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One State Will Not Allow Credit for Controversial AP African American Studies Course

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Earlier this year, Townhall covered how the College Board announced it would revise its Advanced Placement African American studies course following criticism from 2024 presidential candidate and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration. 

Since he assumed office, DeSantis has said that he would not allow public schools to offer the course over its “woke” and “radical” indoctrination concepts. This week, another state announced that it would scrap credit altogether for the course.

 The Arkansas Education Department removed course credit for an Advanced Placement African American Studies course, according to multiple reports. This occurred just before the start of the 2023-2024 school year. The course will not be eligible for early college credit, Kimberly Mundell, the department’s communications director, confirmed to NBC News.

"The department encourages the teaching of all American history and supports rigorous courses not based on opinions or indoctrination," Mundell said in a statement.

In March, GOP Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed the LEARNS Act. One of the components of the law banned teaching on “gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual reproduction” before fifth grade. In addition, the legislation banned lessons that would “indoctrinate students with ideologies, such as Critical Race Theory,” according to ABC News.

Reportedly, Mundell told local outlet KHBS-TV that the class was being piloted at some schools and still undergoing major revisions. 

“Arkansas law contains provisions regarding prohibited topics,” she reportedly said. “Without clarity, we cannot approve a pilot that may unintentionally put a teacher at risk of violating Arkansas law.”

According to The New York Times, students at Central High School in Little Rock had already enrolled in the course before it was revealed that they would not receive early college credit for it. They were also told that the course “may not meet graduation requirements.”

The class reportedly first emerged in the state in February, one month before Sanders signed the LEARNS Act.

Last month, in Florida, the board of education approved new standards for how black history would be taught in schools, which Townhall covered. The updated standards advise schools to teach that enslaved people in the United States “developed skills” that “could be applied for their personal benefit” and teach that there were “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans,” according to The Washington Post.

“In Florida we are taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory,” DeSantis said in a statement in December. “We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other. We also have a responsibility to ensure that parents have the means to vindicate their rights when it comes to enforcing state standards. Finally, we must protect Florida workers against the hostile work environment that is created when large corporations force their employees to endure CRT-inspired ‘training’ and indoctrination.”

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