College Board Communications
February 2, 2023
Today, the Advanced Placement Program delivered its long-planned release of the official framework for the AP Cruelty Studies course. The official framework has been under development for nearly five years.
“We’re truly excited to offer this course,” said Jerome Sellers, College Board Communications Specialist. “Cruelty is an ongoing project in humanity as evidenced in our politics, religion, policy, entertainment, health care, and so much more. The real challenge of this course is trying to figure out the small percentage of what to keep in. There’s just so many options and examples in history to choose from, and that’s just in the 21st century.”
“AP Cruelty Studies can’t possibly cover the full range of how humanity’s cruelty knows no bounds throughout history,” said Ken Powers, College Board VP of Curriculum. “For that we would recommend an advanced college degree program and even then, I don’t think that would possibly cover it all. But you could look at one part of cruelty. For our purposes, we’re taking a look at an overview of cruelty so that students can see that for some people in positions of power, cruelty really is the point. We want students equipped to identify what’s going on and be able to get these deranged folks some help before they hurt anyone else.”
AP Cruelty Studies is an interdisciplinary course that draws on a variety of fields – contemporary history of Florida and Texas, Immigration Policy of the last decade, Evangelical political and theological statements from 2015 forward, Social Media memes and posts that you can’t believe are true but actually are, Political polarization at the Thanksgiving table, Bumper stickers and flags on vehicles, and more.
To develop the framework, the AP Program had a staff of five pay attention on a daily basis to life in America for five years. Throughout that period, the staff was not allowed to comment or interact with anyone else as they created the curriculum. This rigorous approach created a high-level, high-quality course. However, being exposed to that much cruelty does come with a cost and the College Board prepared in advance for this – having a team of doctors, therapists, and other trained professionals on hand as needed for the staff. “We’re pleased to say that all five of the staff came through this process,” said Dr. Mary Wells, Executive Vice President for Health of the College Board. “Cruelty is no joke. Which just reinforces why such a course like this is needed. And why our society should make necessary changes to move away from cruelty, stop electing cruel politicians who enact cruel policies, and empower and teach people to stop act cruelly and instead care about one another. You’d think we would have figured that out by now. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.”
AP Cruelty Studies is set to be offered beginning in the 2023-2024 school year.
“We’re going to roll out the course in targeted areas of the country,” said Pam Schmidt, VP for Marketing of College Board. “You know how you don’t name a building after someone who is still living? Well, the same works for this. You don’t release a class in the state where the current governor is one of subject matters. We’ll be holding off on releasing the course to places like Florida and Texas, and some other states. But no worries. Governors come and go. Unfortunately cruelty seems to have a longer shelf life.”