Headline RoundupFebruary 4th, 2023

History or Indoctrination? African American Studies Course Sparks Debate

AllSides Summary

A recent standoff between education professionals and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over African American course curriculum sparked discussion and debate on education, history, and race.

For Context: Florida rejected a newly designed Advanced Placement (AP) African American studies curriculum, saying it violated Florida’s law banning critical race theory. The curriculum designer, The College Board, amended the course material to remove or make optional sections regarding black queer studies, activism, reparations movements, and black scholars linked to critical race theory. The curriculum is not finalized, according to The College Board, who stated that the latest changes were made in December.

Support for DeSantis: The Wall Street Journal Opinion Editorial Board stated that "DeSantis’s critics have accused him of trying to erase black history, though he was doing nothing of the sort." The board said the amendments to the curriculum were "vindication" for DeSantis, who has positioned himself as a leading force in the Republican Party heading into the 2024 election.

Opposition: In the Washington Post (Lean Left Bias), Mark Whitaker called DeSantis’s efforts against "wokeness" unfounded, and said the potential 2024 Republican candidate is attempting to signal to white students and their parents "that they shouldn’t be made to feel bad about anything their ancestors did to Black people." The piece determines that "teenagers of all races can benefit from the wider understanding of our history that Black studies have helped foster."

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