Harvard faculty and students are speaking out against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ war on African American Studies.
According to The Harvard Crimson, Harvard Graduate School of Education professor Meira L. Levinson said, “It’s important to recognize that this is an African American Studies course that’s being proposed, and not just an African American history class that’s being proposed. There’s a growing body of research that is pretty clear that these courses can have really important effects — positive effects — on kids’ learning, kids’ attendance, kids’ graduation rates, kids’ sense of self-confidence, self-efficacy.”
Harvard Kennedy School professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad said about DeSantis, who is a 2005 Harvard Law School graduate, “When there is an explicit or implicit challenge to an AP course that will more or less shape the curriculum of all students taking the class in all classrooms around the nation — and every college and university that will receive an appeal for credit from students who pass the exam associated with it — that’s a national issue. People need to see that for what it is.”
Florida Gov. DeSantis Defends Banning AP African American Studies In State High Schools
Muhammad also joined an open letter of 200 African American Studies faculty in higher education. The letter read, “The contention that an AP curriculum in African American studies ‘lacks educational value’ is a proposition supported by white supremacist ideology, because it fundamentally demeans the history, culture, and contributions of Black people.”
Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected an optional Advanced Placement American Studies Course for high schoolers. The College Board, a nonprofit which oversees Advanced Placement courses, revised the course, slashing several Black scholars and authors. Some writers reportedly cut are Alice Walker, bell hooks, Michelle Alexander and Ta-Nehisi Coates. However, one addition, The New York Times reports, was Black conservatism, which will be offered as a research project.
DeSantis has been a leading Republican voice opposing Critical Race Theory (CRT), a college-level academic framework to analyze systemic racism that is not taught at elementary or secondary schools. Under his leadership, the Republican-dominated state legislature passed a measure dubbed the “Stop WOKE Act,'' which the governor signed into law last April. It restricts how race is discussed in public schools, colleges, and workplaces.
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