Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has asked his education secretary for a review of the Advance Placement (AP) African American studies course that has made headlines since it was rejected in Florida by the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
The AP African American course will be reviewed to ensure it complies with Youngkin’s Executive Order 1 that he signed at the beginning of 2022, according to a spokesperson.
“After numerous reports about draft course content, the governor asked the Education Secretariat to review the College Board’s proposed AP African American Studies course as it pertains to Executive Order 1,” spokesperson Macaulay Porter said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday.
The executive order under which Youngkin wants the course reviewed bans critical race theory — an academic framework about systemic racism in American institutions that is used at collegiate levels and has become a catch-all political buzzword for race-related discussion in classrooms — in Virginia and aims to “end the use of inherently divisive concepts.”
It is unknown whether the results of this review could impact if the course is available in Virginia schools.
The involvement of state governments in whether an AP course can be offered in schools varies by state. In Virginia, local schools decide what AP courses are on tap.
Youngkin’s review comes a month after DeSantis attacked the College Board and the AP class, with his administration saying the course had “no educational value.”
DeSantis made his issues with the course public while it was still under a pilot program and offered in only a few dozen schools in the country.
After the comments from DeSantis, the College Board said it would be releasing changes to the class, but insisted the tweaks to the coursework were the result of months of consideration and not in response to the Florida governor.
At the beginning of February, the company released its changes and later apologized for not pushing back enough against DeSantis’s attacks.
Some of the changes included the removal of topics such as Black queer studies and making others such as reparations debates optional — both subjects with which DeSantis took issue.
It remains to be seen if the changes the College Board made at the beginning of February will be accepted in Florida.