New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy knocks DeSantis, expands African American studies

On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the College Board’s newest course, AP African American Studies, which he intends to roll out to 26 schools in the 2023-24 academic year.

The course was rolled out in a two-year pilot program across 60 U.S. high schools this year.  The high schools it was sent to have not been disclosed, however it was confirmed that one of them is in New Jersey. It is the College Board’s first new offering since 2014, and the aim of the course is to provide students “the opportunity to learn about the innumerable ways in which Black Americans have shaped and strengthened our country,” Murphy said in a statement.   

“As governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis prioritize political culture wars ahead of academic success, New Jersey will proudly teach our kids that Black History is American History,” Murphy continued, in pointed remarks.  

Murphy’s stance is at odds with that of Florida Governor Ron De Santis who is currently in ongoing conflict with the College Board regarding the course.

Last week, The College Board accused the Florida Department of Education of “slander” and that its criticisms of the course are “politically motivated.”

“While the DeSantis Administration stated that AP African American Studies ‘significantly lacks educational value’, New Jersey will stand on the side of teaching our full history,” added Murphy.

The AP program allows students to take on college-level courses before graduation.  The course covers 38 subjects including English literature, politics and art history.

“It is an honor to teach AP African American History as it represents an opportunity to provide our students with deep, engaging exploration and discussion of our experiences in the United States of America,” said Alnazir Blackman, who will teach AP African American Studies at Science Park High School in New Jersey in the upcoming academic year, in a statement. “I am certain the ancestors would be pleased to know that we have come to a place in our journey worthy of an AP course.”  

“African American history has been enshrined in our statewide social studies standards since the 1990s, and subsequently codified in law with the passage of the 2002 Amistad legislation that requires New Jersey schools to incorporate African American history into social studies curriculum,” added Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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