White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday blasted Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for blocking a new Advanced Placement (AP) course for high school students on African American studies.
"It is incomprehensible to see … this ban or this block, to be more specific, that DeSantis has put forward," Jean-Pierre told reporters despite initially saying, "The administration does not dictate any curriculum for any schools. That's not something that we do here."
Regardless, Jean-Pierre continued to blast DeSantis and his Florida Department of Education.
"These types of actions are not new from what we're seeing, especially from Florida sadly."
She proceeded to say that Florida "bans teachers from talking about who they are and who they love."
"They have banned more books in schools and libraries than almost every other state in the country," Jean-Pierre said while reading from her notes. "And let's not forget, they didn't block AP European history, they didn't block music history or art history, but the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high-achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture."
It was reported Thursday that Florida will not allow high school students to take a new AP class in African American Studies, saying in a letter to College Board Florida Partnership, the nonprofit that develops the courses, that the pilot version "lacks educational value."
Florida has banned schools from teaching "critical race theory," which is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.
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