A Virginia school district at the center of a state investigation for alleged discrimination is blasting Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s “alarming” call to review the College Board’s “AP African American Studies.”
The Fairfax County School Board sent a letter Tuesday evening to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and state Education Secretary Aimee Guidera, accusing the administration of working to “establish an alarming pattern of disregard for the academic needs of the Commonwealth’s students,” after Youngkin ordered Guidera to review the College Board’s “AP African American Studies.”
“As the entry point for the first enslaved Africans in the colonies and home to the nation’s first Black governor, Virginia has been the backdrop for vital pieces of African-American history,” the board said in the letter.
“We have a moral obligation to teach our students about both the darkest times from our past and the inspiring progress we have made as a country,” the board continued. “The AP African-American Studies course offers this important objective in a way that also provides our students with valuable college credit. We should applaud and support our students’ desire to pursue rigorous curriculum offerings, not deny them these opportunities.”
YOUNGKIN ORDERS VA’S EDUCATION SECRETARY TO REVIEW THE COLLEGE BOARD’S ‘AP AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES’
Fairfax County Public Schools is currently being investigated by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares for alleged discrimination against Asian students applying for admission into the county’s prestigious STEM school, Thomas Jefferson High School. Miyares expanded his probe into all public schools in the county amid allegations they withheld national merit recognition information from students in the name of equity.
The school board’s letter Tuesday comes after Virginia became the fourth state, along with Arkansas, Mississippi, and North Dakota, to order reviews of the “AP African American Studies” course to see if it conflicts with any state policies regarding the teaching of race.
The course covers a variety of Black history and topics and was set to be piloted in about 60 classrooms nationwide this year. The College Board released a revised version of the course on Feb. 1. The updated version of the course removed its lessons on Black Lives Matter and suggested readings from Kimberlé Crenshaw, the author of “Critical Race theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement.” Published on May 1, 1996, the book is a compilation of significant writings that formed and sustained the critical race theory movement.
Florida banned “AP African American Studies” after objecting to several topics it covered, including “Black queer studies” and the “reparations movement.”
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Fairfax County School Board member Stella Pekarsky slammed the Republican-led trend in a statement Wednesday.
“This action follows a disturbing national trend of attempts to restrict teaching and learning,” she said. “From banning books to baseless attacks on hard working educators, public education faces many attacks, and this action leaves no doubt that those threats have reached Virginia.”
Fox News’ Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report.