Our Commitment to AP Students, Families, and Educators
This month, we gathered thousands of AP teachers and college professors from across the country to read and score the AP Exams taken by millions of students this past spring. At those AP Readings, educators from a range of disciplines asked whether the Advanced Placement Program will respond to recent legislation in Florida that could limit AP course content. We’ve also heard from Florida school district leaders specifically asking how to navigate these laws relative to AP Psychology.
We have learned from our mistakes in the recent rollout of AP African American Studies and know that we must be clear from the outset where we stand.
The Florida Department of Education Office of Articulation recently requested that we audit and potentially modify AP courses relative to the new Florida laws that restrict classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. We responded, in part, as follows:
[College Board] will not modify our courses to accommodate restrictions on teaching essential, college-level topics. Doing so would break the fundamental promise of AP: colleges wouldn’t broadly accept that course for credit and that course wouldn’t prepare students for careers in the discipline.
The learning objective within AP Psychology that covers gender and sexual orientation has specifically been raised by some Florida districts relative to these recent regulations. That learning objective must remain a required topic, just as it has been in Florida for many years. As with all AP courses, required topics must be included for a course to be designated as AP.
The American Psychological Association has also made clear that the topics of gender and sexual orientation are foundational for any college-level course in psychology.
We don’t know if the state of Florida will ban this course. To AP teachers in Florida, we are heartbroken by the possibility of Florida students being denied the opportunity to participate in this or any AP course. To AP teachers everywhere, please know we will not modify any of the 40 AP courses—from art to history to science—in response to regulations that would censor college-level standards for credit, placement, and career readiness.
All AP courses are developed in partnership with teachers and professors and are aligned to college-level courses. Their development is guided by our universal AP Principles that ensure AP classes offer an unflinching encounter with evidence. AP opposes both censorship and indoctrination, and is animated by a deep respect for the intellectual freedom of teachers and students alike.
Participation in AP courses is and always has been a choice. Families can review AP course content and make informed decisions about whether they want their students to participate. Millions of students and their families have chosen AP courses for their high standards and college-level content. We respect students’ ability to learn college-level material and we respect the right of families to decide what they want their students to learn. At stake is denying the choices of those families.
Updated July 31, 2023
Attached is the May 19, 2023, letter from the Florida Department of Education Office of Articulation to the College Board requesting that we audit and potentially modify AP courses relative to the new Florida laws that restrict classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the “College Board Alignment Assurances” document the College Board received and declined to sign.