College Board Succumbing to Censorship?

College Board Succumbing to Censorship?

Amin Shah, Arts & Entertainment Editor

What if you were to create a course about the history of 200+ years of struggle only to be met with the issue of censoring the most important impacts of them? That is what is being experienced lately, as the College Board has  come under fire on account of their compliance in censoring the soon-to-be AP African American History course that will be piloted this upcoming school year in Amityville Memorial High School (this is not occurring in every school). Why would this even be debated? One word: Florida.

What is the course itself?
AP African American History is a course, like the name suggests, about the history of African Americans in the United States all the way back from their forced diaspora into the country up until the modern day. It is an interdisciplinary course that features African American history through arts, geography, cultural practice/influence, literature, popular culture, strife, movements, and other monumental aspects. Instead of a test-driven course like most of the other AP classes, it will be project-based. These projects will take the place of tests while enforcing managing skills, the ability to cooperate, and the potential to be able to lead a group to success while learning such material. It will be the first new AP course since 2014’s AP Seminar (along with the incorporation of the Capstone program). It sounds like such a unique class and a nice transition toward a new style of learning with advanced material, how could it go wrong?

It goes terribly wrong
Before the course has even been piloted, there are changes being made on account of what people believe ‘‘should be taught’’, namely from the mouth of Florida governor Ron DeSantis. The course was leaked to conservative publications who began protesting the teaching of such subjects in public schools. The feedback led to the elimination of subjects and topics that had to do with critical race theory, reparation, the Black Lives Matter movement, black feminism, queer studies, and other similar modern topics. This is not new either, as the fight on the teachings of critical race theory in schools has been recurring for the past 2 years or so, as this only served to fuel the flames that burned too high. 

(Florida Governor Ron DeSantis)

The Student’s Perspective
Whether College Board or DeSantis is to be blamed is irrelevant, as DeSantis called for the action and College Board listened (although they state otherwise). I believe that College Board’s suck-up attitude (especially in this case) only goes to show how their priorities are not really towards the betterment of education as much as they are for the betterment of their pockets. It is utterly selfish to keep the program that centers around the history of a group of people so oppressed to only be censored in educating new generations about important facets of such oppressions and outright leaving out important events occurring in the modern day to continue these efforts simply to appease the conservative groups who are opposed to such teachings. The entire point of the class is removed at that pointing its highest irony, as it is a repetition of what is meant to be prevented with the opportunity to be taught such a subject due to the opinion of the (white) majority. Take this with a grain of salt though, as this is coming from the mouth (or head) of one AP student. Only time will tell how others may respond to news of such changes when taking the class. Will such glaring holes stand out among the rest of the material?