Gov. Phil Murphy visited Newark’s Science Park High School on Feb. 14 to announce the expansion of Advanced Placement African American Studies classes in New Jersey.

Now in the first stage of a two-year pilot program nationwide, the AP African American Studies class will be taught in 26 N.J. high schools in 2023-24, with Science Park among them. (Only one N.J. school out of 60 across the country is offering the class this school year.)

“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,” said Murphy (shown above at an event in Union on Jan. 19). “We will set an example for the nation by demonstrating to our future leaders that our country is the greatest in the world because it is a work in progress, a promise, and an ideal we strive to achieve.” 

Afterward, AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera also noted that today’s culture wars “have seeped into the American education system.” Meanwhile, she added, “Many state legislatures are debating what is history, or they are rewriting our history altogether.”

“AFTNJ believes our students need to learn about our nation’s successes, and if they don’t also learn about our struggles and failures, we will make the same mistakes in the future,” Chiera said. “Our commitment to a world-class education system was demonstrated today with Gov. Murphy’s announcement to expand AP African American Studies across our state. Culture wars have no place in our schools — true history does.”

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