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Confusion on the first day of school in Arkansas regarding the AP African American Studies class



Little Rock, Arkansas – This week, when students return to class, there is debate regarding the validity of one high school course.

African American Studies is the name of the course. It’s possible that you have encountered this subject on social media in the previous few days.

After former state senator Joyce Elliott tweeted a picture indicating that AP African American Studies had been removed from the Arkansas Department of Education course listings, a number of organizations and lawmakers have expressed their outrage.

According to state officials, the class is still in existence; the only issue is that it is unclear what kind of class it is.

According to the Advanced Placement Program, this is a pilot course that is still undergoing adjustments, a representative for Governor Sarah Sanders tweeted.

She said that the exam might not qualify for college credit like other AP courses because it wasn’t offered to pupils the previous school year.

In addition, there is a current African American history course that students can enroll in and obtain high school credit for.

Kimberly Mundell, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Education, also distributed the following statement:
“The department encourages the teaching of all American history and supports rigorous courses not based on opinions or indoctrination.”

Just a few days before children returned to school for the new school year, a misunderstanding arose. Ryleigh Gaston, a student at Central High School, spoke about the course she was still enrolled in on the first day.

“I think the class is very important because it gives you insight on how the world or just this country operates,” Gaston said.

Gaston stated that she is only one of about 100 students at her school taking the AP course, and she added that she was astonished on Friday after reading tweets about it.

“AP African American studies is a very informative class and I hope a lot of students can take it,” Gaston said.

Also discussing the news was Kymara Seals of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, who claimed that the confusion felt derogatory to the black community.

“We’ll have to do some pushback and ask some questions and go to meetings and just be a mouthpiece for this to actually happen,” Seals said.

The ADE representative added that Arkansas has an African American History course scheduled for 2023–2024 in the ADE course code management system.

Students who successfully finish the course will receive high school credit even though it is not an AP course. She claimed that in order to provide students a challenging experience, the state is collaborating with districts to develop an honors version of this course.

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