College Board is ‘playing games’ by falsely claiming Florida law bans psychology courses, says state’s Department of Education

News & Politics

The Florida Department of Education accused the College Board of “playing games” by incorrectly claiming that state law banned Advanced Placement Psychology courses in schools.

According to the College Board, Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, misleadingly referred to by leftists as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, makes it illegal to teach AP Psychology. It claimed the act “effectively banned” the courses.

The law restricts classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity but allows exceptions for state-required academic standards and reproductive health classes.

The College Board explained that the AP Psychology courses require students to “describe how sex and gender influence socialization and other aspects of development.”

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“We are sad to have learned that today 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 College Board said in a statement on Thursday.

The College Board, which oversees Advanced Placement courses and the SAT test, announced in June that it would not modify any material to comply with the Parental Rights in Education Act because it could cause colleges to reject the credits. On Thursday, it doubled down on its policy.

“To be clear, any AP Psychology course taught in Florida will violate either Florida law or college requirements. Therefore, we advise Florida districts not to offer AP Psychology until Florida reverses their decision and allows parents and students to choose to take the full course,” the College Board stated.

The AP Psychology Development Committee that designed the course supported the College Board’s decision.

“As a committee, we affirm that gender and sexual orientation are essential, longstanding, and foundational topics in the study of psychology,” the committee stated in part.

Florida’s Department of Education fired back at the College Board, arguing that the law does not ban the course.

In a statement to WFLA-TV, the state’s Education Department said, “Just one week before school starts, the College Board is attempting to force school districts to prevent students from taking the AP Psychology Course.”

“The Department didn’t ‘ban’ the course. The course remains listed in Florida’s Course Code Directory for the 2023-24 school year,” the department continued. “We encourage the College Board to stop playing games with Florida students and continue to offer the course and allow teachers to operate accordingly.”

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