AP Psychology Credits Withheld from Florida Students amid Controversy over Gender Education

by Chloe Baker
AP Psychology Florida controversy

The first instance of the College Board confronting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s attempts to infuse education standards with conservative ideals resulted in the alteration of the Advanced Placement course for African American studies. The revised course diluted the curriculum on topics like slavery reparations and the Black Lives Matter movement, sparking outrage nationwide.

Presently, the College Board refuses to change its AP Psychology course in line with Florida’s restrictions on teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity. The non-profit organization has advised Florida school districts not to offer the college-level course unless it can be provided in its entirety.

This unexpected announcement has caused a stir throughout the state, especially as many students are due to return to school in less than a week. However, because the College Board stands firm on its long-standing psychology curriculum, school districts outside of Florida remain unaffected — unlike the situation with the African American studies curriculum.

In the capital, Tallahassee, the Leon County school district superintendent has convened with high school teachers and principals to discuss the future of approximately 300 students who have already enrolled in the course, which is crucial for earning college credits. In Orlando, Orange County Public Schools informed parents of registered AP Psychology students that they are working on alternate plans.

In a statement, the College Board expressed regret over its decision, citing the DeSantis administration’s instructions that it is illegal under state law to teach foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity, as the reason for the effective ban on AP Psychology in the state.

However, Florida’s Department of Education has dismissed the claim that the course has been banned, encouraging the College Board to cease its games and continue offering the course as per the state’s course code directory for the 2023-24 academic year.

The abrupt shift has left parents and students scrambling to find alternatives as the new school year looms.

Brandon Taylor Charpied, whose daughter attends school in a Jacksonville suburb, had planned for her to take an AP psychology course, but shifted gears due to whispers of tension between Florida and the College Board.

A broadened Florida law prohibits lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity unless mandated by existing state standards or included as optional parts of reproductive health instruction. The state requested the College Board and other providers of college-level courses to assess their courses for potential violations earlier this year.

The College Board, however, declined to tweak the psychology course to align with Florida’s recent laws. The course requires students to examine how sex and gender influence an individual’s development, concepts that have been integral to the curriculum for the past three decades.

In resisting pressure from Florida officials, the College Board, which oversees the SAT and AP exams, admitted past errors in its handling of the African American studies curriculum.

Free-speech advocates and literacy experts praised the College Board’s stance. Kasey Meehan of PEN America, a nonprofit committed to promoting literature and human rights, warned that the nationwide legislation is causing a chilling effect on teachers of all grades.

The American Psychological Association condemned Florida’s new policy, arguing that students will receive a fragmented education. The Association’s CEO, Arthur Evans Jr., expressed that this censored educational content will severely disadvantage Florida’s students by providing them with an incomplete understanding of psychological research into human development.

You may also like


ParentInJax August 4, 2023 - 8:47 pm

We saw this coming. Had to change my daughter’s classes at the last minute. They’re playing games with our kids future! not cool.

FL_student August 5, 2023 - 3:24 am

guess i need to change my schedule now.. this is just ridiculous.

MsBookWorm August 5, 2023 - 5:32 am

I’m a teacher, and this is truly disheartening. We should be encouraging open learning environments. sigh…

JohnDoe1984 August 5, 2023 - 5:54 am

come on Florida, education isn’t politics! let the kids learn everything they need to know.

SarahM August 5, 2023 - 11:25 am

This is so frustrating! These kids need the full picture, not just what fits into some political agenda…education should be about learning, not censoring 🙁


Leave a Comment

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News