President Biden on Friday swiped at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over recent comments in which the governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate floated somehow replacing Advancement Placement (AP) classes in his state.
Biden tweeted out a news article from his official account headlined: “‘Unfathomable’: Florida parents, students blast DeSantis idea to nix APs.” The Washington Post story details the concerns of students and others in Florida amid an escalating fight with the College Board over its African American studies course.
“I think every kid, in every zip code, in every state should have access to every education opportunity possible. I guess, for some, that isn’t the consensus view,” Biden tweeted.
Earlier in the week, Biden similarly argued for the importance of offering a full, transparent and uncensored education to American children ahead of a White House screening of the movie “Till,” which focuses on Mamie Till and her response to the lynching of her son, Emmett, in 1955 at age 14.
“We should know everything about our history. And that’s the — great nations do,” Biden said. “Great nations. And we’re a great nation. And that’s why history matters so much, you know? That’s why this film matters so much.”
DeSantis’s feud with the College Board over AP classes began when the governor’s administration said last month that Florida would not accept the College Board’s new African American studies course pilot program, with its objections including parts of the curriculum such as queer studies and intersectionality. Florida said the course “lacks educational value.”
“We deeply regret not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander, magnified by the DeSantis administration’s subsequent comments, that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value,’” the College Board said in a statement last weekend. “Our failure to raise our voice betrayed Black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field.”
In response, DeSantis suggested possibly eliminating AP classes in Florida all together.
“This College Board, like, nobody elected them to anything. They’re just kind of there, and they’re providing service. So you can either utilize those services or not. And they’ve provided these AP courses for a long time, but, you know, there are probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as good or maybe even a lot better,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
DeSantis suggested schools could expand alternative options for students to take classes that are worth college credit, such as International Baccalaureate and Cambridge Assessment programs.
The Florida governor is widely expected to enter the 2024 GOP presidential primary later this year, likely after the state legislative session ends in May. DeSantis is viewed as perhaps the most formidable challenger to former President Trump for the Republican nomination.