In a decision that has sparked debate, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) has revoked the pilot program for the AP African-American Studies course for the upcoming 2024 school year. Here’s the full story.
A Comprehensive Study of African-American History, Culture, and Contributions
The AP African-American Studies pilot program, introduced in select schools in Arkansas, aimed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of African-American history, culture, and contributions.
However, the pilot program faced considerable challenges and controversies.
During the 2022-2023 school years, no exam was offered to students, leading to questions about the course’s effectiveness and its potential to be included in college credit.
Violating State Laws
According to Alexa Henning, the Communications Director of the Arkansas Department of Education, the decision to revoke the program was driven by concerns that the course may inadvertently lead state educators to violate state laws.
It’s Not a History Course
Henning said, “The AP African American Studies pilot course is not a history course and is a pilot that is still undergoing major revisions.
Arkansas law contains provisions regarding prohibited topics.”
The Course Might Not Align With the Rules
“Without clarity, we cannot approve a pilot that may unintentionally put a teacher at risk of violating Arkansas law.
The state cannot give AP credit for a course that has not yet been finalized. Once the pilot is completed and AP releases the final course, ADE will review the final submission at that time,” she added.
The Education Reform Bill
The decision to revoke the AP African-American Studies pilot program in Arkansas coincides with the signing of the education reform bill, “Arkansas LEARNS,” by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
A Ban on Teaching “Critical Race Theory and Indoctrination”
This bill includes provisions that ban teaching “critical race theory and indoctrination.”
Debating What Is Taught In Schools
The concerns around critical race theory have led to nationwide debates over the content taught in schools, particularly concerning topics related to race, inequality, and systemic discrimination.
Not Just in Arkansas
The controversy surrounding the AP African-American Studies course is not unique to Arkansas.
Course Revisions In Florida
Similar challenges have arisen in other states as well.
In Florida, pressure from political and public spheres led to revisions in the course content.
The Excluded Parts
The College Board, which oversees the Advanced Placement program, revised the course curriculum to exclude elements associated with Black Lives Matter and the queer experience.
Course Revised Under Following DeSantis’ Criticism
This revised content was published in February, addressing criticisms raised by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration.
The Kids Won’t Know American History
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “Wow. We are going to have a generation of kids who go to college and become super surprised at real American history.”
This Is Not Critical Race Theory
Another User wrote, “African American studies are not Critical Race Theory. CRT has at least four key components: Storytelling, Permanence of Racism, Whiteness as Property, and Interest Convergence.”
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Source: FOX News