been rejected. Less than three weeks later, the College Board shared an updated syllabus cleansed of the objected material.

The final bullet point in Tuesday’s letter noted: “By no coincidence, we were grateful to see that the College Board’s revised February 1, 2023, framework removed 19 topics, many of which FDOE cited as conflicting with Florida law, including discriminatory and historically fictional topics.”