National Charter Collaborative Responds to College Board’s Decision to Black Out Black History

By Naomi Shelton, CEO of the National Charter Collaborative

The current revisions to the College Board’s pilot Advanced Placement course in African American studies curriculum sets a dangerous precedent, and the timing of its release is irresponsible at best. As the country prepares to celebrate the achievements of African Americans, including reputable scholars who have paved the way in education, the College Board appears to be consenting to pressures from intentionally obtuse elected officials who see Black history as a polarizing political ploy.

In response to the official curriculum for the College Board’s new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies, Naomi N. Shelton, Chief Executive Officer of the National Charter Collaborative, issued the following statement:

“The National Charter Collaborative (NCC) catalyzes the collective power of Black, Brown, and Indigenous voices to celebrate, connect, and support leaders as community experts. We amplify school leaders of color to create and sustain quality schools that reflect our communities’ cultural fabric and excellence. To fight for the fundamental value of humanity and the experience of Black people in America to then see our progress diminished only a few short years after the summer of racial reckoning of 2020 is an advanced placement level course in anti-Blackness and Capitalism. It is interesting to watch and sad to see a more than one hundred-and-twenty-year-old academic institution appear to yield to the dog whistles of partisan ideology. It is disrespectful to our culture and a threat to future progress both in education and our greater society.

“In a time where we should be celebrating a history that is foundational to this nation and expanding opportunities for students, regardless of race, to receive equitable, culturally-affirming, historically accurate, and enlightening education, politicians are stoking divisiveness and intentionally devaluing the legacy and substantial contributions of the global majority for incendiary political messaging. The College Board, whether intentionally or not, is giving credence to the notion that what has been upheld as an academic standard is simply another instance of white-centered measures of success shrinking the existence of some and placating mediocrity.” 

About National Charter Collaborative

National Charter Collaborative (NCC) supports single-site charter school leaders of color across the U.S., recognizing that charter school leaders of color are “a critical, yet overlooked, collective representing an estimated one-fourth of charter schools.” NCC supports more than 500 charter school leaders through a peer-to-peer network, consultancies, a fellowship program focused on a shared problem of practice, and advocacy to support leaders’ work nationally and locally.