Education Experts Refute Florida Authorities After Course Content Blocked

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For the upcoming school year, the Advanced Placement (AP) course ordinarily available for high school students in psychology will not be offered in its entirety in Florida, which effectively invalidates the course, which is ordinarily meant to provide the opportunity for college credit for its participants. The target? Content in the course on sexual orientation and gender identity, which state authorities for education in Florida have directed not be taught.

Members of the AP Psychology Development Committee condemned the developments. “As a committee, we affirm that gender and sexual orientation are essential, longstanding, and foundational topics in the study of psychology,” they said. “College-level introductory psychology students will encounter gender and sexual orientation as topics of study. Psychology graduates go on to pursue a range of careers and must be able to successfully navigate professional environments that will require familiarity with these concepts. To best prepare these students for college placement and careers in psychology, the topic on gender and sexual orientation will continue to be required in AP Psychology.”

Effectively, it appears the plan of action from Florida authorities is to treat discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity as either inappropriate or pushing a particular ideological perspective, though these facets of identity and experience are generally understood to be simply foundational.

The College Board, which operates the AP courses, noted that “gender and sexual orientation have been part of AP Psychology since the course launched 30 years ago.” But now, the Florida state Department of Education has recently issued formal guidance against the full teaching of the course content. The move follows an expansion of the restrictions in Florida public schools on classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity through the 12th grade.

Elsewhere in Florida, state authorities have also faced condemnation for new educational standards under which middle school students will be taught that victims of slavery in the U.S. benefited from the development of practical skills. Speaking in Florida, even Vice President Kamala Harris has condemned this reading of history — twice.