Shaker Heights Schools News Article

A Message from Dr. David Glasner Regarding College Board's AP African American Studies Curriculum

February 5, 2023—The College Board’s inclusion of a new Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course in its curriculum provides an opportunity to celebrate and elevate a long-neglected part of the American student educational experience. Culturally informed and responsive education allows all students to see themselves in their curriculum and better understand the world we live in. It fosters inquiry-based learning that is balanced, reflective and knowledgeable about our global and multicultural society. 
That’s why we were disappointed to see that on Wednesday—the beginning of Black History Month—the College Board chose to eliminate subject matter from its new course subject that had angered some elected officials. Regardless of its intent, the College Board’s decision represents a missed opportunity to include references to subjects such as LBGTQ+ studies, slavery reparations, the Black Lives Matter movement and Black feminist literary thought—subject matter that was contained in the draft curriculum.
Students at Shaker Heights High School currently have two classroom opportunities to engage in focused and rigorous exploration of the Black experience in the United States as well as Africa and other parts of the African diaspora. Our semester-long African American History course requires intensive reading, analytical writing and historical judgment. The course begins with the study of ancient Africa and includes slavery, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, racism in modern America and the extraordinary contributions of African and African Americans to the growth of our nation from its inception
Our two-semester Kenyon Academic Partnership (KAP) African American History course is a College Credit Plus course offered at Shaker by Kenyon College. The first semester of the course is grounded in the study of ancient Africa and culminates in the study of contemporary Black America during the second semester. Students may choose to take one or both semesters of this course. Students who successfully complete this rigorous, college-level course receive four semester hour credits per semester from Kenyon College. 
While the AP African American History course is still in a pilot phase, the District will continue to explore the possibility of adding this course in the future, as information about the pilot program is gathered.
Dr. David Glasner
Superintendent, Shaker Heights Schools

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