UPDATE: College Board parts ways with top executive who wants to limit instruction about race and history
On Monday, Popular Information published a story revealing that a top executive with the College Board, Todd Huston, played a central role in advancing legislation to "limit what teachers can say regarding race, history, and politics in Indiana classrooms." The College Board is the organization that produces Advanced Placement (AP) classes, shaping curriculum for millions of students.
In addition to his executive position with the College Board, Huston serves as Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives. In his role as Speaker, Huston prioritized controversial legislation, HB 1134, that would restrict instruction about a range of topics. It would prohibit, for example, any text or instruction that suggests "any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, responsibility, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual's sex, race, [or] ethnicity…"
"This bill seeks to pretend that the atrocities of the past have not taken place," Ivan Hicks, Vice President of the Indianapolis NAACP, said. Further, the bill championed by Huston appears to directly conflict with the College Board's stated goal of diversifying enrollment in AP classes.
On Tuesday, the College Board announced it was parting ways with Huston. Popular Information obtained an email sent by College Board CEO David Coleman:
Soon, Indiana's largest paper, the Indianapolis Star, picked up the story. The Star noted that the College Board's decision came one day after "independent journalist…Judd Legum published a story questioning [the] College Board’s employment of Huston amid the speaker’s support for HB 1134."
Although the College Board ended its relationship with Huston, it never responded to Popular Information's request for comment. And the issues are far broader than Huston. Two questions that Popular Information posed last week remain relevant:
1. Does the College Board support HB 1134 in Indiana or similar legislation being introduced around the country?
2. Is the College Board concerned that limitations on discussions of race and racism in K-12 education could impair efforts to diversify enrollment in AP courses?
Popular Information will stay on the story until we get answers.
Popular Information is an independent newsletter dedicated to accountability journalism. It’s free to subscribe.