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Dem Governors Pritzker and Newsom Challenge AP on Caving to DeSantis

Two prominent Democratic governors are pushing back against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after his administration blocked the teaching of an Advanced Placement course on African American studies.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is urging the College Board not to appease DeSantis, a likely 2024 Republican presidential candidate, and alter the course curriculum. And California Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed outrage that Republicans are concerned about this class in the wake of a series of mass shootings. Both Democratic governors are also seen as potential future presidential candidates.

"I am writing to you today to urge the College Board to preserve the fundamental right to an education that does not follow the political grandstanding of Governor DeSantis and the whims of Republicans in Florida," Pritzker wrote in a letter to the College Board obtained by NBC News and first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

"I am extremely troubled by recent news reports that claim Governor DeSantis is pressuring the College Board to change the AP African American Studies course in order to fit Florida’s racist and homophobic laws," Pritzker said, calling on the College Board to "refuse to bow to political pressure that would ask you to rewrite our nation’s true, if sometimes unpleasant, history."

DeSantis’ administration rejected the AP African American studies program in a letter this month to the College Board, which oversees AP classes.

The state pointed to six areas of concern and works by Kimberlé W. Crenshaw; Gloria Jean Watkins, known by her pseudonym bell hooks; Angela Davis; and other Black authors. And at a news conference Monday, DeSantis and Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. argued that the course is a Trojan horse for “indoctrinating” students with a left-wing ideology under the guise of teaching about the Black experience and African American history (which is mandated in the state).

Read entire article at NBC News