HOW CAN ANY HISTORY LACK EDUCATIONAL VALUE
The recent decision by the Florida Department of Education to block a pilot project of an Advanced Placement course on African American History based on a determination that it lacks educational value really concerns me. I am in a quandary.
Blacks in America have been inventors, soldiers, intellectuals, artists, teachers, religious leaders, entrepreneurs, activists and even the President of the United States of America. Blacks in America have challenged the nation to live up to its ideals of equality, justice, and liberty for all. Black people have made invaluable contributions to our great nation.
In fact, the core of the history of blacks in America highlights both our nation’s major accomplishments and painful bad decisions made by our nation’s former leaders. It is extremely valuable to expose students of all colors to such content that speaks to the rich history of America that is filled with the lived experiences of black people.
An Advanced Placement course in African American history would enhance the quality of education for all children because the course would expose students to historical information that provide empirical evidence of best practices to continue and lessons learned to not repeat. Not to teach our nation’s true robust history puts us at risk of confirming stereotypes, myths, and tropes.
I think it is vitally important that Floridians are privy to the proposed curriculum and the information that led to this decision.