Bryan Griffin, the press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), shared an image of CNN writer John Blake’s request for comment regarding a story about Florida’s move to reject an Advanced Placement African American Studies course. In the message, Blake said that he had spoken to scholars who suggested that the move is similar to decisions of “fascist dictators.”
“I’m requesting a response from Gov. DeSantis or anyone from his office to an article I am writing about Gov. DeSantis decision to block the teaching of an high school Advanced Placement course on African American history course in Florida,” Blake wrote, according to the image in Griffin’s tweet. “I’ve talked to one of the nation’s leading scholars on fascism who, along with another scholar who is an authority on fascism, say that DeSantis’ decision echoes similar decisions made by fascist dictators to force what one historian calls ‘collective amnesia’ about the past.”
Griffin shared his own response to the request for comment.
“Your inquiry is absurd and, of course, false. There will always be extreme critics, but it is the media’s choice whether to give them a platform and legitimize their extremism. If you choose to print such critique and amplify it as a perspective by which we are guilty until proven innocent, it will speak more to the moral bankruptcy and untruthfulness of your outlet than anything else,” Griffin wrote. “If this is what CNN considers journalism, it deserves to fail.”
In a letter earlier this month, the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Articulation asserted that the course content ran afoul of state law. “As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” the letter stated.
“Despite the lies from the Biden White House, Florida rejected an AP course filled with Critical Race Theory and other obvious violations of Florida law,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. tweeted. “We proudly require the teaching of African American history. We do not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.”
According to apcentral.collegeboard.org, the course was supposed to be piloted at 60 schools around the nation for 2022-2023, with plans to expand the pilot to hundreds more high schools for 2023-2024.
“To be clear, no states or districts have seen the official framework that will be released on February 1, much less provided feedback on it,” the College Board wrote in a letter to its members, according to Inside Higher Ed and Education Week.
The letter indicates that this official framework will supplant the preliminary pilot course framework.
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