For decades, many American high schools have offered students rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses in subjects such as art history, calculus, environmental science, and European history. This fall, 60 schools will launch AP African American Studies as a new option.
The new course, which the school is testing in a pilot program, is an important step toward legitimizing African American studies in the public eye, says Henry Louis Gates Jr., a historian who helped create the curriculum. increase.
“There is nothing more dramatic than launching an AP course in a field with a college board, which means final acceptance and final academic legitimacy,” said Gates. time Magazine Olivia B. Waxman.
The AP program, overseen by the College Board, allows high school students to take college-level classes that may count toward credit at higher education institutions. About 70% of US high schools offer at least one of her AP courses.
The College Board hasn’t published the curriculum for the new courses, but one instructor participating in the pilot program said: time and other publications about what it contains. This course explores the contributions of Africans and their descendants to the United States over his 400 years. timeThat means the Spanish conquistador Juan Garrido, known as the first African to come to North America, also covers the importance of Marvel. black pantherIntersection, which shows how the various systems of oppression overlap, also becomes a key tenet of the class.
Participants in the pilot program will take exams, but will not receive scores or college credit this year. new york times“Anemona Heartcoris”. (The pilot program is intended to give universities time to develop policies that allow students to count courses on their transcripts.)
This class has been active for 10 years. But it now arrives amidst a culture war over what students should learn about race and racism in the classroom. Critical race theory, developed by academics in the 1970s, is a combination of systemic racism and a theoretical approach that analyzes the intersection of race, society, and law. It’s a framework. Critical race theory is generally not taught at the high school level, but right-wingers have taken up the term as an umbrella term for discussions of race and racism in the classroom.
A report by free speech advocacy group PEN America found that 36 states had introduced 137 “educational gag orders” bills. 12+ Education”—only this year. For example, earlier this summer, the Oklahoma Board of Education downgraded the accreditation status of two of her school districts accused of violating one of those laws.
Gates says attacks on critical race theory are misplaced.
“AP African American Studies is not CRT,” he says. time“This is not the 1619 Project. It’s much older.”
But that doesn’t mean race theory and the 1619 project matter. new york times A storytelling initiative to reframe American history through the lens of racism, beginning with the arrival of the first enslaved Africans, is not mentioned in the AP African American Studies course.
talk to TimesGates says that the Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project could be covered in a broader unit “teaching different theories of the African-American experience”. We do not advocate adopting these theories.”
Marlon Williams Clark, a social studies instructor at a charter school in Tallahassee, Florida, began teaching pilot classes in August. Just last year, the Florida Board of Education banned critical racial theory from being taught in schools.
“I know you’re thirsty [students] Williams-Clark told CBS News’ Elaine Quijano and Lana Zak. “I think this course will be a harbinger of other histories about marginalized people.”
Next year, the College Board plans to expand the pilot to 200 schools. By the 2024 school year, we plan to offer AP African American Studies to interested high schools nationwide.