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The College Board agrees with Ron DeSantis on Critical Race Theory?

Ron DeSantis Schools the College Board

The new AP course in African-American Studies cuts the CRT.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Feb. 1, 2023 7:00 pm ET

The College Board has released a serious rewrite of its framework for a new high-school advanced placement (AP) course in African-American Studies. Critical race theory is out, and Condoleezza Rice is in. The group insists that revisions were done for pedagogical reasons and completed in December, but even assuming that’s true, it’s vindication for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Florida rejected the last version of the curriculum, which featured topics on “Black Queer Studies,” “‘Postracial’ Racism,” and “the case for reparations.” That framework suggested teens read a text from an academic exponent of critical race theory. “We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think,” Mr. DeSantis said, “but we don’t believe they should have an agenda imposed on them.”

Even as it deletes this academic theorizing, the College Board denies it’s reacting to Florida’s criticism. The other explanation is that it arrived at a similar conclusion on its own. Mr. DeSantis’s critics have accused him of trying to erase black history, though he was doing nothing of the sort. If the revised AP framework actually was drawn up in December, then the curriculum committee had already decided that none of this nonsense was needed for teaching black history to high-schoolers.

The College Board’s CEO is calling the revised course “an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African-American history.” One thing driving the changes, he said, was that students in the pilot class were engaged by primary sources, but they found the academic theories “quite dense.”

No kidding. As one course description put it: “This topic examines intersectionality as an analytical framework and its connection to Chicana and Asian American feminist thought.” Who thought teenagers would find such stuff scintillating?

The AP’s updated framework is 234 pages, and it’ll be interesting to see how it’s received by historians of all persuasions, not to mention Florida’s Education Department. Beyond the excisions, the required reading now includes an excerpt from former Secretary of State Rice’s 2012 speech to the Republican presidential convention, which is at least a gesture toward diversity of thought.

“A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham,” Ms. Rice told the crowd and the country watching, “the segregated city of the South, where her parents can’t take her to a movie theater or to a restaurant. But they have her absolutely convinced that even if she can’t have a hamburger at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, she could be President of the United States if she wanted to be, and she becomes the Secretary of State. Yes, America has a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect, but we know it was never inevitable.”

That reading wouldn’t make it in critical race theory class, but it has the advantage of being genuine black American history.

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