Black Educator Calls for an Advanced Placement Course in African-American History

Linda S. Lane, deputy superintendent for instruction, assessment, and accountability for the Pittsburgh public schools, has proposed to The College Board that it add an Advanced Placement course in African-American history. Currently The College Board gives Advanced Placement tests in 37 subjects including American history and world history.

Dr. Lane, who is African American, believes that an Advanced Placement course in African-American history would serve to increase black participation in the AP program. While black participation in the AP program has increased dramatically in recent years (see print issue of JBHE No. 55, page 85), in 2006 blacks took only 5.6 percent of all AP examinations. In Pittsburgh, blacks make up at least 35 percent and as much as 99 percent of the students at all of the city’s high schools. But only 17 percent of the students districtwide who took AP courses in 2006 were black.

The College Board states that it has no plans to offer an AP course in African-American history.

Dr. Lane is a graduate of the University of Iowa. She holds a master’s degree and an educational doctorate from Drake University.