College Board adjusts AP African-American Studies course


Schools across the nation are looking to offer AP African American Studies, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has said that won’t happen on his watch. DeSantis has expressed concern with what he calls the course’s “woke” content, including units on LGBTQ+ and Critical Race Theory.

“I do not agree with Ron DeSantis,” AP Human Geography and Civics teacher Chloe Radd said. “I believe that banning goes against the freedom of choice. When students enroll in an AP college course, it is a choice that they make with their parents to do so.”

Pushed by DeSantis’ worries about the course, College Board has removed some topics, such as Black Lives Matter, from the exam and made them optional to the curriculum. Freshman Rhea Sinha disagrees with DeSantis’ views on the course. 

“Trying to whitewash history so certain groups can sleep better at night won’t solve the problem,” Sinha said. “This game that DeSantis is playing is just a delay in progress. I don’t think that he’s trying to ban the course because it ‘promotes a political agenda,’ as he says. This is simply showing that he’s afraid of us learning about Black history and studies, and this isn’t going to end up the way he imagined.”

Other ways around some sensitive topics would be to involve parents, which teachers already do for some subjects.

As an AP teacher I make sure that parents are involved and understand the course content, especially if there is anything that would be considered a ‘hot topic,'” Radd said. “I do feel that students and parents should have the choice.”

There is not currently a decision on whether the class will be available at West Shore next year, but if offered there would be some who want to enroll in the class. 

“The course definitely seems interesting,” Sinha said. “It reminds me of the situation of banned books. Administrators and parents banning books are actually making them more popular than ever, and I’m sure the same thing will happen with the course.”