Arkansas Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ administration challenges AP Black History course

According to MSNBC, Arkansas public schools have made the decision not to recognize the Advanced Placement (AP) African American studies course for college credit starting from the 2023-24 school year. This development has arisen just days before the onset of the new academic term.

Educators in the state were reportedly informed about this decision through a phone call from an official at the Arkansas Department of Education. Notably, unlike other AP courses, the state will not be subsidizing the $90 fee for the end-of-year test for this course. This exam traditionally allows students to qualify for college credit, pending their performance.

Earlier in the year, the College Board, responsible for administering AP courses, faced pressure from the Florida government, leading to changes in its African American studies course content. There is speculation that Arkansas might make additional requests for course alterations.

Jacob Oliva, the state’s education secretary, mentioned in an interview with a Fayetteville television station that the AP course could potentially contravene an executive order issued by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in January. This order restricts the teaching of “critical race theory” in educational institutions. Furthermore, Gov. Sanders had also signed legislation in February that officially prohibits the theory, which some critics argue has been inaccurately portrayed as a representation of conversations around racial disparities.

Responding to the recent events, 40/29 News received a statement from Oliva’s communications director asserting that the AP course “is not a history course and is a pilot that is still undergoing major revisions.” However, this assertion is contested by reports indicating that the course has been accepted for college credit by over 200 educational institutions nationally.

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