MIAMI – A Miami-Dade history teacher weighed in Wednesday on the controversy over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to block an Advanced Placement high school course on African American Studies.
It comes the same day the College Board, which oversees AP courses, revised elements of the course that drew criticism from the governor, downplaying topics like Black Lives Matter, slavery reparations and queer life, including them sample list states and schools can choose from for student projects, rather than on the required exam.
The College Board said the changes were made before the DeSantis administration said the course “significantly lacks educational value.”
Dannielle Boyer, a history teacher at Miami Northwestern Senior High School, said history is about facts, the story of all us and how we’re all intertwined, which she said is often left out.
“African American history is a part of American history,” Boyer said. “Nobody told of the story of the Haitian rebellion that caused the Louisiana Purchase too be made and Napoleon having to need to sell that land for cheap to the United States. No one hears about that. It’s not written in the books like it should be.”
Boyer, the American-born daughter of Haitian and Dominican parents, said she’s concerned about the nit-picking of history. The 20-year veteran teacher said all perspectives must be taught.
While the course no longer includes the topics mentioned above, it now includes lessons on Black conservatism.
Members of the Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board also weighed in Wednesday.
He said he hopes the state’s final decision on whether to allow the optional course will consider everyone.
“We need to be intentional in terms of if we don’t agree, how can we get to the powers that be, to include the governor, to see where we can find some common medium that everybody will walk away from the table feeling like they’re a part of this great state that we live in,” Rutledge said.
DeSantis was asked his thoughts on the College Board’s decision Wednesday.
“I haven’t seen it, so I’ll get back to you on that,” he said.