The contentious Advanced Placement African American Studies pilot programme was recently cancelled, and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) challenged superintendents to turn back the materials for it.
Arkansas was the most recent state to discontinue the contentious College Board AP African American Studies pilot programme from its classrooms this month.
Jacob Oliva, the secretary of education for Arkansas, stated in a letter that the division “is charged with oversight of education in public school districts, which includes ensuring school district compliance with state law and State Board of Education rules.”
“The Department has not been provided the necessary materials and resources needed to enable the Department to support districts in complying with the law and rules,” wrote Oliva. “Since the Advanced Placement African American Studies pilot programme is a direct partnership between your school district and College Board,” she continued.
“Given some of the themes included in the pilot, including ‘intersections of identity’ and’resistance and resilience,’ the Department is concerned the pilot may not comply with Arkansas law, which does not permit teaching that would indoctrinate students with ideologies, such as Critical Race Theory,” he added, referencing the Arkansas LEARNS Act that GOP Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law in March.
In his letter, Oliva instructed the superintendents to “submit all materials, including but not limited to the syllabus, textbooks, teacher resources, student resources, rubrics, and training materials, to the Department by 12:00 pm on September 8, 2023” in order to “assist public school employees, representatives, and guest speakers at your district in complying with the law.”
The superintendents were also urged by the secretary of education of Arkansas to submit a “statement of assurance that the teaching of these materials will not violate Arkansas law or rule.”
The superintendents of the districts taking part in the pilot programme, including the eStem Public Charter Schools, North Little Rock School District, Little Rock School District, Jacksonville School District, and Jonesboro School District, were contacted by Fox News Digital for comment.
The “Intersections of Identity” part of the AP pilot programme, according to screenshots obtained by Fox News Digital, “examines the interplay of distinct categories of identity (such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, region, religion, and ability) with each other and within a society.”
The document continues, “Various categories of identity are emphasised throughout the course.” Students should cultivate the habit of thinking about identity as both a cohesive notion and an intersectional framework and take into account how many parts of identity affect their experience, even though different identities vary in importance in the given units.
Critical race theory’s central premise of intersectionality looks at how a person’s traits, like race, sex, and sexuality, intersect and how society views that person depending on those traits, whether discriminatorily or not.
Professor of law at Columbia University Kimberle Crenshaw is also a “pioneering” researcher and author in the field of critical race theory.
The LEARNS Act in Arkansas forbids the introduction of “ideologies” into the curriculum that support discrimination based on unchangeable traits and “conflict with the principle of equal protection under the law.”
In addition, Teresa Reed, a member of the College Board group, stated in an interview with NPR in February that “the resources that address those controversial topics will live on AP Classroom that’s being constructed for AP African American Studies” – including critical race theory.
It’s an online community. Therefore, that is distinct from the framework itself, according to Reed. “But it will be accessible to – generally accessible. Additionally, such resources will be accessible and available without payment.