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Youngkin Latest GOP Governor Skeptical of AP African American Studies Course

Youngkin Latest GOP Governor Skeptical of AP African American Studies Course

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin

The right worries that white kids could be taught the truth about the Black experience in the United States over time.

Following the lead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Virginia’sRepublican governor has asked his education department to review an AP African American Studies course to see if it violates his ban on divisive topics in school.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s appointees on the Virginia State Board of Education have been criticized previously for whitewashing history while revising history learning standards, Washington, D.C.’s NBC affiliate WRC reports.

Youngkin was elected in 2021 in part because of his false insistence that Virginia teachers were pushing critical race theory onto students to make them feel bad about being white.

“After numerous reports about draft course content, the governor asked the Education Secretariat to review the College Board’s proposed AP African American Studies course as it pertains to Executive Order 1,” Youngkin’s spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told ABC News.

Youngkin’s Executive Order 1 states that schools must not teach “inherently divisive concepts” and “critical race theory.”

Critical race theory, primarily taught in law schools and some universities and colleges, seeks to understand how racism has shaped U.S. laws and institutions. However, as a concept, it is not used in elementary, middle, or high school curricula nationwide.

It is now up to the department to decide whether Youngkin’s ban on critical race theory applies to the Advanced Placement African American Studies course offered by the College Board.

The College Board designs AP courses that can earn a student college credit for scoring high on a standardized test. The organization also develops and administers the SAT.

Virginia is one of four states, all led by Republican governors, reviewing the course to determine whether it violates newly implemented GOP laws that prohibit teaching matters of race on the basis that such discussions are inherently divisive and, therefore, inappropriate for kids to learn about because they might make them feel uncomfortable.

Texas, Arkansas, and North Dakota are all reviewing the course for violations of statewide policies on teaching children certain subjects, Education Weekreports.

As part of his "anti-woke" agenda in Florida, DeSantis recently banned the course because he took exception with its inclusion of modern Black social movements like Black Lives Matter and lessons on the role of queer Black culture within African American history in the U.S.

Republicans have sought to engage in an all-out culture war in advance of the 2024 presidential election, which Democratic political consultants say is a losing strategy as evidenced by the right’s obsession with CRT, pronouns, and discussion of gender identity in schools leading up to the lackluster performance by GOP candidates in the 2022 midterm elections.

Fairfax County, one of the country’s wealthiest school districts, wrote Youngkin asking him to reconsider.

“This narrative that he’s pushing that it’s going to have students be confused, we’re making the argument that to get rid of the confusion, deeply engage with the questions,” school board member Laura Jane Cohen told WRC.

“I haven’t heard a singling out of any of the other new APs,” Cohen said. “This is certainly not the only new AP that’s going to be offered in the commonwealth.”

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