JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The Florida Department of Education says AP Psychology will continue being taught in Florida schools.
It comes a day after The College Board claimed the state had effectively banned the course, by requiring school districts to skip over a section on gender and sexual orientation.
In a statement posted to social media Thursday, The College Board said it was “sad to learn the Florida Department of Education has effectively banned AP Psychology in the state”.
The statement went on to say, “Any course that censors required course content cannot be labeled “AP” or “Advanced Placement” and the “AP Psychology” designation cannot be utilized on student transcripts.”
But Friday afternoon the Department of Education sent a letter to school superintendents, directing them to continue offering the course.
“The Department believes that AP Psychology can be taught in its entirety in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate,” wrote Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz in the letter.
The course framework has only one learning target under the Gender and Sexual Orientation section, which reads, “Describe how sex and gender influence socialization and other aspects of development.”
In response to the departments’ letter St. Johns County Schools told Action News Jax it will continue offering the course with the AP designation.
In an email sent to district high school principals, St. Johns County Superintendent Tim Forson said a district official will, “work with your teachers to ensure all standards are taught within the law.”
Duval County Public Schools also confirmed the AP course remains on its schedule, and it is monitoring the situation.
“However, every school that offers AP Psychology is working on a contingency plan. Each contingency plan will provide students with either an accelerated college credit option or an honors option in the event a different course is in the best interest of students and teachers based on state law and requirements for AP college credit. If it is necessary to implement a contingency plan, each school will work directly with impacted families to determine the best path forward for each student under the circumstances,” said a district spokesperson in an emailed statement.
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The College Board weighed in on the new guidance Friday afternoon.
“Today’s statement from the Florida Department of Education represents new guidance on AP Psychology. While state superintendents continue to seek additional clarity from the department, we note the clear guidance that, “AP Psychology may be taught in its entirety. We hope now that Florida teachers will be able to teach the full course, including content on gender and sexual orientation, without fear of punishment in the upcoming school year,” said a College Board Spokesperson in an emailed statement to Action News Jax.
Action News Jax has also reached out to Clay and Nassau school districts and asked whether they plan to continue offering the course.