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The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East

Eastside

The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East

Eastside

Changes in Florida’s AP curriculum have greatly affected students

Scan the QR code above to learn about how the changes in Floridas AP curriculum have affected students!
Daniel Ovadia
Scan the QR code above to learn about how the changes in Florida’s AP curriculum have affected students!

These past few years the education system in Florida has been a topic hotter than Florida itself. This continued on Thursday, August 3, 2023 when the Florida Department of Education, under Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. and Governor Ron DeStantis, relayed a message to College Board after College Board said they “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.” It is important to note that this is not an outright ban on AP Psychology, but an action that will cause some school districts to drop the course if they feel it violates state law.
Manny Diaz Jr. even stated that “the Department [of Education in Florida] believes that AP Psychology can be taught in its entirety in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate and the course remains listed in our course catalog.”
However, this statement hasn’t put College Board and LGBTQ+ advocates at ease. This has been seen as part of what has emerged as a pattern for the DeStantis administration, coming under fire last year for the Parental Rights in Education act, which was called the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by critics, and the rejection of AP African American Studies earlier this year. Further complicating things, the aforementioned “Don’t Say Gay Bill” allows parents to sue school districts that teach material they deem inappropriate. With the education department in Florida altering education in public schools to their liking, it’s starting to differ from the rest of the country.
“My main question is why,” said Adam Billet (‘26).
Florida’s response to those questioning their decision to encourage school districts to drop this course and courses like it has been that they feel it goes against the educational standards in Florida regarding sexuality and gender education. Many people, both nation-wide and within Florida, have praised and criticized the position that the Department of Education in Florida has taken.
“[The recent legislation in Florida regarding education] is wild honestly. The people deserve their AP Psych,” said Joseph Green (‘25).
Others would add to this opinion to state that writing LGBTQ+ people out of curriculum hurts their community. Still, some insist that the material present in AP Psychology is inappropriate for schools. However, it’s irrelevant whether or not AP Psychology is the cup of tea for certain politicians and families. SuperIntendents choosing to drop the course are not helping Florida students. It would be one thing if AP Psychology was a required class and was available to every student in a K-12 school district. However, AP Psychology, like the original AP African American Studies before it, is not a required class and is not available to all students.
The Florida Department of Education’s arguments in their actions surrounding the College Board seem to hinge on the idea that students are expected to take these classes that are predisposing them to have certain ideas. In reality, individual students and families are able to make these decisions on their own. This is the way it should be, but this intervention by Florida will undoubtedly cause a drop in students who have AP Psychology available to them. This is unfair to those students and an example of a government overstepping its bounds.
There’s been some speculation on the real reason for this sudden stand against education courses deemed “liberal” or “woke.” Could it be that what you see is what you get and Florida education really believes this is the way to move forward? Or, could this be a desperate attempt by Florida’s governor to get good press for his uninspiring presidential campaign? Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

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About the Contributor
Daniel Ovadia, Eastside Opinions Editor
Daniel is a junior at Cherry Hill High School East. He is arguably the best Eastside Print Opinions to have ever existed. He is involved in running, BBYO and Model UN. In his free time he enjoys watching sports and listening to music.

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