Little Rock School District opposes state’s decision, offers credits for AP African American Studies


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Little Rock, Arkansas – In a significant departure from the stance of Arkansas education authorities, the Little Rock School District has declared its intention to award credits for the AP African American Studies course.

Previously, state educational leaders had determined that students partaking in this Advanced Placement course would not accrue credits towards their graduation.

The district communicated on Wednesday, “As part of our commitment to providing a rich and comprehensive learning experience, we will continue with our plans to offer the AP course. We will also continue to work closely with the College Board regarding content and curriculum.”

Earlier this year, an executive order was issued by Sanders that effectively barred “indoctrination and critical race theory in schools.”

Of historical note, Central High School, which falls under the Little Rock School District, was a significant site during the Civil Rights movement. In a bold move in 1957, nine Black students registered at the school in response to the pivotal Brown vs. Board of Education decision, which had ruled that public school segregation was unconstitutional. Regrettably, these students faced significant resistance on their initial day, confronted by a hostile crowd and the National Guard who obstructed their entry.

The district further commented, “We are fortunate to have one of the foremost subject matter experts leading the instruction at Central High School who has expressed that her students are enthusiastic about the opportunity to take the course. AP African American Studies will allow students to explore the complexities, contributions, and narratives that have shaped the African American experience throughout history, including Central High School’s integral connection.”

Ali Noland, a school board member and attorney, noted that almost 100 students from Central had registered for this course in the current academic year. Describing the course as fundamentally enlightening, Noland emphasized its role in imparting a crucial segment of American history.

It’s worth noting that there’s a broader national context; several Republican leaders across other states have similarly attempted to restrict the scope of Black history education.


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