The Florida Department of Education (DOE) confirmed on Wednesday that AP Psychology can be taught at schools after a controversial debate.
Just days before the new school year, multiple school districts dropped the course after the College Board claimed on Aug. 3 it would violate Florida state laws on education.
Although the DOE sent a letter to superintendents the following day saying the course could still be taught “in its entirety,” and attacked the College Board for “playing games,” questions remained.
To clear concerns, Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. sent another letter out to superintendents confirming again that the course can be taught “consistent with Florida law.”
“As Commissioner of Education, I tasked my team with reviewing the AP Psychology framework at length. I believe I was clear in my previous letter, but I want to make sure there is no room for misinterpretation,” Diaz said.
He added, “It is the Department of Education’s stance that the learning target, 6.P ‘Describe how sex and gender influence socialization and other aspects of development,’ within Topic 6.7, can be taught consistent with Florida law.”
In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, the College Board stated that Wednesday’s new letter offered “clear guidance” that “provides Florida educators, parents and students the certainty they need.”
Prior to Diaz’s most recent letter, the College Board claimed that Florida had “effectively banned” the popular course.
“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 state has said districts are free to teach AP Psychology only if it excludes any mention of these essential topics,” the College Board said in its statement last week.
Diaz pushed back at the time telling superintendents that the course was still available for the 2023-2024 school year and called on “the College Board to stop playing games with Florida students and continue to offer the course and allow teachers to operate accordingly.”