“I don’t think anyone should be concerned about our high school students not having opportunity for that. They absolutely will. And it’s just a matter of what’s the best way to do it,” he said in Jacksonville.
DeSantis contended there are other ways for high school students to get college credit that circumvent the College Board offerings, suggesting that discontinuing AP classes wouldn’t present an insurmountable burden for students given the panoply of other options.
“They’re not the only one that can provide that particular service. So we really believe in Florida (that) high school students should be able to earn college credits. We’ve championed dual enrollment where you can actually take a course in high school from one of our professors at a state college,” DeSantis said. “So that’s going to happen.”
Raising the question of “who elected” the College Board again as he did previously, he suggested that more academically “rigorous” alternatives exist that can be implemented in its stead.
“Are there other people that provide services? It turns out there are,” DeSantis added, contending that International Baccalaureate courses are “actually more rigorous than AP” classes, and are accepted by colleges.
DeSantis also said Cambridge International courses are “also more rigorous.”
“Florida students are going to have that ability,” he added. “That is not going to be diminished. In fact, we’re going to continue to work to expand it. But it’s not clear to me, this particular operator is the one that’s going to need to be used in the future.”
The Governor noted that “some of the top high schools in the country” already eschew AP, along with “some of our top schools in Florida.”
“So college credit? Yes. Having that available for everyone? Absolutely. Does it have to be done by the College Board or can we utilize some of these other providers who I think have a really, really strong track record?”
DeSantis addressed the controversy Monday, when he floated the idea of Florida divorcing itself from the group’s offerings, with legislators moving to “reevaluate” the state’s relationship with the body in the upcoming Legislative Session.
“The College Board was the one that in a Black Studies course put queer theory in. Not us! They did that. They were the ones who put in Intersectionality. They put in other types of neo-Marxism into the proposed syllabus,” DeSantis contended.
“They provided these AP courses for a long time, but you know, there are probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as good or even a lot better,” DeSantis argued, noting that he “talked” to House Speaker Paul Renner about legislative moves to “re-evaluate how Florida’s doing that.”
DeSantis’ comments on Monday and Tuesday followed the College Board condemnation of the state’s rejection of its initially proposed Black Studies course as lacking “educational value” in a letter made public over the weekend. The Board said the state’s critiques were “absent of substance.”
“In the discussion, they did not offer feedback but instead asked vague, uninformed questions like, ‘What does the word “intersectionality” mean?’ and ‘Does the course promote Black Panther thinking?’”
“We have made the mistake of treating (the Florida Department of Education) with the courtesy we always accord to an education agency, but they have instead exploited this courtesy for their political agenda,” the College Board contended.