This year the College Board debuted an Advanced Placement (AP) course inspired by George Floyd.
The board launched an African American Studies AP course in 60 schools nationwide.
According to The Daily Wire, Trevor Packer, head of the College Board’s AP program, said George Floyd’s death and the backlash to it had a direct impact on introducing the new AP course.
It’s almost impossible to find out anything else about it — the curriculum, course framework, even the schools where it’s being piloted.
The College Board said it plans to publish the whole curriculum on the AP program website in spring 2024, two years after they’ve been experimenting with it on our kids. In other words, we have to approve it to find out what’s in it. (Where have we heard that before?)
“The College Board is keeping the list of pilot schools secret. But with 60 pilot schools, I think it’s very likely that there’s at least one in every state,” Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote in an email to Alpha News. “The College Board wants every state to formally approve the course, so it’s in their interest to have a pilot program in each state. But again, the College Board has kept the list secret. We only learn about pilot programs when an item appears in the press about a local school that’s adopted the course.”
Kurtz said he’s bothered that the board is trying to keep the details of a course for college credit “classified.” He said it should concern all of us.
“The secrecy surrounding this course is a serious problem,” Kurtz wrote. “The College Board is asking states to approve the course, but that cannot properly be done without giving the public the ability to see and debate what is actually in it.”
The teachers and academic consultants working with the College Board say there’s no need to worry. The African American Studies AP course neither pushes an ideological agenda nor teaches critical race theory. Kurtz said those claims aren’t true.
He managed to obtain a copy of the course’s curriculum framework and said it is dripping with critical race theory. According to Kurtz, readings in the last four units of the course push a radical leftist viewpoint that is often openly socialist.
At a time when many states are trying to eradicate CRT from curriculum, the College Board is releasing a new course teeming with it. CRT is a Marxist ideology that claims racism is the cause of all racial disparities. The ideology also suggests racism is systemic and present in all aspects of society. It’s a divisive ideology that separates people into groups and discourages harmony among races.
George Floyd’s death emboldened proponents of CRT.
Anyone who’s ever taken a college-level ethnic studies course knows they’re more political than academic, which is why they shouldn’t be taught in public high schools. “Studies” courses — women’s studies, urban studies, gender studies — usually push a radical leftist viewpoint at a time when students should be given a variety of viewpoints to form their own opinions.
Besides, Kurtz said, students need to learn about American history before they delve into the history of specific ethnic groups.
“Too often, the only American history that college students get is through these biased ‘studies’ programs. That creates a distorted view of our past. In high school, students should concentrate on American history and civics. Of course, material about women and minorities should be included in American history courses, but the focus of those courses should be the big picture,” he said.
And “studies” courses mangle the big picture.
“The last quarter of the course is nothing more than indoctrination because the radical leftist readings aren’t balanced by other points of view. Most of the sections in the final quarter of the course don’t even represent liberal viewpoints, much less conservative. The far-left authors who dominate the final part of the course generally frown on participation in mainstream party politics, whether Democratic or Republican. These people want to work outside the system in order to transform the system along socialist lines,” Kurtz said.
The course will be available in 200 schools by the 2023-24 school year, according to Kurtz. It’s interdisciplinary, which means in addition to covering 400 years of history, it will also include geography, literature, arts, and politics.
Although AP courses allow high school students to earn college credit, the pilot program will not count towards college.
Kurtz said in a National Review article that the topics covered in the final week of the course are stone-cold CRT.
One is topic is “Black Study and Black Struggle in the 21st Century,” which covers “reflections on the evolution of Black studies and the field’s salience in the present through a text by scholars, such as Robin D. G. Kelley.”
“We even have the writings of one of the creators of this curriculum, which clearly favors a leftist political mission for African American Studies. Either this is what the College Board actively wants, or the College Board has been negligent and incompetent in allowing leftist indoctrination to take over,” Kurtz said.
Either way, the buck stops with them. And the fact that they are keeping the information a secret is unacceptable.
We should be demanding that the course curriculum framework be made public. At a minimum, Kurtz said, no state or local school district should approve this course until the curriculum has been made public.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not represent an official position of Alpha News.
Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.