NJ expands African American Studies – Murphy blasts DeSantis
📗 New Jersey will expand Advanced Placement African American Studies to more schools
📗 Critics say the classes promote a political agenda
📗 Gov. Murphy Blasts Florida's Ron DeSantis for rejecting the curriculum
As New Jersey celebrates Black History Month in February, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the expansion of college level African American studies courses in New Jersey high schools.
Murphy and education officials from his administration joined Newark Mayor Ras baraka at Science Park High School, where they sat in on one of the classes taught by Alnazir Blackman.
At the school, Murphy proclaimed, "New Jersey will proudly teach our kids that Black History is American History."
In the next school year, 26 high schools will offer the Advanced Placement course, which many colleges and universities could accept as credit toward a higher education degree.
"The expansion of AP African American Studies in New Jersey will grant our students the opportunity to learn about the innumerable ways in which Black Americans have shaped and strengthened our country," Murphy said.
Many high schools across the U.S. have adopted the AP African Studies courses as part of their curriculum, but they are not without critics.
Gov. Ron DeSantis blocked the courses from Florida public schools under his so-called Stop WOKE Act, saying what was proposed "significantly lacks educational value."
DeSantis stressed that teaching Black History was still required in Florida, but he took issue with parts of the proposed curriculum.
"What are one of the lessons about," DeSantis Asked, "Queer theory. Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids."
He also questioned sections on "intersectionality" and "abolishing prisons." "That's a political agenda," DeSantis said.
The College Board is now out with new framework for an Advanced Placement course on African American Studies, and it appears to have dropped many of the sections DeSantis and other's had criticized. They denied, however, that any feedback from DeSantis or his education team was taken into consideration.
Gov. Murphy did not address what would be taught in New Jersey Schools, but did take a swipe at DeSantis.
"While the DeSantis Administration stated that AP African American Studies ‘significantly lacks educational value’," Murphy said, "New Jersey will stand on the side of teaching our full history. We will set an example for the nation by demonstrating to our future leaders that our country is the greatest in the world because it is a work in progress, a promise, and an ideal we strive to achieve."
Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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