Florida high school students may be able to take AP Psychology this coming fall after all. The state’s education commissioner, Manny Diaz Jr., released a statement Friday saying the Advanced Placement course can be taught “in its entirety in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate,” reversing a prior decision by the Education Department that banned the course from including any lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Diaz’s statement came one day after the College Board announced it would no longer recognize the course in Florida, asserting that the state had “effectively banned” it by choosing to “censor college-level standards.”
Not everyone was confident that the state had fully reversed course. The qualifying phrase “age and developmentally appropriate” in Diaz’s statement suggested that teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation might continue to put the AP course in conflict with state law. That led more major school districts to announce that they would not use the exam in the coming academic year.
Numerous major school districts said they would switch to alternatives to the AP Psychology exam, such as offerings from International Baccalaureate and Cambridge Education, out of fear that their students might take the AP course only to have it not earn state affirmation. An article in The Tampa Bay Times quoted the head of one district as saying he was “not convinced” that Friday’s statement from Diaz represented a shift.