Florida’s Ban Prompts 4 States to Review AP African American Studies

Following Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s battle over the teachings, four more US states are reviewing the new Advanced Placement African American studies course, according to the Washington Post.

Following Florida’s steps, officials in Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and North Dakota, will review the curriculum to check if it conflicts with their current policies and laws restricting the teaching of race.

As Dale Wetzel, spokesperson for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction said, they don’t want to assign a course code to something that violates state law so they felt obliged to look at the course content for this particular course to check the allegations that it contains elements of critical race theory.

A college-level framework, critical race theory is rarely taught in grade school but is often conflated with teachings on systemic racism.

Claiming that the course – which is currently in a two-year pilot program in 60 high schools nationwide with plans to expand it to hundreds more in the fall – teaches critical race theory, a college-level framework that’s often conflated with general teachings on systemic racism, DeSantis’ and conservative lawmakers have expressed outrage over the curriculum.

Describing the course as significantly lacking educational value and being inexplicably contrary to Florida law, DeSantis’ administration tried convincing the College Board to block it in January but the board has only excluded some of the content that DeSantis had opposed- such as teachings on Black Lives Matter and reparations – releasing new curriculum for the course.

Even those hardly significant changes have provoked backlash and accusations that the College Board bowed to political pressure by excluding certain topics from the finalized curriculum.

Per the Post, at least 17 other states have laws or policies restricting the teaching of race, including barring teachers from teaching critical race theory or suggesting the US is a racist country.

New Jersey, in the meantime, is expanding access to the AP course from one high school to 26, with Gov. Phil Murphy pointing out that New Jersey will proudly teach American kids that Black History is American History, unlike the likes of Florida’s DeSantis which prioritize political culture wars ahead of academic success.

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