College Board claims AP psychology course ‘effectively banned’ in Florida

Exam tables set up in a sports hall for exams in a high school &
The state seeks to squash AP course work on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The College Board contends yet another Advanced Placement course has run afoul of Florida policymakers.

At issue: teachings on the forbidden subjects of “sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The College Board said “the Florida Department of Education has effectively banned AP Psychology in the state by instructing Florida superintendents that teaching foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal under state law. The state has said districts are free to teach AP Psychology only if it excludes any mention of these essential topics.”

“The AP course asks students to describe how sex and gender influence socialization and other aspects of development. This element of the framework is not new: gender and sexual orientation have been part of AP Psychology since the course launched 30 years ago,” the College Board adds.

The issue has been brewing for some time.

In June, the College Board noted the Florida Department of Education Office of Articulation urged them to “audit” or “modify” course materials, which was a deal breaker.

“Doing so would break the fundamental promise of AP: colleges wouldn’t broadly accept that course for credit and that course wouldn’t prepare students for careers in the discipline,” the Board asserted.

“The learning objective within AP Psychology that covers gender and sexual orientation has specifically been raised by some Florida districts relative to these recent regulations. That learning objective must remain a required topic, just as it has been in Florida for many years. As with all AP courses, required topics must be included for a course to be designated as AP.”

The state’s legal standing rests in HB 1069, legislation that expanded the previous year’s HB 1557 from covering students through third grade to eighth grade. The legislation, derided by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, was expanded to cover all students in the K-12 public school system by the Board of Education. The state provided a document of so-called “alignment assurance” that the College Board did not sign.

Florida Politics has reached out to the Department of Education for its take, but did not hear back before publication.

This is not the first conflict between the College Board and Tallahassee.

“We have learned from our mistakes in the recent rollout of AP African American Studies and know that we must be clear from the outset where we stand,” the Board wrote, referring to the African American Studies Advanced Placement pilot course rebuffed by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration. The Governor, who attended Ivy League institutions for undergraduate and law school, complained about “queer theory” and “neo-Marxism” being made part of the curriculum.

For its part, the College Board has said the state’s critiques were “absent of substance” and driven by “political agenda,” full of “vague, uninformed questions like, ‘What does the word ‘intersectionality’ mean?’ and ‘Does the course promote Black Panther thinking?’”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • SteveHC

    August 3, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    DeSantis Administration and his sycophant state legislature continue on their march to destroy public educatiin in Florida, wiping out all of the work that went on prior to their election and produced the gains that until now had been realized.

  • PeterH

    August 3, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    While Florida’s residents are sitting by and watching in amusement and disbelief, Ron DeSantis and Republicans are dumbing down academics in Florida schools. This is to the detriment of Florida’s youth who must eventually face a world where discrimination really does exist because of skin color and gays and lesbians have not magically disappeared as a result of anything Ron DeSantis or the Florida legislature has imposed.

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!
    Vote all Republicans out of office.

  • Glory

    August 3, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    Another example of DeathSantis destroying the future of healthcare in Florida since there will be no psychological services. Lord knows it is needed starting in Tallahassee

  • CW

    August 3, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    So the AP Psychology course that my oldest son took two years ago will now be banned or edited for my rising junior son. What a joke! We don’t need thought police in Florida or anywhere in this country. Period!

    • PeterH

      August 3, 2023 at 5:27 pm

      The AP will not be altered to conform to DeSantis. Your son can go to another state for schooling and testing. Yes … this is a shame.

  • My Take

    August 3, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    “Who are the brain police?”– Zappa

    The brainless.

  • dahlia_piros

    August 3, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    Not only do sex, gender, and sexual orientation play a key role in socialization and psychological development, the way it does so is constantly changing and deeply personal. This is an aspect of humanity that, in our enlightened age, having learned from other cultures and periods, we are learning better ways to discuss. Teaching the latest thought to curious young people should be at the core of our education system. Moms for Liberty and DeSantis’s ilk are the next generation of kakhei

  • Longshank Scrotus

    August 3, 2023 at 11:49 pm

    The whole field of psychology is stupid, useless, and for the weak and vulnerable. Cancel that $hit.

  • My Take

    August 4, 2023 at 4:39 am

    The mentally misfit are always outraged when someone can identify the name of their dysfunction and derangement.

  • My Take

    August 4, 2023 at 4:39 am

    The mentally misfit are always outraged when someone can identify the name of their dysfunction and derangement.

  • Angela Lee Elser

    August 4, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Ron Dystopian
    Ron DiSaster
    Ron Destructive
    Ron Disappointing
    Ron DiSanctimonious
    Ron DeShit toast
    Ron DeSatan
    Ron Dystopian
    On twitter @DeSantisJet
    Ron DeClantis
    Ron DeFacist

Comments are closed.


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