Revised AP African-American studies course by college board receives criticism

A high school in the US has revised its curriculum on African-American history. This decision has been taken after certain conservative people brought to the notice of the board how it amounted to “woke indoctrination”. The Republicans in Florida thought the draft version of the latest high-level course did not have educational value. 

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are meant to give students the chance before graduation to take college-level courses. These courses are overseen by the US college board. The non-profit organization's first new class since 2014 is the African-American history syllabus. 

The official syllabus was released on Wednesday by the US college Board after eliminating certain disrupted subject matter. However, the revisions had been called “disturbing” by The National Black Justice Coalition (a civil rights organization).

It was also brought to people’s notice last month by the administration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, that the draft version of the new Advanced Placement (AP) course would not be carried forward in the state’s high schools. The syllabus was also called woke indoctrination that was masquerading as education by Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. 

Furthermore, Manny Diaz Jr released a chart that listed the state’s objections to the class. It argued that the syllabus violated the state law and that it was filled with critical race theory, teaching that racism permeates the US institutions. Some of the sections that the Florida republicans objected to in the draft included “Intersectionality”, Black Queer Studies", " The Reparations Movement” and “Black Feminist Literary Thought”.

The discussion of intersectionality was pared back by the college board while certain sections like “The Movement for Black Lives" and “Black struggle in the 21st Century” were removed entirely. The organization also expanded left-wing black authors like Kimberle Crenshaw, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and bell hooks. This decision was taken due to objections from Florida. A new section on “Black Conservatism” has been added while sections on Black Lives Matter and slavery reparations have been removed. These sections are now optional projects for the students.

The National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization, was not happy about the changes that were made to the 234-page final curriculum. This was released on the first day of Black History Month. An organizational group that believed in being committed to advancing and protecting the interest of Black people mentioned in a statement that they believed the decision to move forward with the release of the new curriculum without key sections that are inextricably part of the Black experience is similar to educational malpractice. 

Kerry Haynie, a Duke University professor who helped develop the Advanced Placement (AP) course also mentioned that some of the claims made against the college board were extremely misleading. According to the college board, the changes made to the course were not a result of being influenced by Florida Republicans. They mentioned the changes were made before Mr. DeSantis announced that the state would block the material.  The organization mentioned that the truth was that the landmark course was molded over the years by some of the most renowned scholars in the field and not by political influence.